Elisa Parra

+45 65 504 767

Elisa Parra is a postdoctoral researcher at SPSE, currently involved on several projects based on applying the micropipette manipulation and other techniques to characterize interfacial and colloidal systems with special interest in biomedical or industrial applications, such as:

  • Measurement of surface tensions and surface characterization of interfacial systems like lung surfactants and other lipid- or detergent-based materials.
  • Studies on single microdroplets (oil-in-water or water-in-oil), including solvent dissolution, supersaturation, nucleation and growth of precipitates, crystals and amorphous materials.
  • Material properties and phase behaviour of hydrophobic microparticles prepared from multiphase or multicomponent systems used in our group as nanoparticle precursors or emulsifying systems, including drugs, lipids or polymers, studied at a single particle level.
  • Micromanipulation of single giant liposomes or cells.

She got a degree on Physics in 2007, a Master's Degree on Biomedical Physics in 2008, and a PhD degree with distinction cum laude at Complutense University (Madrid, Spain) in July 2013, with the Thesis titled "Effects of pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C on the physical properties of biological membranes". Elisa's research was mainly focused on membrane biophysics of lung surfactant, and particularly on the naturally-occurring hydrophobic lung surfactant proteins, having contributed to the understanding of the different effects that they originate in lipid membranes. These effects, likely related to their biological function and crucial for the design and development of lipid-protein mixtures modelling lung surfactant, included changes in membrane structure and connectivity, in membrane permeability towards ions and polar molecules, and in bilayer mechanical properties. They were investigated by employing different experimental approaches and techniques used in native and model membrane systems, such as fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, electrophysiological studies on planar lipid membranes and micropipette aspiration of giant vesicles.

Research Gate profile


  1. Elisa Parra, Pablo Hervella and David Needham, “Real-time visualization of the precipitation and phase behavior of octaethylporphyrin in lipid microparticles". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2017, in press. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2016.11.019

  2. Koji Kinoshita, Elisa Parra and David Needham, “New sensitive micro-measurements of dynamic surface tension and diffusion coefficients: Validated and tested for the adsorption of 1-Octanol at a microscopic air-water interface and its dissolution into water". Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2017 Feb 15;488:166-179. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2016.10.052

  3. Koji Kinoshita, Elisa Parra, Abdirazak Hussein, Anders Utoft, Prasad Walke, Robin de Bruijn and David Needham, “From single microparticles to microfluidic emulsification: Fundamental properties (solubility, density, phase separation) from micropipette manipulation of solvent, drug and polymer microspheres”. Special Issue “Emulsification Processes”, Journal Processes, 2016,4(4),49. doi: 10,3390/pr4040049

  4. Elisa Parra, Koji Kinoshita and David Needham,"A micropipette technique study of natural and synthetic lung surfactants at the air-water interface: The presence of a SP-B analog peptide promotes membrane aggregation, formation of tightly stacked lamellae and growth of myelin figures". Langmuir 2016 Sep. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b01420

  5. David Needham, Amina Arslanagic, Kasper Glud, Pablo Hervella, Leena Karimi, Poul Flemming Høilund-Carlsen, Koji Kinoshita, Jan Mollenhauer, Elisa Parra, Anders Utoft and Prasad Walke, “Bottom up design of nanoparticles (to eventually treat cancer): Put the drug in the cancer’s food”. Included in the Special issue in honor of Pieter Cullis, Life-time Achievement Award. Journal of Drug Targeting 2016 Sep 19:1-63. doi: 10.1080/1061186X.2016.1238092

  6. Pablo Hervella, Elisa Parra and David Needham, “Encapsulation and retention of chelated-copper inside hydrophobic nanoparticles: liquid cored nanoparticles show better retention than a solid core formulation”. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 2016 May;102:64-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2016.02.015

  7. Elisa Parra and Jesús Pérez-Gil, “Composition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films”. Review included in the special issue “Membrane mechanochemistry: From the molecular to the cellular scale”. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 2015 Jan;185: 153-75. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2014.09.002

  8. Stefano Gambera, Elisa Parra, Olga L Ospina, Elena López-Rodríguez, Manuel Bañó-Polo, Ismael Mingarro, Jesús Pérez-Gil, Antonio Cruz, "Membrane-Perturbing Activities of KL4-Related Surfactant Peptides". Conference paper, Biophysical Journal 2013 Jan 29;104(2):94a-95a. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.11.563

  9. Elisa Parra, Antonio Alcaraz, Antonio Cruz, Vicente M. Aguilella and Jesús Pérez-Gil, “Hydrophobic pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C induce pore formation in planar lipid membranes: evidence for proteolipid pores”. Biophysical Journal 2013 Jan 8;104(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.11.014

  10. Elisa Parra, Lara H-Moleiro, Ivan Lopez-Montero, Antonio Cruz, Francisco Monroy, Jesus Perez-Gil, "Effects of Hidrophobic Surfactant Proteins SP-B and SP-C on the Mechanical Properties and Structural Stability of Phospholipid Bilayers". Conference paper, Biophysical Journal 2012 Jan 31;102(3):491a. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.11.2692

  11. Elisa Parra, Lara H. Moleiro, Iván López-Montero, Antonio Cruz, Francisco Monroy and Jesús Pérez-Gil, “A combined action of pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C modulates permeability and dynamics of phospholipid membranes”. Biochemical Journal 2011 Sep 15;438(3):555-64. doi: 10.1042/BJ20110681

  12. Elisa Parra, Lara H Moleiro, Antonio Alcaraz, Ivan López-Montero, Antonio Cruz, Vicente M Aguilella, Francisco Monroy, Jesús Pérez-Gil, "Effect of Hydrophobic Surfactant Proteins SP-B and SP-C on the Permeability of Phospholipid Membranes". Conference paper, Biophysical Journal 2011 Feb 2;100(3):337a. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.12.2043