Philip Demokritou

Short Bio

Dr Demokritou has been one of the PI’s of the Harvard/US EPA Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects and participated in many international Particle Health Effect field studies (US, Chile, Finland, Greece, Kuwait, Cyprus). Dr. Demokritou and his team have developed over the years many instruments and patented methods focusing on the physico-chemical and biological characterization of particles. These novel techniques have been used extensively by human exposure assessors in United States and worldwide and helped to advance the field of particle health effects. Dr. Demokritou also led the efforts of Harvard School of Public Health at international level and help establishing graduate level Environmental Health Programs in Europe (Cyprus). He is a co-author of two books, book chapters and numerous articles in leading journals in the particle health effect and aerosol engineering fields. Dr Demokritou is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard School of Public Health. He is also the Director of the Environmental Health Nanoscience Laboratory and the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Research Interests

Dr Demokritou’s research interests are primarily in the areas of Aerosol Science and Technology and Particle Health Effects, focusing on the sources, transport, and fate of particles in environmental and biological media. His diverse research activities include among others:

  1. Environmental naotechnology
  2. Environmental health and safety of engineered nanoparticles and nanotechnology in general
  3. Development of particle methods and systems for the physico-chemical and toxicological characterization of aerosols
  4. Development of advanced numerical models using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to investigate transport and fade of air pollutants in the built environment
  5. Participation in particle health effect  studies both at national and  international levels (US, Chile, Athens- Greece, Kuwait, Cyprus).

Center Involvement

  1. Particle to particle and particle to cell interactions in physiologic fluids using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
  2. Safe by design: Demonstrating the efficiency of a safer formulation concept for flame-generated engineered nanomaterials (ENMs)
  3. Acute inhalation study of realistic nano scale CeO2 using the Harvard VENGES toxicological platform
  4. A novel method for bacteria inactivation in air and on surfaces using Engineered Water Nanostructures. 
  5. Wound healing of human corneal epithelial cells is impacted by nanoparticles 
  6. Synthesis and Characterization of Zno and SiO2 coated ZnO Nanoparticles for Biological Applications 


  1. Demokritou P, Gass S., Pyrgiotakis G, Cohen J., Goldsmith W., McKinney W., Frazer D, Ma J.,  Schwegler-Berry D., Brain J., Castranova V. An in vivo and in vitro toxicological characterization  of realistic nanoscale CeO2 inhalation exposures. Nanotoxicology 2012, DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2012.739665
  2. Pyrgiotakis G., McDevitt J., Yamauchi T., Demokritou P.  A novel method for bacteria inactivation using electrosprayed engineered water nanostructures.  Journal of Nanoparticle Research 2012; vol.14, number 8, DOI: 10.1007/s11051-012-1027-x
  3. Bello D, Martin J, Santeufemio C., Sun Q., Bunker K., Shafer M. and Demokritou P. Physico-chemical and morphological characterization of   nanoparticles emitted from photocopiers: Implications for Environmental Health. Nanotoxicology 2012, DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2012.689883.
  4. Cohen J, DeLoid G, Pyrgiotakis G, Demokritou P. Interactions of engineered nanomaterials in physiological media and the implications for in vitro dosimetry.   Nanotoxicology  2012, DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2012.666576.
  5. Sotiriou G., Diaz E.,  Godleski J., Brain J., Pratsinis S., Demokritou P. A novel platform for pulmonary and cardiovascular toxicological characterization of inhaled engineered nanomaterials.  Nanotoxicology 2011, DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2011.604439, 2011.