Nanoparticles: from Fundamentals to Applications in Life Sciences – 2018 Winter School

07-12 January 2018 – Kandersteg, Switzerland

This course is designed to cover a series of important scientific aspects regarding the development, characterisation and application of nanoparticles for medical applications and to provide an in-depth review of their corresponding fundamentals. It aims to offer a skill set relevant to the participants’ research projects and future careers.

Topics include nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation; protein corona and interaction with cells;  nanosafety aspects, in vitro methods; nanosafety aspects in vivo; nanoparticles for sensing; nanoparticles for food and safety. The full program will be listed shortly.

Confirmed Speakers and Topics

Heinrich Hofmann, EPFL: Synthesis and characterisation of inorganic nanoparticles; Scientific base for nanoregulation

Ruth Schmid, SINTEF: Synthesis and characterisation of organic nanoparticles   

Juergen Haas, University of Basel: Protein- nanoparticle Interactions and Relevance for Toxicity Prediction

Marc Creus, University of Basel: Antimicrobial silver nanoparticles: a case study

Nils Krüger, Evonik: Regulatory aspects of inhalative in vivo behaviour of poorly soluble low toxicity nanomaterials

Cordula Hirsch, Empa: The complexity of “simple” in vitro methods – how nanomaterials even top the challenge    

Matthias Rösslein, Empa: Comparable in vitro nano-toxicological measurements – the fast lane to new discoveries

Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser, AMI: Nanomaterials and living matter – In vitro approaches to assess the hazards  

Olivier Martin, EPFL: Plasmonic nanoparticles – from materials to field enhancement    

Francesco Stellacci, EPFL: Use of Analytical Ultracentrifugation to Characterise Nanoparticles and their Interactions with Proteins     

Andreas Zumbühl, University of Fribourg: Mechanoresponsive drug delivery

Marijana Mionic-Ebersold, CHUV: Nanoparticles for therapy

Feride Cengelli, Biotronik: Translation from lab to market

Beat Flühmann, Vifor Pharma Group: Challenges in clinical use of follow-on nanomedicines

Gerrit Borchard, University of Geneva: Regulation for nanoparticles in medical use

Christoph Studer, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health: Regulations on nanomaterials

A brochure with speaker biographies and the full program is available here.  


Please register online using the form found here. The registration deadline is Friday, 24 November.

Bio form to complete

Once you have completed and submitted the on-line registration form, please complete the biography template (Word document, download it here) and send it to Carey Sargent. Your registration will not be complete until this form has been returned.

A full week of studies (and fun)

Organised over one week as 9 modules, the Winter School will consist of talks by participants and lecturers in the morning (4 periods), free afternoons for recreational winter sports and networking, and finally talks by participants and lecturers (1 to 3 periods) before dinner in the early evenings. Friday morning is reserved for presentations from industry speakers.

Presentations by group of participants and by lecturers 

Each lecturer will make an in-depth presentation on one of their major research contributions presented in one or several papers for 2 periods of 45 minutes.

A group of 2 to 3 students will be assigned this /these paper(s). They will also be given one or two earlier papers on which the lecturer’s contribution was based, which they will be asked to study and to present to the class in a 45 minute slot prior to the lecturer’s talk, in order to present the underlying background or fundamentals of the lecturer’s work.

Groups of participants will be formed and assigned to their topics one week after registration has closed.


Hotel Alfa Soleil, Dorfstrasse 99, 3718 Kandersteg (hotel website)

Who Should Attend

This course will specifically address the needs of young researchers active in groups involved with nanomaterials related activities, including synthesis, characterisation, toxicity, behaviour in biological media and related activities.

Participants should be educated in materials science, physics, chemistry, bioengineering or pharmacy to benefit the most from this course.

The course is taught in English and is limited to a maximum of 24 participants.

Practical Information

Full attendance and involvement in the group assignment is mandatory for participation. This course may be validated for 2 ECTS credits in the doctoral programmes of EPFL and ETH Zurich, after acceptance by the corresponding institution. The ECTS credits will be attributed to the students who successfully deliver their group presentation.

Participation Fees

  • 975 CHF for PhD students from EPFL, ETHZ, Empa, PSI and CSEM
  • 1,200 CHF for PhD students from other institutions, other academic researchers and for employees at companies involved in a CCMX Materials Challenge
  • 2,000 CHF for all other students

Accommodation and all meals are included in the fees.