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Hanne Mørck Nielsen

Hanne Mørck Nielsen


Primary fields of research

Drug design and delivery of biopharmaceuticals, specifically related to designing and evaluating drug delivery systems (DDS) efficiently deliver biopharmaceuticals to seriously ill patients. I focus on drug design and delivery of therapeutic peptides/proteins and other challenging hydrophilic drugs like antibiotics and oligonucleotides for them to reach their target in sufficiently high amounts. To advance the field of drug delivery of biopharmaceuticals, interdisciplinary research is essential since only by implementing expertise in various aspects of chemistry, biology, and analysis, in relation to pharmaceutical sciences, we, as researchers, will be able to lead the field towards scientific innovations.

I apply pharmaceutical formulation design implementing expertise on the chemistry of drugs and excipients, processing technologies with expertise on drug design and delivery; namely the biological matrix interaction, uptake, and transport of the active drug molecule to target. Thoroughly understanding the importance of the properties of the DDS, drug, and (expected inactive) excipients and their interactions with biological matrices, is crucial for advancing the design of future (bio)pharmaceutical drugs. Importantly, the effect of drug formulation processing parameters may be decisive for the properties of the DDS and thus the safe use and applicability. Further, analytical processing of samples and quantitative assessment of data obtained by applying relevant in vitro and in vivo models are necessary to translate to expected outcome in humans. In brief, I hold expertise in: (1) design of advanced DDS based on e.g. carrier peptides, lipids and (bio)polymers, (2) cell-penetrating peptides, (3) antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides, (4) drug interaction with and transport across biological matrices such as mucus, epithelia and biofilms, (5) application of biosimilar in vitro and in vivo models.


Main teaching activities:

Drug Delviery course (co-organizer), PhD course

Formulation and Delivery course (MIND course)

Advanced Drug Formulation (master course)

Pharmaceutical formulation of peptides and proteins (master course)

Bachelor, master thesis, and individual unit projects

Pharmaceutics I - Liquid and Semi-Solid Dosage Forms (bachelor)



Current research


Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation via its Challenge Programme (link to the website)

Recent PhD projects


Sylvia Nathalia Klodzinska (funded by University of Copenhagen 2016 Programme of Excellence Research Centre for Control of Antibiotic Resistance, UCPH Center of Excellence). Working title: Formulation and delivery of antibiotics

Ditlev Birch (funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences and Department of Pharmacy). Working title: Peptide drug delivery


Sofie Fogh Hedegaard (funded by CoNEXT (Univeristy of Copenhagen interfaculty collaboartive project), UCPH Center of Excellence). Working title: Interaction of lipidated therapeutic peptides with solid surfaces and membranes: a mechanistic study using neutron reflectivity


Søren Langer Steffensen (funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (Innovation Fund Denmark), Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences and Drug Research Academy). Working title: Interpenetrating hydrogel network in silicone: a matrix for sustained release of antibiotics 

Jorrit Water (funded by Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences). Working title: Improved intracellular delivery of antimicrobial peptides by nanomedicine

Mie Kristensen (funded by (mobility stipends) The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Center for Protein Research, Drug Research Academy). Working title: Non-injectable delivery of modified therapeutic peptides


Jesper Bahnsen (funded by Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences and University of Copenhagen). Working title: A mechanistic approach towards membrane interactions of antimicrobial peptides


Selected publications

  1. Published

    Ciprofloxacin-loaded sodium alginate/poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) electrospun fibrous mats for wound healing

    Liu, X., Nielsen, L. H., Klodzinska, S. N., Nielsen, H. M., Qu, H., Christensen, L. P., Rantanen, J. & Yang, M. Feb 2018 In : European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 123, p. 42-49

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. E-pub ahead of print

    The role of mucus as an invisible cloak to transepithelial drug delivery by nanoparticles

    García-Díaz, M., Birch, D., Wan, F. & Nielsen, H. M. 2018 In : Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    The impact of particle preparation methods and polymorphic stability of lipid excipients on protein distribution in microparticles

    Liu, J., Christophersen, P. C., Yang, M., Nielsen, H. M. & Mu, H. Dec 2017 In : Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy. 43, 12, p. 2032-2042 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Cellular effects and delivery propensity of penetratin is influenced by conjugation to parathyroid hormone fragment 1-34 in synergy with pH

    Kristensen, M., Nielsen, L. H., Zor, K., Boisen, A., Christensen, M. V., Berthelsen, J. & Nielsen, H. M. 2018 In : Bioconjugate Chemistry. 29, 2, p. 371-381

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Engineering of small interfering RNA-loaded lipidoid-poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) hybrid nanoparticles for highly efficient and safe gene silencing: A quality by design-based approach

    Thanki, K., Zeng, X., Justesen, S., Tejlmann, S., Falkenberg, E., Van Driessche, E., Nielsen, H. M., Franzyk, H. & Foged, C. Nov 2017 In : European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 120, p. 22-33 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    Innovative Methods and Applications in Mucoadhesion Research

    Mackie, A. R., Goycoolea, F. M., Menchicchi, B., Caramella, C. M., Saporito, F., Lee, S., Stephansen, K., Chronakis, I. S., Hiorth, M., Adamczak, M., Waldner, M., Nielsen, H. M. & Marcelloni, L. Aug 2017 In : Macromolecular Bioscience. 17, 8, 32 p., 1600534

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  7. Published

    Assessment of mucoadhesion using small deformation rheology revisited

    Harloff-Helleberg, S., Vissing, K. J. & Nielsen, H. M. Apr 2017 In : Nordic Rheology Society Annual Transactions. 25, p. 63 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

  8. Published

    Gendannelse af ødelagt væv med stamceller

    Møller, E. H., Wen, Y. & Nielsen, H. M. Dec 2011 In : Lægemiddelforskning. 2011, p. 13-15

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleCommunication

ID: 1299091