Biofilms Research Center for Biointerfaces
Biofilms Research Center for Biointerfaces is a multidisciplinary research centre within materials and life sciences. The centre’s activities focus on phenomena associated with biofilms and biobarriers. The practical applications of the research include diagnostics, treatment methods, drug formulation and the use and development of medical implants and sensors.
Our vision is to shape novel solutions for improved health through excellent science in partnership with industry.
Thérese Nordström, Director
News and events
Facts and figures
Facts & Figures
44 PhD and Post docs
13 Assoc. Prof. and lecturers
Researchers at the centre include a wide range of experts from the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, cell and molecular biology, mathematics and microbiology. These experts, with overlapping interests, are advancing research in three core areas:
- biobarriers and pharmaceutical design;
- biofilms at interfaces; and
- smart material at interfaces.
Biobarriers and pharmaceutical design
Biobarriers and pharmaceutical design include pharmaceutical formulation, transdermal and mucosal drug delivery as well as hydration of biological interfaces, proteins and nanoporous materials.
The research in detail
We focus on advancing the knowledge of the key physicochemical properties of biointerfaces, and how they determine the interactions with biomolecules in solutions. In order to achieve this, we develop biomimetic systems that aim at mimicking specific biobarriers in an easily producible and reproducible manner. The biobarriers we are interested in include cellular membranes, plant cell walls and blood vessels. Currently, we are applying these biomimetic systems to improve our understanding of the onset and treatment of various diseases such as atherosclerosis and bacterial infections.
Hydration of biological interfaces, proteins and nanoporous materials
The functional properties of biological materials and nanomaterials are strongly dependent on their interactions with the surrounding environment, where the presence of water in the form of liquid or vapour is inevitable. We have a special interest in nanoporous materials, such as mesoporous silica, and we study their hydration, characterisation and interactions with organic molecules and biomolecules. We also study the hydration of carbohydrate materials, such as cellulose. In the drug delivery field, we work with the interaction of solid excipients with water; hydration of proteins; hydration and phase transitions in lipids; and hydration of biological barriers.
In the development of transdermal and topical formulations it is important to understand how formulation ingredients interact with the molecular components of the skin barrier and thereby influence its macroscopic barrier properties. Our research activities focus on the effects of commonly used excipients and other chemicals, such as penetration enhancers, on the molecular, as well as the macroscopic, properties of the skin membrane. We also investigate how nanomaterials, such as mesoporous silica particles, can be used in controlled release applications. The advantage of mesoporous silica, such as MCM-41 and SBA-15, is that these materials have remarkable properties due to their well-defined structure with tunable pore diameter and narrow pore size distribution, which can be optimised for loading and controlled release of drugs or biomolecules.
Transdermal and mucosal drug delivery
The skin barrier (the stratum corneum) is an effective permeability barrier. Despite this, the skin is an attractive alternative to the oral route for drug delivery because it avoids first pass metabolic degradation, which can be an important advantage for certain drugs. Two common strategies to overcome the skin barrier for increased transdermal drug delivery are to increase skin hydration and add a penetration enhancer. Our research focuses on how hydration affects skin permeability, with and without penetration enhancers. Our approach is to combine several experimental methods to obtain both macroscopic and molecular scale information on how hydration and penetration enhancers influence the stratum corneum.
Biofilms at interfaces
Microorganisms have a strong tendency to associate with surfaces and form adherent microbial communities, known as biofilms. Within this field, we study mechanisms by which bacteria adapt to and survive in the biofilm environment, as well studying the salivary and mucosal barrier.
The research in detail
Bacterial proteases are a driving force for the inflammatory responses involved in both periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. Our aim is to develop advanced technological tools based on an array of biomarkers (bacterial proteases and inflammatory mediators) to aid the identification of individuals at risk of severe alveolar bone loss disease, as well as the prediction and treatment of periodontal disease and associated inflammatory disorders.
In any environment, macromolecules and micro-organisms have a strong tendency to associate with surfaces and form adherent microbial communities, so-called biofilms, which are now recognised as the cause of most infectious diseases. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms by which oral bacteria acquire virulence in biofilms and to identify key points of intervention. We anticipate that our results will contribute to the development of future anti-microbials that target disease-inducing properties in biofilms rather than specific microorganisms.
Our main focus is the study of salivary pellicles — the film of nanometric dimensions that forms immediately upon contact of saliva with almost any type of surface. Pellicles play an important role in the maintenance of oral health, as they protect and lubricate oral surfaces. Our aim is to better understand the mechanisms underlying salivary lubrication. We also study the mechanisms underlying the protection offered by salivary pellicles against dental erosion and how this can be improved by complementing acidic beverages with anti-erosive compounds.
Smart materials at interfaces
Smart materials at interfaces include bioelectronics (biosensors and biological power sources), oral implants and artifical biomimicry with biological applications.
The research in detail
Biomimicry (defined as the imitation of life or nature) is used in biomedicine and biotechnology to develop novel treatments and diagnostic methods. We focus on two major areas within biomimicry. The first being the development of novel diagnostic tools for cancer. And secondly, biomimetic systems for better understanding of the onset and treatment of diseases including atherosclerosis and bacterial infections.
Finding new and better ways to diagnose and treat cancer is one of a pressing task for researchers. Early diagnosis, where the cancer is still curable, is therefore crucial. This emphasises the need for sensitive, robust and affordable diagnostic tools that can sense the cellular state, commonly in the form of tumour-specific protein markers, early on in the process. We are developing and using molecularly imprinted polymers, plastic antibodies and other smart materials to detect and sense previously inaccessible tumour markers and discover novel disease biomarkers.
Biosensors and implantable bioelectronics
Research on biosensors and implantable bioelectronics is focussed on development of specific analytical devices and methods for monitoring clinically relevant analytes and biomarkers, as well as the development of potentially implantable electric power devices. It includes synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials, development of novel sensing and power generating principles, as well as assessment of biosensor and biofuel cell performance in clinical and implantable situations. Our research strength lies in electrochemical sensors and enzymatic fuel cells. Lately, we have exploited biosensor approaches for the investigation of processes at biological barriers, tested enzymatic fuel cells in human blood under homeostatic conditions, as well as disclosed a new type of bioelectronic device – self-charging biosupercapacitors.
Scientific computing and simulations of phenomena on micro and macroscopic scales is a field of great scientific importance. General mathematical techniques, such as differential equations, combined with computational methods, allow a very broad range of applications. Our main focus is on three different areas: computational quantum physics; modelling of infectious diseases; and resonance spectrum for stratified media.
Find out more about ongoing research projects at Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces.
Encapsulation of pharmaceutical proteins in starch microparticles
High performance cost efficient photoelectric biosupercapacitors reproducibly fabricated with industry-scale throughput
Biobarriers – Health, disorders and healing
The effect of the extracellular lipid organisation on skin barrier function
NextBioForm – Centre for formulation and processing of biologics
Bacterial acid tolerance – a new target for fluoridated milk
Discovery of predictive biomarkers and preventive biotherapeutics for caries and periodontitis
Revert - Targeted therapy for advanced colorectal cancer patients
The BioCapture Network - Smart Capture Phases for Proteomics, Glycomics and Biomarker Assays
Low-cost wireless sensors for early detection of wound infection
Wound healing: Importance of endogenous LMW compounds for skin recovery and their use as biomarkers for diagnostic purpose
Wireless biosensors based on oxidation and reduction of nanoparticles
Regulation of Surface Protein - Presentation on Streptococcus gordonii
Porous drug carrier platform for inhalation of antibiotic molecules
Structure, Composition and Dynamics of Lipoproteins: How to Get New Clinical Markers for Atherosclerosis
Non-invasive monitoring of skin disorders progression and healing – a low molecular weight biomarker approach
Lipid nanoparticles-protein interactions: How to tune the formulation and improve the therapeutic performance
Dynamic self assembled monolayers as cell membrane mimics and their interactions with cells and pathogens
Scattering in Confined and Sheared Geometries
Nanoporous silica particles for pharmaceutical formulations
Neutron scattering and selective deuteration for elucidating how lipids regulate metabolon formation
Detection and sensing of predictive biomarkers for periodontitis
Phase field modeling: crack-induced third-phase formation in bi-material systems
Detection and imaging of circulating tumour cells – a novel approach using nanoprobes and microscopy as diagnostic tools
Programmes and platforms
The Foresight programme aims through a multidisciplinary approach to discover a new generation of predictive biomarkers for...
MultiSens focusses on wearable technology, digitalisation for advanced health assessment systems, and equality in health. The...
Doctoral school: BioCapture
BioCapture is a European Training Network (ETN) funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie...
Doctoral school: ComBine
ComBine educates researchers with interdisciplinary knowledge within biofilms and biointerfaces. The PhD projects comprise broa...
Organisation and Partners
Cristina Glad, CEO, Chairperson, C Glad Consulting AB
Tomas Lundqvist, Senior Coordinator Research Infrastructures, RISE — Research Institutes of Sweden
Sven Frökjaer, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Thomas Arnebrant, Professor of Biointerfaces, Vice Dean, Faculty of Heath and Society
Gunnel Svensäter, Professor of Oral Health, Faculty of Odontology
Martina Kvist Reimer, Executive Vice President, Red Glead Discovery
- A1M Pharma AB
- Adroit Science AB
- Akzo Noble Pulp and Performance Chemicals AB
- Alligator Bioscience AB
- AlzeCure Discovery AB
- Amano Enzyme Inc
- ArgusEye AB
- AstraZeneca AB
- BioGaia AB
- Bioglan AB
- Biotage AB
- Bona AB
- Camurus AB
- CapSenze HB
- Chemotechnique Diagnostics AB
- Chromalytica AB
- Corigo AB
- CR Competence AB
- CTC Clinical Trial Consultants AB
- Delta of Sweden AB
- Dentsply A/S
- EmeritiPharma AB
- Enzymatica AB
- Erco Pharma AB
- Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd
- Galenica AB
- Genovis AB
- GE Healthcare AB
- G&T Septech A/S
- Idogen AB
- ImaGene-iT AB
- IBM Svenska AB
- Iconovo AB
- In vitro Plant-tech AB
- KEMET AB
- Larodan AB
- Lipidor AB
- Magle Chemoswed AB
- Medibiome AB MediGelium AB
- Nanologica AB
- Nordiska Dental AB
- Novosense AB
- Novozymes A/S
- Obducat Technologies AB
- Orexo AB
- Pampett AB
- PEAS Institut AB
- Perrigo Nordic AB
- Promimic AB
- Phase Holographic Imaging AB
- Proteome Sciences, UK
- QPharma AB
- ReSyn Biosciences, South Africa
- RISE AB
- RISE Acreo AB
Samsung, South Korea
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