Spyridon Varlas

Spyridon Varlas

ORCID: 0000-0002-4171-7572

ResearcherID: O-2975-2016

Scopus Author ID: 57113719900

Spyridon is a 4th year Ph.D. student within the group. He was born and raised in Athens, Greece. He graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in 2014 with a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry. He then continued his studies at the NKUA under the supervision of Prof. Hermis Iatrou, where he obtained a 1st class M.Sc. degree in “Polymer Science and its Applications” in 2016. His research work was based on the design and preparation of hybrid multi-stimuli responsive polypeptide-based nanostructures for drug delivery applications. In September 2016, Spyridon started his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Rachel O’Reilly. His research project is focused on the synthesis and development of novel nanoreactors by RAFT- and ROMP-mediated polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) for biomedical applications and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).


20) Foster, J. C.; Grocott, M.; Arkinstall, L. A.; Varlas, S.; Redding, M.; Grayson, S.; O’Reilly, R. K. Manuscript submitted.

19) Varlas, S.; Lawrenson, S. B.; Arkinstall, L. A.; Foster, J. C.; O’Reilly, R. K. Self-Assembled Nanostructures from Amphiphilic Block Copolymers Prepared via Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP). Prog. Polym. Sci. 2020, Manuscript accepted.

18) Jimaja, S.; Varlas, S.; Xie, Y.; Foster, J. C.; Taton, D.; Dove, A. P.; O’Reilly, R. K. Nickel-Catalyzed Coordination Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Helical Poly(arylisocyanide)s. ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 226-232. (link)

17) Keogh, R.; Blackman, L. D.; Foster, J. C.; Varlas, S.; O’Reilly, R. K. The Importance of Cooperativity in Polymer Blending: Toward Controlling the Thermoresponsive Behavior of Blended Block Copolymer Micelles. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2020, 1900599. (link)

16) Varlas, S.; Keogh, R.; Xie, Y.; Horswell, S. L.; Foster, J. C.; O’Reilly, R. K. Polymerization-Induced Polymersome Fusion. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 20234-20248. (link)

15) †Karatzas, A.; †Haataja, J.; Skoulas, D.; Bilalis, P.; Varlas, S.; Apostolidi, P.; Sofianopoulou, S.; Stratikos, E.; Houbenov, N.; Ikkala, O.; Iatrou. H. Marcromolecular Architecture and Encapsulation of the Anticancer Drug Everolimus Control the Self-Assembly of Amphiphilic Polypeptide-Containing Hybrids. Biomacromolecules 2019, 20, 4546-4562. (link)

14) Varlas, S.; Foster, J. C.; O’Reilly, R. K. Ring-opening metathesis polymerization-induced self-assembly (ROMPISA). Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 9066-9071. (link)

13) Varlas, S.; Foster, J. C.; Georgiou, P. G.; Keogh, R.; Husband, J. T.; Williams, D. S.; O’Reilly, R. K. Tuning the membrane permeability of polymersome nanoreactors developed by aqueous emulsion polymerization-induced self-assembly. Nanoscale 2019, 11, 12643-12654. (link)

12) Varlas, S.; Foster, J. C.; Arkinstall, L. A.; Jones, J. R.; Keogh, R.; Mathers, R. T.; O’Reilly, R. K. Predicting Monomers for Use in Aqueous Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly. ACS Macro Lett. 2019, 8, 466-472. (link)

11) Foster, J. C.; Varlas, S.; Couturaud, B.; Coe, Z.; O’Reilly, R. K. Getting into Shape: Reflections on a New Generation of Cylindrical Nanostructures’ Self-Assembly using Polymer Building Blocks. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 2742-2753. (link)

10) †Couturaud, B.; †Georgiou, P. G.; Varlas, S.; Jones, J. R.; Arno, M. C.; Foster, J. C.; O’Reilly, R. K. Poly(Pentafluorophenyl Methacrylate)‐Based Nano‐Objects Developed by Photo‐PISA as Scaffolds for Post‐Polymerization Functionalization. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2019, 40, 1800460. (link)

9) Varlas, S.; Georgiou, P. G.; Bilalis, P.; Jones, J. R.; Hadjichristidis, N.; O’Reilly, R. K. Poly(Sarcosine)-Based Nano-Objects with Multi-Protease Resistance by Aqueous Photoinitiated Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (Photo-PISA). Biomacromolecules 2018, 19, 4453-4462. (link)

8) Foster, J. C.; †Varlas, S.; †Couturaud, B.; Jones, J. R.; Keogh, R.; Mathers, R. T.; O’Reilly, R. K. Predicting Monomers for use in Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 15733-15737. (link)

7) Varlas, S.; Blackman, L. D.; Findlay, H. E.; Reading, E.; Booth, P. J.; Gibson, M. I.; O’Reilly, R. K. Photoinitiated Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly in the Presence of Surfactants Enables Membrane Protein Incorporation into Vesicles. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 6190-6201. (link)

6) Foster, J. C.; Varlas, S.; Blackman, L. D.; Arkinstall, L. A.; O’Reilly, R. K. Ring‐Opening Metathesis Polymerization in Aqueous Media using a Macroinitiator Approach. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 10672-10676. (link)

5) †Blackman, L. D.; †Varlas, S.; Arno, M. C.; Houston, Z. H.; Fletcher, N. L.; Thurecht, K. J.; Hasan, M.; Gibson, M. I.; O’Reilly, R. K. Confinement of Therapeutic Enzymes in Selectively Permeable Polymer Vesicles by Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (PISA) Reduces Antibody Binding and Proteolytic Susceptibility. ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 718-723. (link)

4) Liarou, E.; Varlas, S.; Skoulas, D.; Tsimblouli, C.; Sereti, E.; Dimas, K.; Iatrou, H. Smart polymersomes and hydrogels from polypeptide-based polymer systems through α-amino acid N-carboxyanhydride ring-opening polymerization. From chemistry to biomedical applications. Prog. Polym. Sci. 2018, 83, 28-78. (link)

3) Blackman, L. D.; Varlas, S.; Arno, M. C.; Fayter, A.; Gibson, M. I.; O’Reilly, R. K. Permeable Protein-Loaded Polymersome Cascade Nanoreactors by Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly. ACS Macro Lett. 2017, 6, 1263-1267. (link)

2) Bilalis, P.; Tziveleka, L.-A.; Varlas, S.; Iatrou, H. pH-Sensitive nanogates based on poly(L-histidine) for controlled drug release from mesoporous silica nanoparticles. Polym. Chem. 2016, 7, 1475-1485. (link)

1) Bilalis, P.; Varlas, S.; Kiafa, A.; Velentzas, A.; Stravopodis, D.; Iatrou, H. Preparation of hybrid triple‐stimuli responsive nanogels based on poly(L‐histidine). J. Polym. Sci. Polym. Chem. Part A 2016, 54, 1278-1288. (link)

† Denotes equal author contribution

Membership of Professional Societies:

  • Royal Society of Chemistry – Member (MRSC)
  • Macro Group UK & Materials Chemistry Division (RSC) – Member
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) –  Member
  • Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering & Polymer Chemistry Divisions (ACS) – Member
  • Association of Greek Chemists – Member
  • Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) – Member
  • Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) – Member
  • European Microscopy Society (EMS) – Member
  • United Kingdom & Ireland Controlled Release Society (UKICRS) – Graduate Network Committee Member

Research Interests:

  • Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (PISA)
  • Controlled Radical Polymerization
  • Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP)
  • Polymeric Nanoreactors
  • Light-Mediated Polymerization
  • Polypeptide-based Nanostructures
  • Stimuli-Responsive Polymers
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM & cryo-TEM)