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 diverse but complementary areas. On one hand, we develop novel nano- carriers for drug delivery. In this area, our focus is on enzymes, which need to be protected, yet need to remain functional. By encapsulating them into polyelectrolyte multilayer capsules, the enzyme maintain their functionality and are accessible for the substrate for the therapeutic action. A wide range of applications is investigated here. 
On the other hand, we apply such analytical tools as fluorescence, Raman, atomic force microscopy for characterization of cells and biomaterials. In these applications, 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. In other application, regulated cell death has been characterized by atomic force microscopy and holographic microscopy with deep learning algorithms. 


Andre Skirtach has obtained BSc, MSc from Moscow State University of Lomonosow, Moscow, Russia and PhD from McGill University, Montréal, Canada. After completing his doctorate, 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 Trillium Phot. Inc. Subsequently, Dr. Skirtach has moved to Germany to work at Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany eventually becoming a Group Leader in the Department of Interfaces (Prof. H. Möhwald). In 2011, he had become professor at the Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.

Research team

Key publications

  • Deep learning with digital holographic microscopy discriminates apoptosis and necroptosis, CELL DEATH DISCOVERY, 2021, 7, 1-10.
  • AFM analysis enables differentiation between apoptosis, necroptosis, and ferroptosis, iSCIENCE 2020, 23, 101816. 
  • 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: Campus Proeftuin, Proeftuinstraat 86, gebouw N1, 9000  Gent, België 
  • prof. Skirtach is interested to receive invitations for talks and presentations