Drug Discovery
  Computational Chemistry
  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. Current Externally Funded projects:

    1. MED Programme 2010-2012 «IP Awareness and Enforcement: innovative services for Mediterranean SMEs -IP-SMEs» No. 1G-MED08-309 (2010-13) Budget: 170.000 €
    2. Programme ΕΣΠΑ “Cooperation” 2010-13. “Development of nanoemulsions as new materials for managing phytoprotective products to reduce the environmental charge” Budget: 449.040,00 € (NHRF 147.743€). Coordinator Dr V. Papadimitriou.
    3. Programme CAPES, Ministry of Education, Brazil. 2010-14. “Nanobiotechnology. Lipase activity” Budget: NHRF 40.000 €.
    4. Programme 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 €.

Complete list of projects

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Kyriazi, V. Papadimitriou, T. G. Sotiroudis, A. Xenakis (2013) “Development and characterization of a digestion model based on olive oil microemulsions” Eur.J.Lipid Sci.Technol., 115, 601-611
  2. V. Papadimitriou, M. Dulle, W. Wachter, T.G. Sotiroudis, O. Glatter, A. Xenakis (2013) “Structure and dynamics of veiled virgin olive oil:  Influence of production conditions and relation to its antioxidant capacity” Food Biophys. 8, 112-121
  3. Kalaitzaki, M. Poulopoulou, V. Papadimitriou, A. Xenakis (2013), “Surfactant-rich biocompatible microemulsions for transdermal administration of methylxanthine drugs” Colloids Surfaces.A:,
  4. Itabaiana-Jr, K.M. Gonçalves, Y.M.L. Cordeiro, M. Zoumpanioti, I.C.R. Leal, L.S.M. e Miranda, R.O. M.A de Souza and A. Xenakis (2013) “Kinetics and mechanism of lipase catalyzed monoacylglycerols synthesis” J.Mol.Catal.B. Enzymatic
  5. 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 horseradish peroxidase in olive oil-based w/o microemulsions” Langmuir, 27, 2692–2700.
  6. V. Papadimitriou, E. D.Tzika, S. Pispas, T.G. Sotiroudis, A. Xenakis (2011) “Microemulsions based on virgin olive oil: a model biomimetic system for studying native oxidative enzymatic activities” Colloids Surfaces.A, 382, 232–237
  7. M. Fanun, V. Papadimitriou, A. Xenakis (2011) “Characterization of cephalexin loaded nonionic microemulsions” J. Colloid Interf. Sci., 361, 115-21
  8. Xenakis, V. Papadimitriou, T.G. Sotiroudis (2010) “Colloidal structures in natural oils” Curr.Opinion Colloid Interface Sci. 15, 55-60
  9. M. Zoumpanioti, H. Stamatis, A. Xenakis (2010) “Microemulsion-based organogels as matrices for lipase immobilization” Biotechnol.Advances, 28, 395-406
  10. V. Papadimitriou, S. Pispas, S. Syriou, A.Pournara, M. Zoumpanioti, T. G. Sotiroudis, A.Xenakis (2008) “Biocompatible Microemulsions based on Limonene: Formulation, Structure and Applications” Lamgmuir, 24, 3380-3386.
  11. V. Papadimitriou, T.G. Sotiroudis, A. Xenakis, (2007) Olive oil microemulsions: enzymatic activities and structural characteristics, Langmuir, 23, 2071-7.
  12. S. Avramiotis, V. Papadimitriou, E. Hatzara, V. Bekiari, P. Lianos, A. Xenakis (2007) “Lecithin Organogels Used as Bioactive Compounds Carriers. A Microdomain Properties Investigation” Langmuir, 23, 4438-4447

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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