ESR 14 : Arianna Oddo

Arianna Oddo obtained her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Milan, Italy and in 2012 she was awarded a DAAD scholarship for international students from the DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service. This grant allowed her to enroll in a 2-year MSc in Chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany but also provided additional funding for her final Master’s thesis, which she carried out in the field of drug discovery (chemoinformatics) at the University College London, UK, under the guidance of Prof. David Selwood and Dr. Edith Chan. Following her graduation she completed a 5-month traineeship at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. She was employed at the Nanobiosciences Unit, which is part of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection and is undertaking research into nanomaterials behaviour in support of EU legislation.

Arianna has unfortunately decided to leave the NanoMed project.

Project topic: Nanoformulations for siRNA delivery


In recent years, RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as an innovative strategy to downregulate the expression of disease-associated genes and to treat various diseases linked to genetic deficiencies, including both hereditary and acquired pathologies. A commonly used approach to activate RNAi, and thus induce gene silencing, is through the cellular delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). To this end, siRNAs are typically formulated into polymer- or lipid-based nanocarriers. Nevertheless, several hurdles need to be overcome before the use of siRNA nanoformulations will become a routine treatment, including the need of finding suitable siRNA carriers that merge both safety and efficacy. The aim of this project is to search for biocompatible nanocarriers suitable for siRNA delivery and to further improve their performance via small molecular adjuvants. A toxicity evaluation of the products will be performed, together with a life cycle sustainability assessments on the developed carriers for siRNA delivery. This global assessment will provide a general evaluation of overall health benefits for the patients, toxicology implications and environmental burdens associated with the production.

Home country: Italy


NanoMed partner: Ghent University


Supervisor: Prof. Koen Raemdonck and Prof. Stefaan de Smedt


Starting date: January 2nd, 2017


  1. 1. Non-disclosed, confidential report of the Nanobiosciences Unit, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
  2. 2. Development and characterisation of engineered surfaces for the rapid detection of hydrophobic nanomaterials, Desmet C., Valsesia A., Oddo A., G. Ceccone, V. Spampinato, F. Rossi and P. Colpo. European Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Directorate F – Health, Consumers and Reference Materials, Consumer Products Safety Unit. Via E. Fermi, 2749. TP125. I-21027 Ispra (VA)/Italy. Manuscript submitted to Nanoscale.
  1. Direct quantification of surface energy components of nanomaterials. Valsesia A., Desmet C., Oddo A., La Spina R., Colpo P., Ojea Jimenez I., Rossi F., Biosensors 2016, 25-27 May 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden
  2. Direct quantification of surface energy components of nanomaterials. Valsesia A., Desmet C., Oddo A., La Spina R., Colpo P., Ojea Jimenez I., Rossi F. 12th international workshop on the Characterisation of Nanomaterials and Nanomedicine, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra, 18-23 November 2015, Ispra, Italy
  3. Surface Energy Characterization of Nanoparticles. Valsesia A., Desmet C., Oddo A., Colpo P., Rossi F., AVS 62nd International Symposium and Exhibition. 18-23 October 2015, San Jose, California, USA.
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