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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Adjunct professor in pharmaceutical surface chemistry and biophysics.

I am the co-group leader of the Pharmaceutical Biophysics research group at the Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Finland (UH). The Pharmaceutical Biophysics research group develops and uses powerful new hybrid experimental-computational tools to gain mechanistic understanding of the key intermolecular interactions involved in drug action and delivery. A special interest of mine is to develop novel real-time label-free experimental in vitro platforms as complementary tools for existing static biological assays and animal tests in the field of preclinical drug research and drug discovery. I primarily use the multi-parametric surface plasmon resonance (MP-SPR) and impedance-based quartz crystal microbalance techniques (QCM-Z) as detection platforms in my research. I had a 5 year Academy Research Fellow position in 2010-2015 and have 10 years work experience from surface chemistry instrument manufacturing industry (2000-2010).
My research group is part of the Drug Research Program at the Faculty of Pharmacy at University of Helsinki and I collaborate with departments from several national and international universities (e.g. Åbo Akademi, Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology, Padova University and University of Montreal) and companies (e.g. Bionavis Ltd, Biolin Scientific Oy and Accurion GmbH).
I am lecturing in the basic course in Pharmacokinetics, and advanced courses in Physical Pharmacy and Introduction to Nanosciences. I integrate my research into teaching by supervising master´s and PhD students within my research focus areas.

Description of research and teaching

Adjunct Professor


  • 317 Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical nanotechnology
  • Cell model membranes
  • Targeted drug and gene delivery
  • Physico-Chemical proerties of drugs
  • In vitro drug discovery and development methods
  • 221 Nano-technology
  • Organic thin films
  • Ultrathin organic films
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Lipid bilayers
  • Liposomes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Langmuir- and Langmuir-Blodgett technologies
  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Surface and Colloid Chemistry
  • Physico-Chemical characterisation
  • Surface specific analysis methods
  • Quartz crystal microbalance
  • Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy
  • Spectroscopy
  • Contact angle
  • Surface tension
  • Surface energy
  • Surface active agents

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 1996 2019

Real-Time Label-Free Monitoring of Nanoparticle Cell Uptake

Suutari, T., Silen, T., Sen Karaman, D., Saari, H., Desai, D., Kerkelä, E., Laitinen, S., Hanzlikova, M., Rosenholm, J. M., Yliperttula, M. & Viitala, T., 7 Dec 2016, In : Small. 12, 45, p. 6289-6300 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Feasibility Study of the Permeability and Uptake of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles across the Blood-Brain Barrier

Baghirov, H., Karaman, D., Viitala, T., Duchanoy, A., Lou, Y-R., Mamaeva, V., Pryazhnikov, E., Khiroug, L., Davies, C. D. L., Sahlgren, C. & Rosenholm, J. M., 22 Aug 2016, In : PLoS One. 11, 8, 22 p., 0160705.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Elucidating the Signal Responses of Multi-Parametric Surface Plasmon Resonance Living Cell Sensing: A Comparison between Optical Modeling and Drug-MDCKII Cell Interaction Measurements

Viitala, T., Granqvist, N., Hallila, S., Ravina, M. & Yliperttula, M., 27 Aug 2013, In : PLoS One. 8, 8, 13 p., 72192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Printing technologies in fabrication of drug delivery systems

Kolakovic, R., Viitala, T., Ihalainen, P., Genina, N., Peltonen, J. & Sandler, N., Dec 2013, In : Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. 10, 12, p. 1711-1723 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Projects 2010 2017

Activities 1997 2018

ERASMUS student supervision (Fabrizio Fabbiano)

Tapani Viitala (Supervisor)
12 Mar 201815 Sep 2018

Activity: Examination typesSupervision of other thesis (Master's, Licentiate)

Faculty of Science (Organisational unit)

Tapani Viitala (Board member)
Jan 2018 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

Member of the steering group for the Master´s Program in Pharmacy

Tapani Viitala (Participant)
1 Jan 2018 → …

Activity: Other activity typesTypes for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination

Master´s thesis supervisior (Otto Kari)

Tapani Viitala (Supervisor)

Activity: Examination typesSupervision of other thesis (Master's, Licentiate)

Defense committee member for PhD thesis of Dina Lakayan Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Tapani Viitala (Opponent)
19 Dec 2018

Activity: Examination typesOpponent of doctoral dissertation