prof. Andre Skirtach (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Andre Skirtach

Principle investigator - Nano-Biotechnology Laboratory
Professor (Faculty of Bioscience Engineering)
Member of the Nano-Biophotonics Consortium of Ghent University


Research focus

We work in to complementary areas. One one hand, we develop novel nano- carriers for drug delivery. In this area, our focus is on therapeutic enzymes, which need to be protected, yet need to remain funcitonal. By encapsulating them into polyelectrolyte multilayer capsules, the enzyme maintain their funcitonality and are accessible for the substrate for the therapeutic action. A recent class of enzymes was those for treatment of leukemia.
On the other hand, to look at these carriers and to characterize materials we are using fluorescence and confocal microscopy. As an extension of this characteriztion, we use Raman and IR microscopy to characterize capsules, proteins, cells. In this regard, we are not simply technology users and providers, but we are also technology developers - building custom-made setups. This work is based on previous developments of custom-made fluorescence microscope with a coupled infrared laser. It was used for destruction of cancer cells and for remote activation of polymeric capsules inside cancer cells - a work, which received media attention.    


Andre Skirtach has obtained BSc, MSc from Moscow State University of Lomonosow, Moscow, Russia and PhD from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. After completing his doctorat, Dr. Skirtach has joined National Research Council of Canada/Conseil National de Recherches Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Together with colleagues he has transferred results of their research at NRC/CNRC to industry and created a prominent start-up Trilium Phot. Inc. Subsequently, Dr. Skirtach has moved to Germany to work at Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany eventually becoeming a Group Leader in the Department of Interfaces (Prof. H. Moehwald). In 2011 he has become professor at the Deparment of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium. 

Research team

Key publications

  • Loading Capacity versus Enzyme Activity in Anisotropic and Spherical Calcium Carbonate Microparticles, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES,  2016, 8, 14284-14292.
  • Nanoengineered Colloidal Probes for Raman-based Detection of Biomolecules inside Living Cells. SMALL, 2013, 9, 351-356.     
  • Towards Theranostic Multicompartment Microcapsules: in-situ Diagnostics and Laser-induced Treatment, THERANOSTICS, 2013, 3, 141-151.


Contact & links

  • Nano & Biophotonics
  • address: Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent
  • prof. Skirtach is interested to receive invitations for talks and presentations