Head of Research Group
Professor in Physical Chemistry
Per Hansson received his B.Sc. in biology and Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Uppsala University (Supervisor: M. Almgren). After a two year postdoc stay at the Division of Physical Chemistry 1, Lund University (B. Lindman group), he returned to Uppsala for a position as assistant professor at the Department of Physical chemistry. In year 2002 Hansson took a position as senior lecturer in Pharmaceutical physical chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy where he became full professor in year 2011. Since 2016 he is leader of the Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry research group, and since 2017 leader of the Parenteral Drug Delivery Platform within the Swedish Drug Delivery Forum (SDDF).
Hansson’s research is focused on colloidal systems of relevance for developing and understanding the properties of drug delivery systems. Most of his studies have dealt with polyelectrolytes and their interaction with colloids of opposite charge, including proteins and self-assembling amphiphiles. He has been internationally recognized for his investigations of surfactant-polyelectrolyte systems. His early contributions to the field included a method to determine surfactant aggregation numbers by means of time-resolved fluorescence quenching and a theoretical model of surfactant-polyion complexes. He has also successfully modelled the phase behavior of polyion-surfactant ion complex salts, highlighting the importance of polyion-mediated interactions between the surfactant aggregates. Recent focus has been on phase transitions and phase separation in polyelectrolyte hydrogels in relation to the uptake and release of surfactants, proteins and peptides, where he has explored in detail the phenomenon of core-shell phase separation. This has involved the development of novel micropipette-assisted microscopy techniques to study dynamic and equilibrium properties of single microgels, and detailed theoretical explanations of the conditions for core-shell phase coexistence, in particularly the importance of polymer network elasticity and charge density of the components. Currently, his research run along two directions. One is about the self-assembling properties of amphiphilic drugs in solutions and in hydrogels, including microgel delivery systems for treatment of liver cancer. The other explores the fate of drug formulations after injection into the subcutaneous tissue, with main focus on macromolecular drugs of biological origin. This involves the development of novel in vitro methods to study the release of drugs from formulations and the transport through the extracellular matrix in subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Associate Professor in Physical Chemistry
Magnus Bergström is Associate Professor (Docent) in Physical Chemistry specialized in the field of Colloid and Interface Science. He is author of both theoretical and experimental works about self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules that have received a great deal of international attention. In his research Bergström has mainly been focused on the problem to predict the size and geometry of self-assembled aggregates (micelles, vesicles, microemulsions etc) from the chemical structure of amphiphilic molecules such as surfactants and lipids. His experimental competence is in the field of structural analysis and particle size determination with light, small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering.
Bergström received his Master of Science in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (1990) and PhD in Physical Chemistry (1995) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He was working as Postdoctoral Scientist at Risø National Laboratory, Roskilde, Denmark (1996-1999) specialized in small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). He has been working as Senior Lecturer and Senior Scientist at the Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University as well as Department of Chemistry, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Victor Agmo Hernandez
Associate Professor in Physical Chemistry
Victor Agmo Hernandez obtained the title of B.Sc. in Chemical Sciences from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Monterrey, Mexico, in December 2002. After a brief experience at the industry (CEMEX, Mexico), in 2004 he moved to Germany to pursue Ph.D studies at the University of Greifswald, obtaining the degree of Dr. rer. nat. in Analytical Chemistry in 2008. His Ph.D. thesis focused on describing the mechanism of adhesion of giant unilamellar vesicles on mercury electrodes. In May 2008 he moved to Sweden to start a postdoc at Uppsala University, working in physical chemistry studies on the behavior of lipid membranes. Since 2013 he is a researcher at the Department of Chemistry-BMC at Uppsala University, where he was appointed as Associated Professor (Docent) with specialization in Physical Chemistry in 2014. Currently, he is senior lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University.
He is interested in self-associated lipid systems and surface chemistry. His main research focus is the use and development of tailored interfaces and surface sensitive techniques for the study of the properties of lipid membranes and lipid-based nanoparticles, as well as their interactions with relevant biomolecules and compounds of pharmaceutical interest. Among others, He applies electrochemical and nanogravimetric (QCM-D) methods to the study of lipid-modified substrates and the interactions of lipid membranes and nanoparticles with peptides, proteins, drugs and inorganic material.
Contact & Laboratory technician
MSc in Analytical Chemistry
Sana Tirgani has a master´s degree in Analytical Chemistry from Uppsala University. She worked as Laboratory engineer at Fresenius Kabi Brunna and currently, she is working as laboratory technician in pharmaceutical physical chemistry group at Uppsala University. Her research is mainly focused on the development of novel in vitro methods to facilitate and improve the transport of the drug delivery system. She is specifically investigating and trying to understand how the structure and dynamics of the microgel in a crosslinked network will affect the transport and release properties of the drugs. The more understanding of the material will open up the opportunity to tailor the functionalities and the physicochemical properties of the in vitro drug release and drug-loading from a crosslinked microgel.
This research is conducted with a wide range of analytical methods such as laser scattering, spectroscopy and microscopy techniques.
Senior research engineer
Johan Gråsjö is senior research engineer and obtained his PhD degree in Engineering Physics from Uppsala University in 2013. In the thesis, aqueous solutions and humid matters were studied with Soft X-ray- and Impedance spectroscopic methods. In 1992 he started to work at the Department of Pharmacy with instrumentation and programming for data sampling. During the years he has had a supportive function for researchers and PhD students with statistics, programming (data sampling, data treatment and calculations), instrument development, mathematics and mathematical modelling. In recent time he has been extensively involved in projects regarding solid state characterisation of lactose and different drugs as well as drug dissolution modelling. He also is involved in projects with the Molecular and condensed matter physics group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University. In these projects he is doing Soft X-ray spectroscopy measurements on water solutions and humid materials like gels and clays, and also dealt with questions about instrumentation and sample handling.
His research is conducted with Raman spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography and Soft X-ray spectroscopy (mainly RIXS and NEXAFS), as well as different data signal treatment and statistical methods and has included instrument development. He is also teaching in mathematics on the Pharmacist program.
PhD in Biotechnology
Agnes Rodler´s background lies in the biochemical- and physical characterisation of protein purification steps, focusing on conformational changes, as well as in the fabrication and characterisation of porous polymeric separation materials. She has a PhD in Biotechnology at Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Vienna, Austria
CurrentIy, she is working on the project “Subcutaneous (SC) Administration of Drug Products - Development and Testing of a Novel In Vitro Method“, embedded into the framework of the Swedish Drug Delivery Forum (SDDF).
Here, her task is to develop an in vitro model of subcutaneous injection with the aim to deliver robust data for the prediction of in vivo absorption and bioavailability of subcutaneously administered drugs. A hydrogel composed of three major components of subcutaneous tissue, Collagen, Hyaluronic acid and Chondroitin sulfate, serves as mimic of the gel-like phase of the interstitial matrix. Investigations of physicochemical interactions between drug molecules/different formulations and the synthetic interstitial matrix should shed more light on the mechanism leading to lowered bioavailability of drug molecules on their way through the subcutaneous tissue
MSc in Pharmaceutical Science
Yassir Al-tikriti is a pharmacist with a B.Sc. in pharmacy from Baghdad University. In 2012, he has earned a master´s degree in pharmaceutical science from Uppsala University and the main field of the study was in drug discovery and development. Now he is a PhD student in the pharmaceutical physical chemistry department as a part of SDDF project and the aim of his project (Amphiphilic drug molecules in oppositely charged microgels) is to improve the fundamental understanding of the drug-aggregation inside microgels and to derive release models that contribute to the development of novel drug release systems.
MSc in Pharmacy
Marcus Wanselius got his master of science in pharmacy 2014 from Uppsala University and started his PhD studies in the spring of 2018.
In this research project (Physicochemical aspects of subcutaneous administration of drugs) we investigate how active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients in subcutaneously administered drug formulations interact with the components in the extracellular matrix in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (hypodermis). A special focus is on pharmaceutical products based on biologics. The investigations will provide a basis for the development of novel in vitro methods to model the behavior of pharmaceutical products administered subcutaneously.
By improving the mechanistic understanding of the release and transport of APIs through the hypodermis, He also hope to facilitate the innovation and development of new formulations with a high bioavailability and small variability between patients. As a part of the research project he is trying to create formulations with modified release based on cross-linked microgels, both formulations with delayed release and prolonged release.
The studies are conducted with a wide array of analytical methods, such as single and dynamic light scattering, NMR-diffusion spectroscopy, UV-spectroscopy etc. Microscopic studies of microgels with visual light, fluorescence, confocal microscopy and confocal raman spectroscopy are also commonly used during the project.
Vahid Forooqi Motlaq
MSc in Polymer Chemistry and Colloid Science
Vahid Forooqi Motlaq completed his bachelor’s program at Baha’i University of higher education (BIHE) in applied chemistry. His final project was focused on the recovery of glycerin from soap spent lye, and has aimed to find more reasonable and faster solutions for treatment of soap lye and to reduce its negative environmental impact.
His Master’s degree was in polymer and colloid science at University of Oslo (UiO) under supervision of Professor Bo Nyström. He worked on synthesis and characterization of thermos-responsive nanogels which were decorated with different PEG length and PEG surface concentration as shell layer. Investigating the steric hindrance effect of this PEG layer in preventing particles from forming aggregates was main part of his master’s thesis.
His main research interests is soft matter (polymers, proteins, peptides…etc.) and their self-association and interactions in different environment, especially in biological environments. Self-assembly of amphiphilic drug and their interaction with membrane and surfactant are other research fields which He plan to explore.
Master program in pharmacy
Julia Parlow graduated from the master program in pharmacy at Uppsala University in the spring of 2017. After that she worked at a pharmacy and since autumn 2018 she is a PhD student in the group for Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy.
The aim of her research project is to develop novel in vitro methods for subcutaneous administration of drugs and to investigate the transport of drug substances through the subcutaneous tissue. Particular focus is on biological drugs, such as insulin, growth hormones and monoclonal antibodies. The transport of a number of carefully chosen substances through a synthetic model of the extracellular matrix is studied using different analytical and imaging techniques including confocal microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, diffusion NMR and microdialysis.
The project is part of the recently founded Swedish Drug Delivery Forum (SDDF), in collaboration with partners in the pharmaceutical industry, including AstraZeneca, CTC, Ferring, Orexo and Recipharm.