Cell biology and Nanotherapeutics


Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Heinrich Iro


The use of innovative nanomaterials is a promising approach to the treatment of several disorders including cancer, angiopathies and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the administration of nanotherapeutics leads to multiple interactions between the nanomaterials and the surrounding microenvironment. The results of these interactions can both change the properties of the material itself and influence the cell biology of the target tissues and organs, including their barrier functions. A reliable prediction of these effects is very difficult and does not only depend on the original physico-chemical characteristics of the particles, but particularly on the protein corona which is formed after nanoparticle contact with blood, lymphatic system or cellular matrix. Moreover, the interactions with nanoparticles are often cell type specific, which further complicates the prediction of the induced effects. Our group systematically investigates the interactions of various nanoparticles intended for medical applications with different cellular models. For example, nanoparticles developed for breast cancer treatment are initially investigated with different breast cancer cell lines, fibrinolytic drug-loaded nanoparticles intended for local thrombolysis are evaluated with blood cells and thrombus models, and particles developed for imaging are tested for their (desired or undesired) potential to cross the blood-brain barrier and/or placenta. These investigations constitute the basis for the safe implementation of nanotechnology in human medicine.

Leadership and Contact



Publications can be reviewed on PubMed


DFG-SPP1681 “Feldgesteuerte Partikel-Matrix-Wechselwirkungen: Erzeugung, skalenübergreifende Modellierung und Anwendung magnetischer Hybridmaterialien“ Projekt: „Magnetische Hybridmaterialien für die regenerative Medizin – Erzeugung, Simulation, Anwendung und toxikologische Untersuchungen“; 2013-2017


10 years SEON
Nanopartikel mit Ultraschall sichtbar machen
Manfred-Roth-Foundation supports SEON research project

Donations account

Forschungsstiftung Medizin at the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

Sparkasse Erlangen
IBAN: DE 69 76350000 0000062000
Intended use:
Nanomedizin Prof. Alexiou

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Comprehensive Cancer Center
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