MAURIZI Lionel (English version)

Lionel Maurizi  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       
 Bureau: C408-A
Axe Nanosciences / BH2N team    
CR CNRS (Researcher)
 french flagFrench version


Researchgate profile

With a chemical engineering background I started in 2010 a PhD in physical-chemistry on the syntheses and characterizations of nanoparticles for biomedical applications. While going deeper into my nanoparticles skills I learned new knowledge on toxicities and biological behaviors of nanohybrids made for medical purposes.

During my postdoctoral experiences from 2011 to 2016, in particular at EPFL, I continued working on synthesis and characterizations methods "GMP-like" for nanomaterials in order to answer pharmaceutical and medical requirements. I also focused my research on the study and the understanding of the role of nanoobjects physico-chemistry on the living world especially their interactions with protein from biological media: the "Protein Corona"

This thematic is driving my actual research at ICB Laboratory.

2007-2010: After a chemical engineering diploma from the University of Technology of Compiegne (UTC), I started a PhD in physical chemistry at the ICB Laboratory on the Elaboration of functionalized nanoparticles: applications as MRI contrast agent. My research was focused on the syntheses of magnetic nanparticles via soft chemistry or hydrothermal and continuous methods with an accurate control of the physicochemical properties and in depth characterizations. Nanoparticles' surfaces were also modified and functionalized for a better biocompatibility, less toxicity and targeting behviors in order to be used as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agent.

2011-2015: I worked for 4 years in Pr. H. Hofmann's team at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) on a FP7 European project (Nanodiara) on the development of novel nanotechnology based diagnostic and therapeutic systems for arthritic diseases. My research was centered on one part on the reproducibility and scale-up of the syntheses and methods to face biomedical challenges. On another part, I studied the interactions between nanoparticles and proteins in order to better understand their biological behaviors. This scientific area is commonly called: the "Protein Corona".

2015-2016: After these projects, I continued my research at Dublin City University (Pr. Dermot Brougham) on a FP7 European project (UNION). Then at Basel University (Pr. Cornelia Palivan) I worked on a Swiss project NCCR (National Centres of Competence in Research). These two projects were focused on the development of physicochemical solutions for biomedical applications such as  "nano-flowers" or "nano-vesicles".

Since the end of 2016: I got a CNRS Researcher (CR) permanent position at Pr. Nadine Millot's team from the nanosciences department of the ICB laboratory to continue working on my thematic focused on  the development of nanomedical solutions and on the understanding of their biological behaviors.


Main fields of expertise

  • Control of physico-chemistry of nanomaterials

Iron agglo

Synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles such as iron oxide (SPIONs), titanate nanotubes (TiONTs), gold or polymeric vesicles (polymersomes).

Control of the size, the oxidation state, the composition and the morphology of nanoparticles.

Development of reproducible and up-scalable methods for nanomaterials.

  • "GMP-like" surface modification of nanomaterials for biomedical purposes


Surface modification of nanoparticles for better biocompatibility (polymer, core/shell structures, organic molecules…).

Functionalization of nanohybrids with targeting molecules for bimodal detections.

Reproducible methods compatible with in vitro and in vivo applications especially pharmacokinetic studies.

  • Biological interactions of nanomaterials

Protein Corona

Studies of biological behaviors of nanoparticles such as cytotoxicity, cellular interactions and biodistribution.

Development of innovative analysis methods of nanohybrids for biological studies.

Understanding of the role of physico-chemistry in the interactions nanoparticles / proteins: Protein Corona.



Projects in progress

2017-2018:BQR Project (Bonus on Quality and Research): In vivo interactions of biocompatible nanoparticles with biological proteins: influence on biodistribution

Main projects completed

From 2011 to 2014 at EPFL: FP7 European project (Nanodiara) on the development of nanotechnological tools for the detection and the therapy of arthrtic diseases.


Project description:

Although treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has improved in the last years, there is still no disease modifying treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). For treatments to be effective it is considered extremely important to detect and treat these diseases early and then be able to monitor treatment efficacy early on (within weeks or months) after its initiation rather than waiting up to a year for RA and 18 months for OA. RA is a chronic inflammatory joint disease that involves acute and chronic synovial (joint lining) inflammation causing the erosive destruction of articular cartilages, ligaments and subchondral bone. It develops in about 1% of the population. OA, currently the main cause of disability among the middle age and elderly populations, is a degenerative arthritis involving much less synovial inflammation in most patients, with a prevalence of about 12% of the population.
The main objective of the NanoDiaRA project is the development of nanotechnology-based diagnostic tools for easy and early detection of disease onset, progression and responses to therapy RA and OA via specific targeting of inflamatory areas and imaging with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).  New blood and urine nanotechnology-based diagnostic biomarker assayswas also develpped to be a very sensitive, easy to use and affordable immunoassay benchtop analytical systems for widespread clinical use. In view of the development of this targeted nanoparticle-based technology there are also opportunities to use this tissue-targeted approach for locally controlled drug release (e.g. in joints alone/intra-articular). This way of improving drug delivery to minimize possible side effects is a long term future approach which will be examined for its feasibility during the term of the project. The overall project follows a personalized medicine approach and is driven by the prominent unmet clinical needs outlined above.
The NanoDiaRA project is divided into five research work packages and four supporting work packages. While the research packages deal with fundamental research, the latter are particularly addressing dissemination, publication and valorization of the research outcome, investigation of the ethical issues, training of young investigators and the administration of the project.

Research Work Packages:

  • WP 1: Particle coating and functionalisation and novel equipment for coating and separation
  • WP 2: Inflammation and tissue damage detection by cell and tissue tracking and molecular MRI based imaging
  • WP 3a: New Biomarker/ligand and antibody detection and development: targets, antibodies and peptides
  • WP 3b: New Biomarker/ligand and antibody detection and development: Clinical relevance
  • WP 4: Development of bioassays
  • WP 7: Toxicity

Work packages de support:

  • WP 5: Scientific Coordination and Data Management
  • WP 6: Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects, Technology Assessment (ELSI)
  • WP 8: Dissemination of Results and Foreground, Communication, Education & Training
  • WP 9: Management


It pooled 15 European partners européens from academic and industrail fields:

  1. Coordinator: Europäische Akademie GmbH, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany
  2. Scientific coordinator: MatSearch Consulting Hofmann, Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. Charité Universitätsmedizin (team 1 et team 2), Berlin, Germany
  4. EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. University of Lund, Sweden
  6. Merck® Serono, Darmastadt, Germany
  7. AnaMar AB, Lund, Sweden
  8. Arrayon Biotechnology, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  9. CSEM SA, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  10. Merck Estapor/OEM-Diagnostic/Merck-Millipore, Pithiviers, France
  11. PMU Salzburg, Austria
  12. University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  13. University of Geneva, Switzerland
  14. University of Nijmegen, Netherlands
  15. University of Tartu, Estonia

Role during the project:

As a scientist and WP leader at EPFL, my role was pivotal and consisted in bringing nanotechnological solutions to our biological, industrial and medical partners. As main responsibles of the WP 1, we worked in close collaborations with all the scientific WP to develop specific nanoparticles for arthritic pathologies with industrial requirements such as biocompatibility and upscalable methods to have enough quantity of materials for pharmacokinetic studies. We also studied in depth the biological behaviors of our nanohybrids (toxicity, internalization, biodistribution or Protein Corona).

In 2016 at Basel University: Swiss project NCCR (National Centres of Competence in Research) Molecular Systems Engineering on the development of innovative molecular systems approaching the complexity of a cell.


Project description:

This NCCR project was pooling multidisciplinary areas from the physics and chemistry to the biology, the biostatistics and the computer sciences.

The main objctive of the "Molecular Systems Engineering" project was to create complex molecular layouts to mimic cellular reactions. Such systems can be use as organic molecules (enzymes for example) industrial productions or to control cellular systemps for applications in health.


The Molecular Systems Egineering project was divided into 4 Work Packages (more details).

  • WP 1: Molecular modules
  • WP 2: Molecular systems
  • WP 3: Molecular factories
  • WP 4: Cellular systems

It pooled 9 Swiss partners from academic and industrail fields:

  1. ETH Zürich
  2. EPFL
  3. Friedrich Miescher Institute
  4. IBM Research Zurich
  5. Paul Scherrer Institute
  6. University of Basel
  7. University of Bern
  8. University of Geneva
  9. University of Zürich

Role during the project:

As a scientist in the WP 2 of University of Basel, my role was to develop stimulo-sensitive membranes made from the assembly of polymeric vesicles (polymersomes) and inorganic nanoparticles functionalized with DNA. These membranes shoul induce cascade reactions between the vesicles and catalyzed by the chosen nanoparticles (more details).


29 articles in peer-reviewed journals

3 international conferences proceedings

2 Book chapters

List of publications from Web of Science

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  1. Beyond unpredictability: the importance of reproducibility in understanding the protein corona of nanoparticles, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 29 (10), 3385-3393, 2018 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00554)
  2. Cellular interactions of functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles on oligodendrocytes without detrimental side effects: Cell death induction, oxidative stress and inflammation , Colloids Surfaces B, 170 (2018), 454-462, 2018 (DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.06.041)
  3. In vitro interaction and biocompatibility of titanate nanotubes with microglial cells, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 353 (2018), 74-86, 2018 (DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2018.06.013)
  4. Nanoscience based strategies to engineer antimicrobial surfaces, Advanced Science, 5 (5), 1700892, 2018 (DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700892)
  5. Characterization of liposome-containing SPIONs conjugated with anti-CD20 developed as a novel theranostic agent for central nervous system lymphoma, Colloids Surface B, 161 (2018), 497-507, 2018 (DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.11.003)
  6. Superparamagnetic nanohybrids with cross-linked polymers providing higher in vitro stability, J. Mater. Sci., 52 (16), 9249-9261, 2017 (DOI: 10.1007/s10853-017-1098-2)
  7. Effectiveness of hand washing on the removal of iron oxide nanoparticles from human skin ex vivo, J. Occup. Environ. Hyg., 14(8), D115-D119, 2017 (DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2017.1296238)
  8. Pro-oxidant effects of nano-TiO2 on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii during short-term exposure, RSC advances, 6 (116), 115271-115283, 2016 (DOI: 10.1039/C6RA16639C)
  9. Modification of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle surface enables saver human application, Int. J. Nanomed., 2016 (11), 5883-5896, 2016 (DOI:10.2147/IJN.S110579)
  10. Effect of PVA-coated nanoparticles on human T helper cell activity, Toxicology Letters, 246 (2016), 52-58, 2016 (DOI:10.1016/j.toxlet.2016.01.003)
  11. Transfer studies of polystyrene nanoparticles in the ex vivo human placenta perfusion model: key sources of artifacts, Sci. Technol. Adv. Mat., 16 (4), 044602, 2015 (DOI:10.1088/1468-6996/16/4/044602)
  12. Polymer adsorption on iron oxide nanoparticles for one-step amino-functionalized silica encapsulation, J. Nanomater., 2015 (2015), ID 732719, 2015 (DOI:10.1155/2015/732719)
  13. Bidirectional transfer study of Polystyrene nanoparticles across the placental barrier in an ex vivo human placental perfusion model, Environ. Health Persp., 123 (12), 1280-1286, 2015 (DOI:10.1289/ehp.1409271)
  14. The in-vivo use of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles to detect inflammation elicits a cytokine response but does not aggravate experimental arthritis, PLOS One, 10 (5), e0126687, 2015 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126687)
  15. Effects of PVA coated nanoparticles on human immune cells, Int. J. Nanomed., 2015 (10),3429-3445, 2015 (DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S75936)
  16. Significance of surface charge and shell material of Super-paramagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPIONs) based core/shell nanoparticles on the composition of the protein corona, Biomater. Sci., 3, (2), 265-278, 2015 (DOI: 10.1039/C4BM00264D)
  17. Influence of surface charge and polymer coating on internalization and biodistribution of PEG-modified iron oxide nanoparticles, J. Biomed. Nanotech., 11, (1), 126-136, 2015 (DOI: 10.1166/jbn.2015.1996)
  18. Continuous synthesis of spinel nanostructured iron oxide in supercritical water: influence of cations and citrates, RSC advances, 4 (86), 45673-45678, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4RA08562K)
  19. Visible light optical coherence correlation spectroscopy, Optics Express, 22(18), 21944-21957, 2014 (DOI: 10.1364/OE.22.021944)
  20. Ex situ evaluation of the composition of protein corona of intravenously injected superparamagnetic nanoparticles in rats, Nanoscale, 6, (19), 11439-11450, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4NR02793K)
  21. Amino-polyvinyl alcohol coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are suitable for monitoring of mesenchymal stromal cells in vivo, Small,10 (21), 4340-4351, 2014 (DOI: 10.1002/smll.201400707)
  22. Aqueous stabilisation of suspensions of carbon-encapsulated superparamagnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications,Dalton T., 43 (36), 13764-13775, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/c4dt00085d)
  23. Monitoring the effects of arthritis treatment by MRI in vivo using iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled macrophages,Arthritis Res. Ther.,16 (3), R131, 2014 (DOI: 10.1186/ar4588)
  24. Protein Corona Composition of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Various Physico-Chemical Properties and Coatings, Scientific Reports, 4, 5020, 2014 (DOI: 10.1038/srep05020)
  25. Syntheses of cross-linked polymeric superparamagnetic beads with tunable properties, RSC Advances,4 (22), 11142-11146, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C3RA48004F)
  26. A fast and reproducible method to quantify magnetic nanoparticles biodistribution, Analyst,139 (5), 1184-1191, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C3AN02153J)
  27. One step continuous hydrothermal synthesis of very fine stabilized superparamagnetic nanoparticles of magnetite, Chem. Commun., 47, (42), 11706-11708, 2011, (DOI: 10.1039/C1CC15470B)
  28. Synthesis of Titanate Nanotubes Directly Coated with USPIO in Hydrothermal Conditions: A New Detectable Nanocarrier, J. Phys. Chem. C, 115 (39), 19012-19017, 2011 (DOI: 10.1021/jp2056893)
  29. Easy Route to Functionalize Iron Oxide Nanoparticles via Long-Term Stable Thiol Groups, Langmuir, 25, (16), 8857–8859, 2009 (DOI: 10.1021/la901602w)

Conference proceedings

  1. Nanoparticles as MRI Contrast Agent for Early Diagnosis of RA: Effects of Amino-PVA-Coated SPIONS on CD4+ T Cell Activity, Ann. Rheum. Dis., 75, 901-901, 2016 (DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-eular.2244)
  2. Silica-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles as contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging: Synthesis and physiological characterizations, IEEE, IEEE-Nanotechnology, 1285-1287, 2015 (DOI: 10.1109/NANO.2015.7388867)
  3. Impact Of Amino-PVA Coated Nanoparticles On Viability And Cytokine Secretion Of Human Immune Cells Obtained From Healthy Donors And Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ann. Rheum. Dis., 73, 219-219, 2014 (DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-eular.1379)

ORCID number: 0000-0002-6346-7623

Google scholar ; ResearcherID: E-3606-2016 and Scopus: 40262179400 accounts

Most significant publications

    1. Easy Route to Functionalize Iron Oxide Nanoparticles via Long-Term Stable Thiol Groups, Langmuir, 25, (16), 8857–8859, 2009 (DOI: 10.1021/la901602w)
    2. One step continuous hydrothermal synthesis of very fine stabilized superparamagnetic nanoparticles of magnetite, Chem. Commun., 47, (42), 11706-11708, 2011, (DOI: 10.1039/C1CC15470B)
    3. Protein Corona Composition of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Various Physico-Chemical Properties and Coatings, Scientific Reports, 4, 5020, 2014 (DOI: 10.1038/srep05020)
    4. Ex situ evaluation of the composition of protein corona of intravenously injected superparamagnetic nanoparticles in rats, Nanoscale, 6, (19), 11439-11450, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4NR02793K)
    5. Influence of surface charge and polymer coating on internalization and biodistribution of PEG-modified iron oxide nanoparticles, J. Biomed. Nanotech., 11, (1), 126-136, 2015 (DOI: 10.1166/jbn.2015.1996)
    6. Significance of surface charge and shell material of Super-paramagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPIONs) based core/shell nanoparticles on the composition of the protein corona, Biomater. Sci., 3, (2), 265-278, 2015 (DOI: 10.1039/C4BM00264D)

c5bm90006a page 001

2015's most accessed Biomaterials Science articles

Abstract: As nanoparticles (NPs) are increasingly used in many applications their safety and efficient applications in nanomedicine have become concerns. Protein coronas on nanomaterials’ surfaces can influence how the cell “recognizes” nanoparticles, as well as the in vitro and in vivo NPs’ behaviors. The SuperParamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle (SPION) is one of the most prominent agents because of its superparamagnetic properties, which is useful for separation applications. To mimic surface properties of different types of NPs, a core–shell SPION library was prepared by coating with different surfaces: polyvinyl alcohol polymer (PVA) (positive, neutral and negative), SiO2 (positive and negative), titanium dioxide and metal gold. The SPIONs with different surfaces were incubated at a fixed serum : nanoparticle surface ratio, magnetically trapped and washed. The tightly bound proteins were quantified and identified. The surface charge has a great impact on protein adsorption, especially on PVA and silica where proteins preferred binding to the neutral and positively charged surfaces. The importance of surface material on protein adsorption was also revealed by preferential binding on TiO2 and gold coated SPION, even negatively charged. There is no correlation between the protein net charge and the nanoparticle surface charge on protein binding, nor direct correlation between the serum proteins’ concentration and the proteins detected in the coronas.


Book chapters

Book Lionel


Nanoparticles in the Lung:
Environmental Exposure and Drug Delivery
Edited by Akira Tsuda and Peter Gehr

Section VI:Special Issues
Chapter 16: Physicochemical, Colloidal, and Transport Properties
(pages 251-266)

Heinrich Hofmann, Lionel Maurizi, Marie-Gabrielle Beuzelin, Usawadee Sakulkhu and Vianney Bernau

December 19, 2014 by CRC Press - 403 Pages
ISBN 9781439892794 - CAT# K14165

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Physicochemical Properties of NPs

16.3 Particle–Particle Interactions

16.4 Protein Adsorption

16.5 Particle Agglomeration

16.6 Particle Transport

16.7 Conclusions



Lionel Book II


Unraveling the Safety Profile of Nanoscale Particles and Materials -
From Biomedical to Environmental Applications
Edited by Andreia C. Gomes and Marisa P. Sarria

Chapter 2
Toxicological Risk Assessment of Emerging Nanomaterials: Cytotoxicity, Cellular Uptake, Effects on Biogenesis and Cell Organelle Activity, Acute Toxicity and Biodistribution of Oxide Nanoparticles
(pages 17-36)

Lionel Maurizi, Anne-Laure Papa, Julien Boudon, Sruthi Sudhakaran, Benoit Pruvost, David Vandroux, Johanna Chluba, Gerard Lizard and Nadine Millot

March, 2018 by InTech - 172 Pages
ISBN 9789535139409


44 international and national conferences including:

5 invited talks with international collaborators

Recent selection:

  • Multifunctional SPIONs for bimodal imaging; L. Maurizi, G. Thomas, T. Courant, J. Boudon, M. Moreau, A. Oudot, C. Goze, P. Walker, F. Demoisson, F. Denat, F. Brunotte and N. Millot; IMAPPI Workshop 2018 ; Dijon, France; Juil. 2018
  • Innovative SPIONs for multimodal imaging: MRI/PET and MRI/optical imaging; J. Boudon, G. Thomas, L. Maurizi and N. Millot; ICONAN 2016; Paris, France; Sept. 2016
  • Nanoparticles as MRI contrast agent for early diagnosis of R.A.: effects of Amino-PVA coated SPIONs on CD4+ T cell activity; C. Strehl, , L. Maurizi, S. Hermann, T. Häupl, H. Hofmann, F. Buttgereit and T. Gaber; EULAR 2016; London; UK; June 2016

  • In vivo tracking of MSC with SPION in a rat arthritis model; L. A. Crowe, A. Gramoun, F Schulze, L. Maurizi, H. Hofmann, A. Ode, G. Duda and J.-P. Vallée; ISMRM Workshop; Toronto, Canada; June 2015

  • Nanomedicine: applications of nanoparticles; L. Maurizi; Hôpital Jules Gonin; Lausanne, Switzerland; Jan. 2015; invited talk

  • Coating effects on naoparticles proteins adsorption and biodistribution; L. Maurizi, U. Sakulkhu, M.-G. Ollivier Beuzelin, A. Gramoun, J.-P. Vallée and H.Hofmann; Nano-Thailand 2014; Pathumthani, Thailand, Nov. 2014



36 hours per year on supervised project: Fifth year of engineering school: ESIREM (École supérieure d'ingénieurs de recherche en matériaux et en infotronique)



Master thesis

Thesis co-supervisions

En thèse


1 (50%)


En post-doctorat


4 (100%) 

2 (25 et 50%) 


(depuis 2016)

1 (100%)

1 (25%)

 The supervision's proportions are given in brackets.

International collaborations



Project description

Date / details

Charité hospital

Berlin, Germany

Study of the immunological impact of nanoparticles obtained via "GMP-like" conditions.


Nanodiara project

Geneva Hospital

Geneva, Switzerland

In vivo influences of Protein Corona on the biodistribution of nanoparticles with different surfaces.


Nanodiara project


Pathumthani, Thailand

Launch of a nanoparticles's thematic for the detection of cervical cancer.


2 visits of 3 weeks

Institute Jozef Stefan

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Scale-up of nanoparticles syntheses for pharmakinetic studies.


1 visit of 1 week

EMPA, P. Wick's Group

St. Gallen, Switzerland

Studies of the transfer of nanoparticles in the placenta.


EPFL, Stellacci's group

Lausanne, Switzerland

Grafting of gold nanoparticles on polymersomes to create a nano-network.


NCCR project