Vasiliki Tsikourkitoudi

Vasiliki Tsikourkitoudi

Research Specialist
Visiting address: Solnavägen 9, Biomedicum A05, 17176 Stockholm
Postal address: C1 Mikrobiologi, tumör- och cellbiologi, C1 Microbial Pathogenesis Henriques/Normark Sotiriou, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am currently working on rational development of nanoparticles in order to
    be used as drug carriers for biological drugs for a variety of therapeutic
    applications (infections, cancer, etc).
    I am a Chemical Engineer graduated from the National Technical University of
    Athens (2010). I performed my MSc studies in Materials Science and Technology
    in the Research Unit of Advanced, Composite, Nano Materials & Nanotechnology
    in the same university (2010-2012). In 2012, I moved to northern Spain where
    I was employed in Technological Centre L’UREDERRA as a Process Engineer
    elaborating an industrial PhD under Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN MANANO project
    (EC under grant agreement No. 264710) working on Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP)
    process optimization for synthesis of nanoparticles with desired properties.
    I received her PhD in 2016 from Kingston University of London. I then
    carried out postdoctoral research stay in Physics Department of University of
    Ioannina, Greece (Nanomaterials Lab-FSP). I joined Karolinska Institutet
    (Prof. Georgios Sotiriou’s lab) in 2019 and I am currently working on
    nanoparticle-drug conjugates for drug delivery. I have published 15
    scientific publications and presented my scientific results in various
    scientific international conferences.
    * 2021 Loo and Hans Osterman Foundation for Medical Research.
    * 2021 Ögonfonden (Eye Foundation) Research Grant (coapplicant).
    * 2016 Award in the 3rd Panhellenic Lymphatic Conference for best oral
    presentation.
    * 2016 PhD Completion bursary awarded from the Faculty of Science,
    Engineering and Computing Kingston University
    * 2015 Best poster award in Symposium N of E-MRS Spring Meeting (May 11-15,
    Lille).
    * 2015 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Alumni Association travel grant.
    * 2012-2015 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship for my PhD studies.
    * 2011-2012 Fellowship for my MSc studies from Alexander S. Onassis Public
    Benefits Foundation
    * 2010 Thomaidio Award from the National Technical University of Athens for
    scientific presentation.
    * 2007 “Chris Papakyriakopoulos” award from the National Technical
    University of Athens.
    PhD (2016) Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston
    University of London, UK
    MSc (2012) Materials Science & Technology, School of Chemical Engineering,
    National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
    Diploma (2010) School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University
    of Athens, Greece.

Research

  • During my studies as a Chemical Engineer, I have been intrigued by
    nanotechnology and its applications. Thus, during my research “journey”,
    I decided to explore this emerging field. Nanomaterials have demonstrated
    unique properties that allow fabrication of highly performing devices for
    various applications (batteries, sensors, catalysts, drug delivery to name a
    few). My research interests are centered on the synthesis of advanced
    tailored nanomaterials by a scalable and highly reproducible
    nanomanufacturing process, flame spray pyrolysis (FSP). As the processing
    conditions are highly affecting the properties of the obtained nanomaterials
    and consequently their performance in the final applications, I am highly
    interested in investigating this structure-property relationship. Regarding
    the application of the produced nanomaterials, my research interests involve,
    but are not limited to, batteries, catalysts, sensors and drug delivery.
    *Flame-made nanocarriers for delivery of biological drugs*
    Nanoparticles have attracted interest in biomedicine as efficient drug
    carriers due to their high surface-to-volume ratio (large surface area/small
    size) that permits their interaction with similarly sized biological
    moieties. Drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles have been considered
    as a promising strategy to improve delivery of biologics (proteins, peptides,
    antibodies, nucleotides). Biologics are a rapidly growing class of drugs for
    long-term medical illnesses/conditions due to their safety, target
    specificity & selectivity compared to traditional small-molecule drugs.
    However, they are highly susceptible to enzymatic degradation, they tend to
    aggregate, & their relatively large size & hydrophilicity limit their
    transport across epithelial layers. Thus, nanoparticles have been proposed as
    efficient carriers in order to address these challenges. Despite the
    scientific interest of nanoparticle based drug delivery systems, there are
    still barriers for their clinical translation, such as complex synthesis
    methods that cannot be reproduced and the poor loading efficiency of
    biologics that are not functional after loading. Our research aims to tackle
    the unmet medical need regarding targeted delivery of biologics by
    engineering biocompatible nanocarriers by an aerosol process (Flame Spray
    Pyrolysis) and address challenges regarding insufficient stability and low
    drug loading capacity. Flame Spray Pyrolysis is an auspicious process that
    is intrinsically scalable and reproducible in order to promote
    the translation of nanoscale biomaterials into medical products.
    I am currently working on the (i) rational engineering of flame-made
    nanoparticles with tailored properties (i.e. chemical structure, size,
    crystallinity, surface characteristics) by Flame Spray Pyrolysis, (ii)
    design of novel nanoparticle-biological drug conjugates with enhanced drug
    loading and (iii) evaluation of the drug release /in vitro/ with relevant
    cell lines & assays.

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