BioNanoMaterials Research Group

The BioNanoMaterials group was established at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at Åbo Akademi University, and is since 2015 located at the Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory at ÅAU. The main aim of the group is to develop nanomedicines for different types of therapeutic and diagnostic applications, mostly for the design of drug delivery systems. From a materials point of view, our main research strategy relies on utilizing inorganic mesoporous silica nanoparticles as a robust, tailorable platform that can be fine-tuned to meet the requirements of multifunctionality with the aid of organic functionalization. Merging these two material classes (inorganic/organic) to produce hybrid materials allows for advanced complex designs relaying on the chemical, structural, and textural stability and organization of the architecture of inorganic materials combined with the responsiveness, biocompatibility and flexibility of the organic functions.

The first decade we concentrated mainly on small-molecule drugs and molecular imaging agents to be incorporated into our nanocarriers, but especially in the past few years it has become explicitly clear that biomolecules can benefit exceptionally well from being formulated as nanosystems (e.g. mRNA Covid-10 vaccines). Thus, we are currently placing special emphasis on the nanoformulation of DNA, RNA and proteins.

We are also exploring other novel techniques for the fabrication of medical products, e.g. printing technologies. 3D bioprinting is a suitable technique for both drug formulation and tissue engineering, both of which fall within our current research activities. Nanotechnologies constitute the perfect companion for printing technologies, so combinations of these in a synergistic fashion are also being explored. The construction of nanoscaled imaging probes continues to be one of our focal areas, most recently geared towards the development of new agents for PET imaging.

Group leader

Prof. Jessica Rosenholm, D.Sc.(Tech.)
Professor in Pharmaceutical Development
Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Åbo Akademi University




Research topics

  • Development of nanocarriers for a broad range of cargo, e.g. hydrophobic and hydrophilic small-molecule drugs, biomolecules, and molecular imaging agents
  • Synthesis of composite nanostructures for attaining multifunctionality, e.g. antimicrobial nanoparticles
  • Formulation of the developed nanosystems into different dosage forms, e.g. orodispersible films
  • 3D bioprinting for drug formulation and tissue engineering
  • Biological evaluation of the potential and applicability of the developed nanomedical agents for in vitro and in vivo drug delivery and biomedical imaging together with collaborators.