Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Evanthia Adamidou, reports from Sitges, Spain

29 August 2017

25 August 2017

Evanthia Adamidou was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend the 7th International Colloids Conference in Sitges, Spain. Here she tells us about the conference and her opportunity to attend to relevant presentations and enhance her knowledge and expertise about the colloid science field.

‘I am Evanthia Adamidou, currently a final year PhD student at the University of Manchester. I would like to begin by thanking the RSC/SCI Rideal Trust Committee for their generous award which enabled me to attend the 7th International Colloids Conference.

‘My research focuses on the interactions of PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymers with lipid membranes. PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymers, available commercially under the trademark name Pluronics®, are amphiphilic copolymers, which self-assemble in polar solvents forming micelles and vesicles. Drug delivery systems based on Pluronics® were found to improve the solubility and biodistribution of the incorporated drugs, and were shown to sensitize multi-drug-resistant tumours to anticancerous agents. Furthermore, the amphiphilic character of these copolymers induces their ability to interact with biological membranes and deliver their payload. I am working to reveal the molecular interactions responsible for the biological activity of PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymers and to assess their efficacy as drug carriers.

‘Last June, I attended the 7th International Colloids Conference in Spain. The conference welcomed around 500 researchers in the field of colloid and interface science from universities and industries all over the world. Future directions, recent advances and fresh and exciting results were presented in the conference, both via the plenary lectures by world-leading scientists and via posters and presentations by new scientists in the field. Specifically, the sessions of Nano-Medicines and Biomaterials and Advanced Polymers, Surfactants, Biocolloids and Soft Matter Systems were of great relevance to my work. Many talks from these sessions attracted my strong interest as they were related to my research about colloidal systems and polymeric vesicles for drug delivery applications and the study of interfacial systems. It was important to choose carefully between which presentations to attend and several times I had to choose between two equally interesting talks.

'On the second day of the conference I presented my poster entitled: ‘PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymer based drug delivery devices: interaction with the lipid membrane and characterisation’, which attracted a great deal of interest. The poster session was a rare opportunity for me to discuss about my work with experienced colloid scientists, to get beneficial suggestions and to gain valuable insights into the current issues and trends in the field of colloid and surface science. Moreover, I had the opportunity to network with young researchers all over the world and to increase my contacts both in academic and industrial level.

‘My attendance at the conference enabled the communication of the findings obtained during my PhD studies to a specialized audience that provided constructive feedback on my work, which will be extremely helpful with my upcoming PhD viva. Moreover, the conference enhanced my knowledge and expertise about the colloid science field, it greatly strengthened my presentation skills and provided a perfect opportunity for networking.

I would like once again to thank the RSC/SCI Rideal committee for awarding me the Rideal Travel Bursary that gave me the opportunity to attend this internationally established conference. Finally, I would like to thank my supervisor Prof Aline Miller for her support during this PhD and for giving me the opportunity to participate in this conference.’

Evanthia Adamidou
PhD Student
University of Manchester

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