Interaction of nano-objects with membranes Permeability of membranes Copolymer micelles


International multidisciplinary team working in soft matter, drug delivery, bio-nanotechnology fields. We aim to understand the interactions of lipid membranes with nano-objects including nanoparticles, nanotubes, polymers, polymeric micelles and polymer therapeutic complexes/conjugates.

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Supported by


Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network is a multidisciplinary EU-funded 7th Framework Programme specially designed to provide scientific and transferable skill training and career development for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the field of lipid research.

SNAL project




  • Fabrice Thalmann

    Theory and simulations of soft matter including hydrodynamics and phase transitions in lipid systems.


  • Rongjun Chen

    Design, synthesis and characterization of biofunctional materials. Formulation of specific drug delivery systems with…

  • Carlos Marques

    Self-assembled phospholipid bilayers; Vesicles, liposomes and supported membranes;
    Structure, characterization and c…

  • Tia Keyes

    Application of molecular spectroscopy and photophysics methods to biological problems, including cell imaging/environ…

  • James Kirkpatrick

    Various aspects of investigative pathology, which aims at unraveling the mechanisms by which diseases arise and progr…

  • Vladimir Baulin

    Theory and simulation of soft matter: polymers, surfactants, colloids, liquid crystals. Biophysics: self-organization…

  • Nigel Slater

    Targeted delivery strategies for DNA and viral therapeutics using a range of novel strategies, the improvement of the…

  • Jens-Uwe Sommer

    Polymer physics, simulations and theory. Molecular Dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations and analytical theory.

  • Elena Ivanova

    Expertise in Microbiology and Biotechnology/Nanobiotechnology. Design, fabrication and operation of planar micro-devi…


Research topics

  • Permeability of lipid bilayers induced by polymers

    Permeability of lipid bilayers induced by polymers

    Lipid bilayers emerge by self-organization of amphiphilic molecules and are the essential component of membranes of living cells. An important task of them is the selective exchange of substances between the cell and its environment. This becomes particularly interesting for delivering foreign molecules and RNA into the cel...

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  • Polymer micelles as drug carriers

    Polymer micelles as drug carriers

    Block copolymer micelles are composed of polymer chains with sequences of hydrophilic and hydrophobic blocks. In a dilute aqueous solution, they form spherical or cylindrical nano-objects comprised of several chains with a hydrophobic core and extended hydrophilic corona. Lipophilic drugs can be dissolved in the core of the...

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  • Anti-bacterial surfaces inspired by cicada and dragonfly wings

    Anti-bacterial surfaces inspired by cicada and dragonfly wings

    Many surfaces found in nature possess sophisticated topographical structures which provide them with exceptional properties. Nano-structured surface of lotus leafs efficiently repel water, microscopic brushes of gecko fingers drastically increase the contact with surfaces, topographical structures provides for enhanced anti-reflection surface properties i...

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  • Cyclodextrins and their applications

    Cyclodextrins and their applications

    Cyclodextrins can complexate with polymers and thus can be grafted to surfaces. Grafted layers of sliding polymers are constructed from polymers threading through ring-like molecules grafted to a surface. Such grafting mode allows the polymer chains to freely slide inside the ring-like molecules, thus providing additional degree of freedom for gr...

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  • Translocation of nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and polymers through bilayers

    Translocation of nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and polymers through bilayers

    Cell membranes represent a serious protective barrier for external molecules, proteins, nanoparticles and drugs. This barrier is quite efficient in protecting the interior of the cells. However, large nanoscale objects, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been found inside the cells both in direct and indirect biolo...

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