Particles@Barriers lab

Department Materials meet Life, Empa, St.Gallen, Switzerland

Empa – Particles-Biology Interactions – Particlesatbarrier

Main placenta-related topics:

the placenta). In particular, we are interested in the correlation of physicochemical particle properties with barrier uptake and translocation and their biological effects. To achieve results of high predictive value, we develop and employadvanced human in vitro and ex vivo models (ex vivo placenta perfusion, co-culture transfer model, 3D microtissues, microphysiolgical co-culture model). Our research is pivotal for the safe design and use of nanomaterials in industrial, commercial and medical applications and the protection of vulnerable populations. 

Principal Investigator

  • Tina Buerki-Thurnherr, PhD

PhD students & Postdocs

  • Battuja Dugershaw-Kurzer
  • Lea Furer


  • Yvette Hannig

Techniques & Technologies:

  • Ex vivo placenta perfusion, placental explants, primary cells, co-culture organoids, co-culture transfer models
  • Nanosafety and nanomedicine in pregnancy
  • Placental translocation and nonomaterials
  • Identification of SARs (structure activity relationships) and toxicity mechanisms of nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticle characterization