• ERC-PoC Grant agreement no: 232959, IDEAS, Novel Nanocontainer Drug carriers for the Targeted Treatment of Prostate Cancer. Duration 2009 –2014.

• GRST, Grant agreement no: 11ΣΥΝ_5_1274, Novel, Self-Healing Eco-friendly Coatings with Antifouling and Anticorrosion Properties for Maritime Applications, MARIPAINTS. Duration 2011 –2015

• COLONOVREC «Linear-focus concentrating solar collector based on a novel receiver-development demonstration» (Ε-1759) Duration 2013-2015

• “Program Development of Industrial Research and Technology (PAVET) 2013” Developing technology to protect internal walls heaters with ORMOSIL method ‘EU-1885 Duration 2013-2015

• Synthesis of quarto-stimuli nanocarriers for anticancer therapy
• Modifying NCs surface with specific targeting agents (e.g. Folic acid, leuprolide, GFLG, anti- VEGF, COX-2 inhibitors etc.)
• In vitro and In vivo evaluation of no -targeted and targeted NCs
• Anticorrosion and antifouling materials

  • Activities
    Nanotechnology is now a rapidly growing scientific field, supported by research, academic and industrial sectors. Nanocarriers as drug delivery systems have changed the landscape of medicine, offering new opportunities for drugs that until now could not be granted (poorly water soluble drugs, bioactive macromolecules). Clinical examples show that nanotechnology has enabled the existence of new treatments that otherwise would not exist. Drug delivery systems have not only benefit patients but also have changed the economics of the pharmaceutical industry. The entrapment of an existing drug in a nanocarrier, not only improves the efficiency but also extends ton life of the patent, as a new composition. The sol-gel laboratory focuses on the role of nanotechnology in drug delivery systems and more particularly to the transfer of chemotherapeutic agents for cancer treatment.
    The innovation in the design of new materials as drug delivery systems is the composition of ‘smart’ polymeric nanocarriers which can release therapeutic agents, when requested. The poly-functional polymers can mimic the behavior of biomolecules while external environmental influences may cause changes in their properties (shape, solubility, size, charge and shape). Drug release can be made either by chemical influence (pH, ionic strength, and reductive environment), physical (temperature, electromagnetic field) and biological (enzymatic cleavage).

Figure 1. Therapeutic efficacy of targeting nano-carriers

The use of targeting receptors for specific binding of drugs and internalization was attractive since the early development of cell biology as a science. Surface decoration of ‘smart” nanocarriers with ligands for targeting in specific receptors on the cell-surface, is another promising approach with clear advantages. First, the cell specificity may reduce toxicity and adverse reactions to the minimum. In addition, specific targeting can overcome the limitations of some previous treatments of passive administration strategy.

Figure 2. Confocal images of HeLa cells (cervical cancer) treated with folic acid modified (A and B) nanocarriers loaded with daunorubicin and free daunorubicin (C and D) for 1 and 2 h. The cell images were obtained at λ = 480 nm.

  • Antifouling paints and anticorrosive
    The impact of biofouling on the costs and on the environment in marine aquaculture is substantial. The aquaculture industry uses technologies to manage and control fouling communities. For example, copper based coatings are used to reduce fouling growth on fishing and fish farming nets. They retard the growth of algae, barnacles, tubeworms, and other species by slowly releasing dissolved cuprous oxide. These copper based coatings are applied on the new fishing nets after their production stage (knitting and heat-setting) and are renewed several times during the during the whole net’s span life. In standard conditions, a net is returned for service every 8 to 12 months and has an average lifespan of about 5-7 years. A 2tons net can then hold up to 10tons of residues (biofouling, shells, etc…) that need to be washed off. The washed off residues (including the original copper based coating) must then be disposed of, which causes significant environmental issues. After the washing, the net is serviced and re-coated with a copper based solution, in a proportion of about 1kg of solution / 1kg of net. A net made of yarn with embedded antifouling properties would allow a self-regulation of the biofouling on its surface. The challenge of this project is to develop such yarn that would avoid the cost of re-treating and the use of contaminating substances.

Figure 3. Antifouling paint with Cu2O nanocarriers

  • Publications in International Journals
    I. A new approach for the one-step synthesis of bioactive PS vs. PMMA silica hybrid microspheres as potential drug delivery systems, A.Angelopoulou, Efthimiadou, E.K., Boukos, N., Kordas, G., Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, (2014) 117, 322-329.
    II. Comparative in vitro stability and scintigraphic imaging for trafficking and tumor targeting of a directly and a novel 99mTc (I)(CO)3 labeled liposome E.A. Fragogeorgi, I.N. Savina, T. Tsotakos, Efthimiadou, E.K, Xanthopoulos, S., Palamaris, L., Psimadas, D., Bouziotis, P., Kordas, G., Mikhalovsky, S., Alavijeh, M., Loudos, G. International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2014) 465, 333-346.
    III. PH- and thermo-responsive microcontainers as potential drug delivery systems: Morphological characteristic, release and cytotoxicity studies E.K. Efthimiadou, C. Tapeinos, L.-A.Tziveleka, N. Boukos, G. Kordas Materials Science and Engineering C, (2014) 37 (1), pp. 271-277.
    IV. Dynamic in vivo imaging of dual-triggered microspheres for sustained release applications: Synthesis, characterization and cytotoxicity study E.K. Efthimiadou, C. Tapeinos, A. Chatzipavlidis, N. Boukos, E. Fragogeorgi, L. Palamaris, G. Loudos, G. Kordas International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2014) 461, 54-63.
    V. Hollow microspheres based on – Folic acid modified – Hydroxypropyl Cellulose and synthetic multi-responsive bio-copolymer for targeted cancer therapy: Controlled release of daunorubicin, in vitro and in vivo studies A.-F. Metaxa, E. K. Efthimiadou, N. Boukos, E. A. Fragogeorgi, G. Loudosc, G. Kordas Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2014), 435, 171-181.
    VI. Cellulose-based drug carriers for cancer therapy: Cytotoxic evaluation in cancer and healthy cells A.-F. Metaxa, E.K. Efthimiadou, G. Kordas Materials Letter, (2014) 132, 432-435
    VII. Polysaccharides as Source of Advanced Materials: Cellulose Hollow Microspheres for drug delivery in cancer therapy, Aikaterini-Foteini Metaxa, Eleni Efthimiadou, Nikos Boukos, George Kordas, Journal of Colloids and Interfaces Science, 2012, 384, 198-206.
    VIII. 99mTc-labeled aminosilane-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for molecular imaging of ανβ3-mediated tumor expression and feasibility for hyperthermia treatment I. Tsiapa, E.K. Efthimiadou, E. Fragogeorgi, G. Loudos, A.D. Varvarigou, P. Bouziotis, G.C. Kordas, D. Mihailidis, G.C. Nikiforidis, S. Xanthopoulos, D. Psimadas, M. Paravatou-Petsotas, L. Palamaris, J.D. Hazle, G.C. Kagadis, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, (2014) 433, 163-175
  •  Books / Chapters in books
    1. Polysaccharides: Modified Polysaccharides as Drug Delivery, 2014 by Eleni K. Efthimiadou, Aikaterini-Foteini Metaxa, George Kordas DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-03751-6_23-1, Springer International Publishing Switzerland20 Aug 2014 (Latest version) Polysaccharides 2014, pp 1-26
    2. Handbook of Small Animal Imaging: Preclinical Imaging, Therapy, and Applications Hardcover – September, 2015 by George C. Kagadis (Editor), Nancy L. Ford (Editor), George K. Loudos (Editor), Dimitrios Karnabatidis (Editor), ISBN-13: 978-1466555686 ISBN-10: 1466555688.
  •  Cost Actions
    1. Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Magnetic Hyperthermia and Indirect Radiation Therapy (RADIOMAG)TD 1402, 01/07/2014-18
  •  Associated Spin-off Companies
    The research activities gave the birth to one Spin off company named Nano4Chem

Keywords: nanotechnology, nanomedicine, drug delivery systems, marine paints, antifouling, anticorrosion, nanomaterials