• Liposomal and dendritic drug delivery systems
  • Environmentally friendly biomimetic synthesis of hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles for specific applications
  • Antibacterial agents employing dendritic polymer/carbon-based nanocomposites
  • Dendritic polymer-functionalized nanostructured composites for the development of (a) novel fouling release marine coatings and (b) superhydrophobic nanostructured top coatings

A complete list of group publications can be found at:

Activities and Main Results

1. Liposomal and dendritic nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Systems.

The laboratory is involved in the development of efficient liposomal drug delivery systems that combine stability in the biological environment, cell specificity and membrane transporting properties that are realized by appropriate modification of their external surfaces. In addition, functionalized dendrimers, hyperbranched polymers or dendrigrafts developed in our laboratory through the modification of commercially available dendritic polymers are also studied as potential drug delivery or gene delivery systems. The formulations are physicochemically characterized and drug encapsulation and release, membrane transport, subcellular localization and cell toxicity are studied on various cell lines. The development of novel thermosensitive liposomes or thermoresponsive hyperbranched polymers for the stimuli-responsive delivery of anti-cancer drugs is currently under development.

2. Environmentally friendly biomimetic synthesis of hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles

a. Silica nanospheres through a biomimicking process

Hybrid silica nanospheres were prepared through a biomimetic silicification process in water at ambient conditions by the interaction of poly(ethylene imine) hyperbranched polymer with silicic acid. These systems can form the basis for the development of novel organo-silicate coatings or silicate based porous membranes suitable, after impregnation with metal oxide nanoparticles, for applications in catalysis. In addition, research activities in this field were expanded by the inclusion of silver nanoparticles and the subsequent development of novel materials exhibiting bactericide properties (in collaboration with Dr. G. Kythreoti).

b. Dendritic/alumina nanoparticles prepared with an environmentally friendly process

Research activity in the field of biomimetic synthesis of organic/inorganic nanoparticles controlled by polymeric hyperbranched matrices is also focused on the development of complex polymer/alumina nanopowders with metal inclusions (Al2O3-Cu, Al2O3-Ni, Al2O3-Ce). A detailed study mainly of the particle size and shape as a function of pH during synthesis has been performed.

c. Development of Hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and 3D Hydroxyapatite scaffolds

Hydroxyapatite nanoparticles have been developed utilizing dendritic polymers or synthetic polypeptides as biomimetic templates. These nanoparticles are successfully employed for the production of 3D Hydroxyapatite-biopolymer scaffolds.

3. Functionalized nanostructured carbon-based materials as antibacterial agents

a. Dendritic polymer-functionalized nanostructured composites

Cationic hydrophilic dendritic polymers induce, through appropriate interaction, the dispersion of nanostructured carbon-based materials (carbon nanotubes, carbon nanodisks and graphene oxide) in water. The materials were physicochemically characterized by a variety of physicochemical methods. Subsequently, these nanocomposites were evaluated as antibacterial agents in collaboration with Dr K. Stamatakis.

b. Dendritic Polymer-functionalized carbon-based nanostructured composites for fouling release marine coating applications

Novel dendritic polymer/carbon-based nanocomposites are being developed mainly for fouling release type paints for marine coating applications. Specifically lipophilic dendritic polymers were interacted with nanostructured carbon-based materials (CBMs) as carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide, affording nanocomposites able to be used as fillers into epoxy resin paints inducing their fouling release properties. CBMs/polymer nanocomposites facilitate the easy release of microorganisms responsible for biofouling. This is a critical property for hard fouling in the ship hull caused by higher organisms. These composites are expected to reduce the flow resistance leading to significant reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. This work is performed in collaboration with Dr F. K. Katsaros.

c. Superhydrophobic nanostructured top coatings

Superhydrophobic nanostructured top coatings based on silica nanoparticles and dendritic polymer functionalized nanostructured carbon-based materials (carbon nanotubes or graphene) are being developed, aiming to improved aerodynamic efficiency and, at the same time, to prevent ice-formation on aircrafts. Therefore, these novel nanostructured top coatings with improved aerodynamic and de-icing behavior are foreseen to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This work is performed in collaboration with Dr F. K. Katsaros.

4. Development of Novel Thermotropic Liquid Crystals

Supramolecular thermotropic liquid crystals derived from hyperbranched polyethylene imine functionalized with long aliphatic chains were developed. The amphiphilic-type dendritic liquid crystal properties originate from segregation of the rigid polar parts from the flexible non-polar functional alkyl groups. A variety of mesomorphic phases were observed and characterized by standard mesophase characterization techniques.


Current Funding

  • “Development of ceramic based nanostructured composites with nanoparticle inclusions”, PRAXIS «THALIS» 380143, GSRT, Greece (2012-2015). Budget: 70,000 €. Scientist in charge: Tsiourvas, Dimitris.
  • Development of hybrid nanostructured bioimplants, Action «Cooperation», EPAN-ΙΙ: 09SΥΝ-41-757, GSRT, Greece (2011-2014). Budget: 29,150 €. Scientist in charge: Tsiourvas, Dimitris.
  • FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP, «Synthesis of Advanced top Nanocoatings with improved Aerodynamic and De-icing behavior» – SANAD, Contract No: 324443 (2013-2016). 1/1/2013-31/12/2016. Total budget: 2,872,668.87 €, NCSRD budget: 522,156.47€. Scientist in charge: Sideratou, Oraiozili.
  • FP7-NMP-2011-SMALL-5, «Development of NEXT GENeration cost efficient automotive CATalysts» – NEXT-GEN-CAT, Contract No: 280890 (1/2/2012-31/1/2016). Scientist in charge: Katsaros, Fotios.
  • FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP “High-throughput development of carbon-polymer nanocomposites for marine applications – CARBONCOMP”, Contract No: 286413 (1/9/2011-31/8/2015). Scientist in charge: Katsaros, Fotios.