Drug Discovery
  Molecular Analysis
  Organic and Organometallic Chemistry
  Medicinal Chemistry
  Structural Biology & Chemistry
  Molecular Endocrinology
  Signal Mediated Gene Expression
  Molecular & Cellular Ageing
  Biomedical Applications
  Holistic Approaches in Health
  Chemical Carcinogenesis and Genetic Toxicology
  Metabolic Engineering-Bioinformatics
  Enzyme and Synthetic Biotechnology
  Biomimetics & Nanobiotechnology


Biomimetics & Nanobiotechnology


Research Team

Dr Aris Xenakis, Researcher Α'
Dr. Vassiliki Papadimitriou, Researcher C'
Dr Maria Zoumpanioti, Research Engineer Β’

Mr. G. Sotiroudis, MSc. Pharmacist

PhD Students
Ms. Maria Hatzidaki, Chemical Engineer, University of Orebro, Sweden

Msc. Students
Leandros Sklaviadis, Food Scientist
Ioanna Theohari, Chemist



Model of Reverse Micelle

The Biomimetics and Nanobiotechnology group deals with studies on the behavior of biomolecules, such as enzymes, in model systems simulating their natural environment. The studies are focused on structural and functional aspects of the biomolecules when hosted in nano-scale environments with restricted water contents, such as nanodispersions of the microemulsion type.
In these systems the coexistence of water nanodroplets in a continuous non-polar organic phase (oil) allows the solubilisation of substances with various polarities, such as lipophilic ones localized in the continuous oil phase, or hydrophilic ones that are encapsulated in the dispersed aqueous phase and that may react through a huge interface. It is possible, thus, to incorporate enzymes and use them as efficient biocatalysts of lipophilic substrates.

The activities developed within the Biomimetics and Nanobiotechnology group comprise:

These studies have yielded various applications, which are developed within the Industrial Enzymology Unit of the Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology, in collaboration with Food, Pharmaceutics, and Cosmetics industries.

Schematic representation of microemulsions

AOT in the absence of lipase    AOT in the presence of lipase

lecithin in the absence of lipase  lecithin in the presence of lipase

These studies have yielded various applications, which are developed within the Industrial Enzymology Unit of the Division of Biological Research and Biotechnology, in collaboration with Food, Pharmaceutics, and Cosmetics industries.

Current Externally Funded projects:

  1. Program Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR), Institut Carnot, Projet Lipides pour l’industrie et la santé (LISA), France. 2013-14. «micro/nano-émulsions de type e/h biocompatibles et riches en micronutriments : préparation et caractérisation» Budget: 43.000 €. Coordinator: F.Calderon
  2. EU INCO FP7: Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway (MEDSPRING), , 2013-6 Budget: 289.650 €. Coordinator NHRF: Dr G.Bonas & A. Xenakis
  3. EU INCO FP7: EURO-MEDITERRANEAN Cooperation through ERANET joint activities and beyond (ERANETMED, 2013-6, Budget: 107.649,45 €. Coordinator NHRF: Dr G.Bonas & A. Xenakis
  4. Program National Strategic Reference Framework, Action “Developmental Projects of Research Organisations- Kripis”2013-2015:“STHENOS”, Targeted therapeutic approaches against degenerative diseases, with special focus on cancer and ageing. Budget: 1.500.000,00 € (Biomimetics 174.773€). Coordinator Dr A. Pintzas
  5. Program ΕΣΠΑ PAVET “Application of Nanoemulsion Technology to food products based on Oil in Water Emulsions such as vegetable cream and fudge icings” Budget: 300.000,00 € Contractor: JOTIS SA (NHRF 61.250€).

Complete list of projects

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Kalaitzaki, A. Xenakis, V. Papadimitriou “Highly Water Dilutable Microemulsions: A structural study” Colloid Polym.Sci. (2015) DOI 10.1007/s00396-014-3496-1.
  2. N. Tsinisizeli, G. T. Sotiroudis, A. Xenakis, K.E. Lykeridou “Determination of nicotine and cotinine in meconium from Greek neonates and correlation with birth weight and gestational age at birth” Chemosphere (2015) 119, 1200-7. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.09.094.
  3. V. Sereti, M. Zoumpanioti, V. Papadimitriou, S. Pispas, A. Xenakis “Biocolloids Based on Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as a Medium for Enzyme Immobilization” J.Phys.Chem. B (2014) 118, 9808 – 9816. DOI: 10.1021/jp504449y. (IF2013 3.377).
  4. Itabaiana-Jr, K.M. Gonçalves, M. Zoumpanioti, I.C.R. Leal, L.S.M. e Miranda, A. Xenakis, and R.O.M.A de Souza “Microemulsions-Based Organogels as an Efficient Support for Lipase Catalyzed Reactions under Continuous Flow Conditions”ACS Org.Proc.Res.Dev. (2014) Accepted. DOI: 10.1021/op500136c DOI: 10.1021/op500136c.
  5. A.F. Zanette, I. Zampakidi, G.T. Sotiroudis, M. Zoumpanioti, I.C.R. Leal, R.O.M.A. de Souza, L. Cardozo-Filho, A. Xenakis “Chemo-enzymatic epoxidation catalyzed by C. antarctica lipase immobilized in microemulsion-based organogels” J.Mol.Catal.B. Enzymatic, (2014) 107, 89-94. doi:10.1016/j.molcatb.2014.05.013.
  6. D. Amadei, M.D. Chatzidaki, J. Devienne, J. Monteil, M. Cansell, A. Xenakis, F. Leal-Calderon “Low shear-rate process to obtain transparent W/O fine emulsions as functional foods” Food Res.Intern.  (2014) 62, 533-540. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2014.03.069.
  7. Kalaitzaki, M. Poulopoulou, V. Papadimitriou, A. Xenakis, “Surfactant-rich biocompatible microemulsions for transdermal administration of methylxanthine drugs” Colloids Surfaces.A: Physichochem. Eng.Aspects, (2014) 442, 80-87 doi:10.1016/j.colsurfa.2013.05.055
  8. Kalaitzaki, M. Emo, M.J. Stébé, A. Xenakis, V. Papadimitriou, “Biocompatible nanodispersions as delivery systems of food additives: A structural study” Food Res. Intern. (2013) 54, 1448-1454, doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2013.08. 010.
  9. I.Itabaiana-Jr, K.M.Gonçalves, Y.M.L.Cordeiro, M.Zoumpanioti, I.C.R.Leal, L.S.M.e Miranda, R.M.A Souza , A. Xenakis “Kinetics and mechanism of lipase catalyzed monoacylglycerols synthesis” J.Mol.Catal.B. Enzymatic (2013) 96, 34-39. doi:10.1016/j.molcatb.2013.06.008
  10. Kyriazi, V. Papadimitriou, T. G. Sotiroudis, A. Xenakis “Development and characterization of a digestion model based on olive oil microemulsions” Eur.J.Lipid Sci.Technol., 115, (2013) 601-611
  11. V. Papadimitriou, M. Dulle, W. Wachter, T.G. Sotiroudis, O. Glatter, A. Xenakis “Structure and dynamics of veiled virgin olive oil:  Influence of production conditions and relation to its antioxidant capacity” Food Biophys. (2013) 8, 112-121
  12. E.D. Tzika, M. Christoforou, S. Pispas, M. Zervou, V. Papadimitriou, T. G. Sotiroudis, E. Leontidis, A. Xenakis (2011) “Influence of nanoreactor environment and substrate location on the activity of horse-radish peroxidase in olive oil-based w/o microemulsions” Langmuir, 27, 2692–2700.

Complete list of publications

Collaborations with Industries



Συνέντευξη του Δρ Αριστοτέλη Ξενάκη στη Κυριακάτικη Ελευθεροτυπία της 26-5-2013

Συνεργασία με το Πανεπιστήμιο του Orebro, Σουηδίας









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