Georgios A. Sotiriou, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology
Karolinska Institutet - Sweden
When it comes to nanomedicine in general, engineers are quite innovative to find ways of how nanoscale materials can assist the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The small size of these materials allows them to carry drugs and travel selectively to tumors, or to transform external stimuli such as light or magnetism into heat to kill cancer cells, or even to be used as sensitive gas-sensors to detect from the breath volatile organic species associated to diseases (e.g. acetone for diabetes), just to name a few examples. Such nanoparticles are usually made by gas- or liquid-phase bottom-up or top-down processes, while nanoparticle films or coatings on surfaces are made by stochastic self-assembly of particles on substrates. Studies using such nanomaterials have given us a good understanding on how physicochemical properties influence their biointeractions.
However, very few of these exciting discoveries are translated to commercial medical products today. The main reasons for this are two inherent limitations of most nanomanufacture processes: scalability and reproducibility. There is too little knowledge on how well the unique properties associated with nanoparticles are maintained during their large-scale production while often poor reproducibility hinders their successful use. In this talk, I will discuss how we can utilize a nanomanufacture process famous for its scalability and reproducibility, flame aerosol reactors that produce at tons/hr commodity powders, and advance the knowledge for synthesis of complex nanoparticles and their direct integration in medical devices. Specifically, we will focus on how flame nanomaterial engineering facilitates the fabrication of multifunctional nanoparticles and devices for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications including, but not limited to, bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance.
Georgios A. Sotiriou, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet (KI) focusing on nanobiotechnology and biomaterial technology. He has world-leading expertise in the synthesis of functional nanoscale materials and devices for biomedicine using flame aerosol technology. His lab’s mission at KI is to develop biomaterials, devices, tools and methods for medicine using core material and process engineering. The main target of his research program is to address societal and clinical needs by developing the next generation of nano-enabled molecular diagnostic and therapeutic (theranostic) systems towards their employment in personalized nanomedicine. The focus lies on nanoparticle-biomolecule conjugates for their integration in functional systems exploiting both the responsive properties of nanomaterials in the presence of target analytes but also external stimuli, acting as transducer elements towards the diagnosis and on-demand therapeutic interventions. The systematic approach for the investigation of the theranostic capabilities of smart nanostructured materials provides knowledge and insight into the fundamental physicochemical and molecular processes assisting in rapid translation into clinics.
Sotiriou received a Diploma in Applied Physics (2006) from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and he continued his postgraduate studies at ETH Zurich, Switzerland where he received a MSc in Micro- and Nanosystems (2008) and later on his PhD from the Particle Technology Laboratory (2011). He carried out postdoctoral research stays in Harvard University (2013-2015, Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology) and ETH Zurich (2015-2016, Drug Formulation and Delivery Lab) before joining KI. His research has been recognized internationally by several awards including the 2011 AIChE Bionanotechnology Graduate Student award, the 2012 Best PhD Thesis Award from the Swiss Chemical Society, the 2012 ETH Medal for outstanding Dissertation and the 2013 Hilti Award for Innovative Research. In 2017 he was awarded the 2017 ERC Starting Grant.