Lecture prof. Christoffer Aberg


FWO Research Consortium

Nanomaterials for drug delivery and in vivo imaging



The kinetics of nanoparticle uptake into and distribution in human cells


Prof. Christoffer Aberg

Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy


The lecture will take place on Wednesday November 6th  2019 at 11 h in Seminar Room 3 (groundfloor) at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Registration not required.



Prof. Kevin Braeckmans (kevin.braeckmans@UGent.be)


The kinetics of nanoparticle uptake into and distribution in human cells

Nano-sized objects are currently being pursued as new and improved drug delivery vehicles but have, as yet, met with few clinical successes. There is a growing awareness that we may need to understand the fundamental principles of how nano-sized objects interact with tissue, biological barriers and cells before we can design better nanomedicines. Using inert nanoparticles as model systems, we discuss our current view of the kinetics of nanoparticle uptake into and distribution in human cells. We pay attention to how to describe these processes mathematically, for novel properties of the nanoscale forces us to abandon a description based on physicochemical near-equilibrium principles. We discuss the kinetics of cellular accumulation short and long-term, finding in the latter case that a coupling to the cell-division cycle is needed to understand the kinetics. The intracellular kinetics is exemplified and we also consider the existence of cellular export processes for nano-sized objects.


Christoffer Åberg studied at Lund University, Sweden where he originally pursued theoretical physics (MSc) but later changed to physical chemistry (PhD). During the latter he was trained in colloid science by Håkan Wennerström. Subsequently, he moved towards biology, applying his physics/colloid science background to how nanoparticles interact with cells, working with Kenneth Dawson at University College Dublin, Ireland. Since 2014 he is at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and was appointed as tenure-track assistant professor in May 2017. His research is focussed on understanding the kinetics of how nanoparticles interact with cells and on applying novel theoretical tools to describe these processes.