Welcome to the Particles 4D group. We design particle-enabled approaches to address clinical needs in disease etiology, diagnostics and drug delivery.
Our activities are centered around
- a better understanding of disease etiology by employing particle-based model systems (Disease Etiology),
- the development of particle-based biosensors (Diagnostics), and
the design of particles for targeted drug delivery (Drug Delivery).
The design specs for our particle-based solutions are given by the clinical problem to be solved. We design our particle-based solutions bottom up in close exchange with our clinical collaborators as well as academic partner institutions around the world. We have expertise in particle synthesis and functionalization, characterization and imaging of particle-based systems, as well as translational nanomedicine.
We acknowledge financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Heart Foundation, the Novartis Foundation for Biomedical Research, the Novartis FreeNovation Program, the Bangerter Rhyner Foundation, the Helmut Horten Foundation, the Olga Mayenfisch Foundation and others.
Theranostic Magnetic Blood Purification
We develop a theranostic nanoparticle-based approach that allows capturing of pathogenic compounds from blood and rapid identification of the pathogen enabling doctors to then start appropriate treatment in due time.
We have close collaborations with Marco Lattuada (AMI/University of Fribourg) and Gerald Pier (Harvard University). This project is supported by the Novartis Foundation for medical-biological research.
Tissue Glue for Integrative Wound Care and Regenerative Medicine (NANOGLUE)
We engineer fully resorbable bioactive nanoparticle-based tissue glues that allow surgeons to achieve rapid hemostasis and wound closing and optimally support the natural healing process by releasing bioactive compounds.
This work is collaboration with the Cantonal Hospital (Oncology Department) and the Inselspital Bern (Plastic Surgery Department). We acknowledge support from the Bangerter Rhyner Foundation and the Helmut Horten Foundation!
We employ a combinatorial materials science approach that enables us for the first time to integrate structural information of the mineral with biochemical information. In this way, we achieve a fresh view on complex biomineralization mechanisms involved in pathological calcification and gain new insights into the underlying processes that can then be leveraged to develop novel curative strategies.
These activities are kindly supported by the Swiss Heart Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation and are carried out in close collaboration with the Mineralomics group chaired by Dr. S. Bertazzo, University College London, UK, the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen KSSG (Prof. Thürlimann / PD Dr. Knauer, Prof. Hornung and Prof. Wildermuth), and the ARTORG/Inselspital Bern (Prof. Obrist and Prof. Carrel).
Multiscale Correlative BioImaging (eLUM)
We develop methods that allow us to integrate the major imaging methods used in biology, from the micro to the macro scale. With this approach we are able to correlate data from the key imaging methods used by today’s biologists and biochemists thereby providing groundwork to significantly advance the holistic understanding of both physiological and pathological processes by linking structural with functional information. Our activities include Correlative Cathodoluminescence Electron Microscopy (CCLEM), molecular labelling approaches and chemometric analyses of tissues by vibrational spectroscopy approaches.
This project is carried out in close collaboration with the Bertazzo Lab at the University College London, UK. We acknowledge support from the European Union Seventh Framework Programm ESTEEM2 (imaging), the Novartis Freenovation Program (AI-assisted Spectral Pathology) the Olga Mayenfisch Foundation (Molecular Radiotherapy).
Particle Characterization Lab & Measurement Science
We host a particle characterization lab where we investigate colloidal stability of inorganic (metal and metal oxides) and organic particles (liposomes, polymersomes and exosomes) under a range of physiologically relevant conditions. We are part of the European Nanoparticle Characterization Lab project (EU-NCL). In addition to characterizing colloidal suspensions, we develop tools for online monitoring of reactions on particle surfaces. Our particle characterization instruments (including a Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis Instrument with Fluorescence module and a Malvern Zeta sizer) are accessible to other users within and outside of Empa.
Dr Inge K. Herrmann, Group Leader Particles 4D
Alma Mater: ETH Zurich
Keywords: Chemical Engineering, Particle Synthesis and Functionalization, Bioimaging, Translational Research
Dr Matthias Rösslein, Senior Scientist
Alma Mater: University of Basel
Keywords: Physical Chemistry, Particle Characterization, Measurement Science, Bioinformatics, Next Generation Sequencing
Dr Jian Hao Li, Postdoctoral Reserach Associate, Novartis FreeNovation
Alma Mater: University of Cambridge, UK
Keywords: Theoretical Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Data Analysis
Ms. Kerda Keevend, PhD student since 04/2016
Alma Mater: University of Tartu
Key words: Chemistry, Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterization, Microscopy, Nanophotonics, Cathodoluminescence
Mr. Tino Matter, PhD student since 05/2017
Alma Mater: University of Basel
Key words: Nanotechnology, Physics, Programming
Mr. Alexandre Anthis, PhD student since 10/2017
Alma Mater: University of Geneva
Key words: (Polymer) Chemistry, ATRP, Analytics, Entrepreneurship
Mr. Lukas Gerken, PhD student since 04/2018
Alma Mater: University of Cologne and TU Vienna
Key words: Physics, Nanoparticle Synthesis, Optical Properties of Nanomaterials
NN, PhD student (jointly with 203)
Key words: Physics, Thin Film Fab, New Materials for Healthcare
NN, Analytics Specialist
Keywords: Analytical Chemistry, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Chemical Digestion
Ms. Anna Lena Neuer, MSc student
Alma Mater: University of Constance, D
Ms. Meagan Doppegieter, MSc student
Alma Mater: University of Amsterdam (UvA), NL
Mr. Henry Korhonen, BSc student, D-MATL
Alma Mater: ETH Zurich
Ms. Apolline Anthis, 2018, University of Ioannina (GR), MSc student
Ms. Lea Furer, 2018, ETH Zurich, D-ITET, MSc student
Mr. Roman Krummenacher, 2018, ETH Zurich, D-MAVT, BSc student
Ms. Egle Truska, 2017-2018, University of Tallinn (E), MSc student
Mr. Dimitri Hürlimann, 2017-2018, University of Basel, MSc student
Mrs. Behnaz Ghaemi, 2017, University of Tehran, Visiting PhD student
Mr. Louis Didierlaurent, 2016-2017, Ecole Superieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon, MSc student
Mr. Nino Demarmels, 2016-2017, ETH Zurich, MSc student
Mr. Samuel Staubli, 2016, ETH Zurich, Project student
Mr. Marco Galli, 2016, University of Milan, Visiting PhD student
Ms. Anna Lena Neuer, 2016, University of Konstanz, MSc student
I. Lese, D.A. Graf, C. Tssi, A. Taddeo, M.T. Matter, M. Constantinescu, I.K. Herrmann, R. Olariu, Bioactive nanoparticles increase skin flap survival in a rat model, Plos One, accepted, 2018.
F.H.L. Starsich, C. Eberhard, K. Keevend, A. Boss, A.M. Hirt, I.K. Herrmann, S.E. Pratsinis, Reduced magnetic coupling in ultra-small iron oxide T1 contrast agents, ACS Applied Bio Materials, accepted, 2018.
E. Bertero, M. Hasegawa, S. Staubli, E. Pellicer, I.K. Herrmann, J. Sort, J. Michler, L. Philippe, Electrodeposition of amorphous Fe-Cr-Ni stainless steel alloy with high corrosion resistance, low cytotoxicity and soft magnetic properties, Surface and Coatings Technology, accepted, 2018.
K. Keevend, G. Panzarasa, F.H.L Starsich, M. Zeltner, A. Spyrogianni, E. Tsolaki, G. Fortunato, S.E. Pratsinis, S. Bertazzo, I.K. Herrmann*, Facile meltPEGylation of Flame-made Luminescent Tb3+-dopedYttrium Oxide Particles: Hemocompatibility, Cellular Uptake and Comparison to Silica, Chemical Communications, accepted, 2018, 54, 2914-2917.
A. Spyrogianni, P. Tiefenboeck, F. Starsich, K. Keevend, F. Krumeich, I.K. Herrmann, J.C. Leroux, G. Sotiriou, Near-UV activated, photostable nanophosphors for in vitro dosimetry and dynamic bioimaging, AIChE Journal, accepted, 2018.
N. Bohmer, N. Demarmels, E. Tsolaki, L. Gerken, K. Keevend, S. Bertazzo, M. Lattuada, I.K. Herrmann*, Removal of Cells from Body Fluids by Magnetic Separation in Batch and Continuous Mode: Influence of Bead Size, Concentration, and Contact Time, ACS Applied Material and Interfaces. 2017. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b10140. *senior and corresponding author
A. Spyrogianni, I.K. Herrmann, K. Keevend, S.E. Pratsinis, K. Wegner, The silanol content and in vitro cytolytic activity of flame-made silica, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 507:95-106 (2017).
M.T. Matter, F. Starsich, M. Galli, M. Hilber, A.A. Schlegel, S. Bertazzo, S.E. Pratsinis, I.K. Herrmann*, Developing a tissue glue by engineering the adhesive and hemostatic properties of metal oxide nanoparticles, Nanoscale, 9(24):8418-8426 (2017). *senior and corresponding author. Altmetric Top 5%!
G. Fuhrmann, A.L. Neuer, I.K. Herrmann, Extracellular vesicles - a promising avenue for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.04.005. (2017). (Invited).
K. Keevend, M. Stiefel, A.L. Neuer, M.T. Matter, A. Neels, S. Bertazzo, I.K. Herrmann*, Tb3+-doped LaF3 nanocrystals for correlative cathodoluminescence electron microscopy imaging with nanometric resolution in focus ion beam-sectioned biological samples, Nanoscale, 30;9(13):4383-4387 (2017). *senior and corresponding author ** featured on the Back Cover of Nanoscale. Altmetric Top 25%!
M. Rösslein, N. Liptrott, A. Owen, P. Boisseau, P. Wick, I.K. Herrmann*, Sound Understanding of Environmental, Health and Safety, Clinical, and Market Aspects is Imperative to Clinical Translation of Nanomedicines, Nanotoxicology, 11(2):147-149 (2017). *senior and corresponding author
M. Lattuada, Q. Ren, F. Zuber, M. Galli, N. Bohmer, M.T. Matter, A. Wichser, S. Bertazzo, G.B. Pier, I.K. Herrmann*, Theranostic Body Fluid Cleansing: Rationally designed magnetic particles enable capturing and detection of bacterial pathogens, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4, 7080—7086 (2016) *senior and corresponding author ** featured on the Back Cover of J. Mater. Chem. B, 2016, 4, 7169-7170. *** featured in international newspapers and radio shows, including the Omega Watches Lifetime Magazine, Nanowerk, Deutschlandfunk, etc. Altmetric Top 5%!
Q. Flamant, C. Caravaca, S. Meille, L. Grémillard, J. Chevalier, K. Biotteau, M. Kuntz, R. Chandrawati, I.K. Herrmann, C.D. Spicer, M.M. Stevens, M. Anglad, Selective etching of injection molded zirconia toughened alumina: towards osseointegrated and antibacterial ceramic implants, Acta Biomaterialia, 46, 308-322 (2016).
A. Spyrogianni, I. K. Herrmann, M. S. Lucas, J-C. Leroux, G. A. Sotiriou. Quantitative analysis of the deposited nanoparticle dose on cell cultures by optical absorption spectroscopy, Nanomedicine, 11(19):2483-96 (2016).
I.K. Herrmann*, B. Beck-Schimmer, C.M. Schumacher, S. Gschwind, A. Kaech, U. Ziegler, P.A. Clavien, D. Günther, W.J. Stark, R. Graf, A.A. Schlegel, In vivo risk evaluation of carbon-coated iron carbide nanoparticles based on short and long-term exposure scenarios, Nanomedicine, 11(7):783-96, (2016). *corresponding author
I.K. Herrmann* and M. Rösslein, Personalized Medicine: The enabling Role of Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, 11(1):1-3 (2016). *corresponding author. *one of the most accessed articles of 2016 across all Future Medicine journals (Editorial)
M. Jacobson, B. Roth Z'graggen, S. Graber, C.M. Schumacher, W.J. Stark, C. Dumrese, J. Mateos, C. Aemisegger, U. Ziegler, M. Urner, I.K. Herrmann*, B. Beck-Schimmer*, Uptake of Ferromagnetic Carbon-encapsulated Metal Nanoparticles in Endothelial Cells: Influence of Shear Stress and Endothelial Activation, Nanomedicine, 10(24):3537-46 (2015). **co-senior author
C.S. Almeida, I.K. Herrmann, P. Howes, M.M. Stevens, Tailoring cellular uptake of conjugated polymer nanoparticles using modular amphiphilic peptide capping ligands, Chemistry of Materials, 27(19), 6879–6889, (2015).
I.K. Herrmann*, S. Bertazzo, D.J.P. O’Callaghan, A. Schlegel, C. Kallepitis, D. Antcliffe, A.C. Gordon, M.M. Stevens*, Differentiating Sepsis from Non-Infectious Systemic Inflammation based on Microvesicle-Bacteria Aggregation, Nanoscale, 7(32):13511-20 (2015). *corresponding author
G. Fuhrmann, I.K. Herrmann, M.M. Stevens, Cell-derived vesicles for drug therapy and diagnostics: opportunities and challenges, Nano Today, 10 (3), 397–409 (2015). (Invited Review)
I.K. Herrmann, A. Schlegel, R. Graf, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Magnetic Separation-Based Blood Purification: A Promising New Approach for the Removal of Disease-causing Compounds, Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 13:49 (2015). (Perspective).
M. Urner, M. Schläpfer, I.K. Herrmann, M. Hasler, R.C. Schimmer, C. Booy, B. Roth-Z’graggen, H. Rehrauer, F. Aigner, R.D. Minshall, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Insight into the beneficial immunomodulatory mechanism of the sevoflurane metabolite hexafluoro-2-propanol in a rat model of endotoxemia, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 181(3):468-479 (2015).
I.K. Herrmann*, How Nanotechnology-enabled concepts could contribute to the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of bacterial infections, Critical Care, 19, 239-241, 2015. *corresponding author. (Viewpoint article) *highly-accessed
L. Bircher, O.M. Theusinger, S. Locher, P. Eugster, B. Roth-Z’graggen, C.M. Schumacher, J.-D. Studt, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, I.K. Herrmann*, Characterization of Carbon-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles using Clinical Blood Coagulation Assays: Effect of PEG-Functionalization and Comparison to Silica Nanoparticles, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2, 3753-58 (2014). *corresponding author.
R. Fuhrer, S. Hofmann, N. Hild, J.R. Vetsch, I.K. Herrmann, R.N. Grass, W.J. Stark, Pressureless Mechanical Induction of Stem Cell Differentiation is Dose and Frequency Dependent, PLoS One, 8(11), e81362 (2013).
I.K. Herrmann*, A. Schlegel, R. Graf, C.M. Schumacher, N. Senn, S. Gschwind, A.M. Hirt, D. Günther, P.-A. Clavien, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Nanomagnet-based removal of lead and digoxin from living rats, Nanoscale, 5(18), 8718-23 (2013). *corresponding author. Featured in RSC Chemistry World (most read article in July 2013), RSC blog, Materials360online and the Swiss Innovation Report issued by the Swiss Government (SER).
I.K. Herrmann, M. Castellon, D.E. Schwartz, M. Hasler, M. Urner, G. Hu, R.D. Minshall, B. Beck-Schimmer, Intravenous Hexafluoroisopropanol Application improves Outcome in Murine Septic Peritonitis, PLoS One, 8(8), e72057 (2013).
I.K. Herrmann, M. Castellon, D.E. Schwartz, M. Hasler, M. Urner, G. Hu, R.D. Minshall, B. Beck-Schimmer, Volatile Anesthetics Improve Survival after Cecal Ligation and Puncture, Anesthesiology, 119(4), 901-6 (2013). Featured in editorial views.
C.M. Schumacher, I.K. Herrmann, S.B. Bubenhofer, S. Gschwind, A.M. Hirt, B. Beck-Schimmer, D. Günther and W.J. Stark, Quantitative Recovery of Magnetic Nanoparticles from Flowing Blood: Trace Analysis and the Role of Magnetization, Advanced Functional Materials, 23(39), 4888-96 (2013). Featured on cover of the Advanced Functional Materials, 23(39), 1, 2013. Featured in Materials Views.
I.K. Herrmann, M. Urner, S. Graf, C.M. Schumacher, B. Roth-Z’Graggen, M. Hasler, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Endotoxin Removal by Magnetic Separation-based Blood Purification, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2(6), 829-35 (2013). Featured as frontispiece image in Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2(6), 828 (2013).
M. Urner, I.K. Herrmann, C. Booy , B. Roth-Z’Graggen, M. Maggiorini, B. Beck-Schimmer, Effect of Hypoxia and Dexamethasone on Inflammation and Ion Channel Function in Lung Cells, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 169(2), 119-28 (2012).
M. Urner, I.K. Herrmann, F. Buddeberg, C. Schuppli , B. Roth-Z’Graggen, M. Hasler, U. Schanz, M. Mehr, D.R. Spahn, B. Beck-Schimmer, Effects of Blood Products on Inflammatory Response in Endothelial Cells in vitro, PLoS One, 7(3), e33403 (2012).
I.K. Herrmann, M. Urner, M. Hasler, B. Roth-Z’Graggen, C. Aemisegger, W. Baulig, E.K. Athanassiou, S. Regenass, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Iron Core/Shell Nanoparticles as Magnetic Drug Carriers: Possible Interactions with the Vascular Compartment, Nanomedicine, 6, 1199-1213 (2011).
M. Urner, L.K. Limbach, I.K. Herrmann, W.J. Stark, B. Beck-Schimmer, Fluorinated carbon groups mediate the immunomodulatory effects of volatile anesthetics, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 45(3), 617-24 (2011).
I.K. Herrmann, R.E. Bernabei, M. Urner, R.N. Grass, B. Beck-Schimmer, W.J. Stark, Device for Continuous Extracorporeal Blood Purification using Target-specific Metal Nanomagnets, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 26 (9), 2948-2954 (2011). Featured in MIT Technology Report Review, various international newspapers and TV shows (BR, ARD (Germany), arte (France), SF2 (Switzerland).
R. Fuhrer, I.K. Herrmann, E.K. Athanassiou, W.J. Stark, Immobilized β-Cyclodextrin on carbon coated cobalt nanomagnets: reversible organic contaminant adsorption and enrichment from water, Langmuir, 27(5), 1924-9 (2011).
I.K. Herrmann, M. Urner, F.M. Koehler, M. Hasler, B. Roth Z’Graggen, R.N. Grass, U. Ziegler, B. Beck-Schimmer, W.J. Stark, Blood Purification using Core/Shell Nanomagnets, Small, 6 (13) 1388-1392 (2010). Featured in Nature Nanotechnology, 5, 628 (2010).
I.K. Herrmann, R.N. Grass, W.J. Stark, High-strength metal nanomagnets for diagnostics and medicine: carbon shells allow long-term stability and reliable linker chemistry, Nanomedicine, 4(7):787-98 (2009).
I.K. Herrmann, R.N. Grass, D. Mazunin, W.J. Stark, Synthesis and Covalent Surface Functionalization of Nonoxidic Iron Core-Shell Nanomagnets, Chemistry of Materials, 21(14), 3275-81 (2009).
J Mater Chem Back Cover
Dr. Inge Katrin Herrmann
Chemical Engineering, Particle Synthesis and Functionalization, Bioimaging, Translational ResearchPhone: +41 58 765 7153
11/18 Nanoglue paper in collaboration with the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department (University Hospital Bern) accepted!
10/18 Tino's research & master thesis award featured by SNI!
08/18 We are grateful to the Novartis FreeNovation Program and the Olga Mayenfisch Foundation for supporting our research activities!
08/18 Joint paper with ETH's PTL and the USZ - check it out here!
06/18 - Joint paper with our colleagues from Thun on electrodeposited steel has been accepted for publication in Surface & Coatings Technology
03/18 - Tino's research on surgical glues featured on international TV program (ZDF). Aired April 9!
03/18 - Joint paper with the Sotiriou lab at Karolinska on dynamic bioimaging accepted!
02/18 - Kerda's meltPEGylation manuscript has been accepted for publication in Chem Comm! Check it out here!
12/17- We are very grateful to the Bangerter Rhyner Foundation, Helmut Horten Stiftung, Novartis, the Swiss Heart Foundation and the SNF for supporting our research in the coming years!
12/17 - Tino has won the Award for the Best Master Thesis in Nanoscience (Swiss Nanoscience Institute, SNI, University of Basel) for his thesis work on surgical adhesives in our group at Empa. Congratulations!!!
11/17 - Kerda has won the Best Oral Presentation Award at the 2017 Empa PhD Symposium! Congrats!!!
05/17 - Watch the Magnetic Blood Purification Revisited! lecture given at last year's CLINAM!
03/17 - Kerda's Correlative cathodoluminescene electron microscopy (CCLEM) paper featured on the back cover of Nanoscale!
11/16 - Kerda Keevend has been awarded a Best Oral Presentation Award for her presentation on correlative bioimaging at the 2016 PhD symposium. Congratulations Kerda!
The German Pharmacy Annual Meeting, Hamburg Oct 2-4, 2018 (Inge)
CLINAM, Basel, Sept 3-5, 2018 (Inge, Monday only)
the Biointerfaces International Conference 2018 in Zurich, Aug 14-16, 2018 (Kerda and Tino)
the GRC on Personalized Medicine 2018 in Hong Kong, July 29-Aug 3, 2018 (Inge)
the GRC on Bioanalytical Sensors 2018 in New Port, USA, June 24-29, 2018 (Kerda)
the Nanomedicine Conference in Rome, 2018 (Inge)
the Cathodoluminescene Workshop organized by DELMIC in Amsterdam, May 30, 2018 (Kerda and Inge)
the BioX Conference at Empa, March 16, 2018
the MRS Fall Meeting, in Boston, US, Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2017 (Tino)
the Gordon Research Conference on Nanomechanical Interfaces, in Hong Kong, China, July 31 - Aug 5, 2017 (Tino)
the Swiss Surgical Society Annual Meeting, in Bern, Switzerland, May 31 to June 2, 2017 (Tino)
the European Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine (CLINAM), in Basel, Switzerland, May 7-10, 2017 (Kerda & Inge)
the European Nanomedicine Meeting, in London, UK, April 2-3, 2017 (Inge)
the Fifth International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials in Lisbon, Portugal, March 6-10, 2017 (Kerda & Inge)
the European Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine (CLINAM) in Basel, Switzerland, June 27-30, 2016
the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Personalized Medicine, Hong Kong, China, July 10-15, 2016
the inet Technology Circle Nanomedicine in Basel, Switzerland, August 30, 2016