Nanotechnology for brain disease

This theme consists of six research teams, each led by a Faculty member or a senior scientist. Our teams build expertise and knowledge around a specific area of nanotechnology while working together and with other existing themes in the Centre.

Each of the nanotechnology for brain disease research teams aims to bridge the gap between fundamental nanomaterial engineering for medical devices and therapeutics development to contribute to advanced diagnostic, treatment or monitoring technologies for brain disease.

The theme’s mission is to offer solutions to clinical needs based on the cutting-edge and emerging discipline of nanoscience and nanotechnology, with the aim of translating new platforms to the clinic.

Our core research


Aims to exploit the properties of nanoparticles and their interactions with cells and tissues for the development of safe and effective medicines, using clinically-relevant disease models.

This research area is led by Dr Tom Kisby, Senior Scientist.


Aims to generate fundamental knowledge about the interaction of nanomaterials with blood components, with the ultimate goal to unveil novel biomarker panels for disease detection and monitoring, and untangle underlying biological processes and molecular pathways.

This research area is led by Dr Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Lecturer.

Nano-cell neuro

Aims to utilise implanted graphene-based technologies (transistor arrays and stimulating electrodes) to gain a better understanding of neurological disease pathology and to offer novel therapeutic options.

This research area is led by Dr Rob Wykes, Senior Lecturer.

Nano-cell biology

Explores interactions of nanomaterials with cells focusing on deciphering their interactions with plasma membrane, cellular uptake pathways and intracellular trafficking/subcellular localisation.

This research area is led by Dr Sandra Vranic, Lecturer.


Studies how nanomaterials may trigger inflammation or be used to modulate inflammation and control disease.

This research area is led by Cyrill Bussy, Senior Lecturer.


Transforms and engineers nanomaterials for next generation medical technologies. Nanomaterials act as platforms for therapeutic and diagnostic applications, including the development of graphene and 2D materials in medicine, and liposome systems for various biomedical applications, ranging from cancer therapeutics to neurodegenerative disease interventions.

This research area is led by Dr Neus Lozano, Senior Scientist.

Funded projects

Graphene Flagship

The Graphene Flagship project is one of the largest-ever research projects that the European Commission has funded since 2013.

The whole Flagship project is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden and comprises over 120 academic and industrial research partners around 17 European countries.

The Biomedical Technologies Work Package launched in 2016 has been led by the Nanomedicine Lab at The University of Manchester with the aim to engineer and clinically translate flexible, transparent graphene-based neural interfaces targeting an array of neuropathologies, including brain cancer, blindness, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and anxiety disorders.

Learn more on the Graphene Flagship website.

Hybrid Minds: experiential, ethical and legal investigation of intelligent neuroprostheses

The Hybrid Minds project aims to lay the foundation for a unified theoretical approach to the ethical-legal assessment of intelligent neuroprostheses.

The approach is informed by the experiences and perspectives of users, as well as dialogue within the neuroengineering community and other key stakeholders.

Learn more on the Hybrid Minds website.


Kostas Kostarelos.Kostas Kostarelos
Theme lead
Read Kostas’s research profile

Tom Kisby.Tom Kisby
Theme lead
Read Tom’s research profile

Neus Lozano.Neus Lozano

Read Neus’s profile