Ioannis Sadiktsis

Ioannis Sadiktsis


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för material- och miljökemi
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 16 C
Rum A320
Postadress Institutionen för material- och miljökemi 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

I was awarded my PhD in analytical chemistry at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) at Stockholm University in 2016. During my PhD studies I worked with the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in several different types of complex samples. My doctoral thesis was focused on traffic related particulate associated PAHs from biodiesel fuel combustion and tire tread wear.

Between 2017 and 2019 I worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at ACES/Science for Life Laboratory developing nontarget analytical methods for comprehensive characterization of air samples (particles and gases).

I started working at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) at Stockholm University in November 2019.

I'm also a board member of Svenska Luftvårdsföreningen.


My current research focus is on developing methods for chemical characterization of the organic composition of particulate matter which encompasses coupled chromatographic techniques for target analysis of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), and nontarget analytical workflows using high-resolution mass spectrometry.

Ongoing research projects

A new model for assessing cancer risks associated with air pollution mixtures
Formas DNr. 2019-00582, 20202022.


Air pollution and airborne particulate matter (PM) are classified as carcinogenic to humans, but these complex mixtures of multiple compounds makes quantitative risk assessment a challenge. Current strategies for cancer risk assessment of air pollution are based on a pollutant-by-pollutant approach. This is clearly a simplification which excludes the possibility of interaction effects and may misestimate the actual cancer risk. Here, we address this issue by developing new methodology for whole mixture-based cancer risk assessment of air pollution. The overall aim of this project is to combine state-of-the-art methods for analysis of chemical composition of urban, diesel and biomass burning PM with traditional and high throughput in vitro testing of native PM samples in order to generate Mixture Potency Factors (MPF) estimating the carcinogenic potency of the whole mixture. Our results show that MPFs based on whole mixtures better indicate cancer potency than looking at single pollutants. The project will develop an approach that can be used for assessment of total carcinogenic effects of air PM pollution both for larger city-wide and for smaller site-specific risk assessments. Ultimately, we will improve the cancer risk assessment of airborne PM by including the obtained knowledge about whole mixture potencies in already established models for estimation of lung cancer incidence in urban environments.

Project members:

Kristian Dreij (Principal Investigator), Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institute
Felipe De Oliveira Galvão, IMM, Karolinska Institute
Ulla Stenius, IMM, Karolinska Institute
Silvia Batistuzzo de Medeiros, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil,  Department of Cellular Biology and Genetics
Ioannis Sadiktsis, MMK, Stockholm University
Joakim Pagels, Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Lund University
Hanna Karlsson, IMM, Karolinska Institute


Screening of potentially toxic compounds and total toxicity of PM10 aerosols
Naturvårdsverket (Miljögiftssamordning), 20192020.

The purpose of this screening study is to assess spatial and temporal variations in oxidative stress, PAH, quinones and nitro-PAH in PM10 samples from rural, urban and traffic sites. One important question is if there is any relation between toxicity and concentrations of PAH, quinones and nitro-PAH. Other pollutants measured at these sites, like ozone, black carbon, PM10 and particle number concentration, will also be included in the evaluation.

Project members:

Christer Johansson (Project leader), ACES, Stockholm University
Zahra Hamzavi, ACES, Stockholm University
Ondrej Tesar, ACES, Stockholm University
Ioannis Sadiktsis, MMK, Stockholm University
Kristian Dreij, IMM, Karolinska Institute
Sanna Silvergren, SLB-analys


Chemical characterizations of diesel engine exhaust particles and its transformation products from renewable fuels
Formas DNr. 2018-00475, 20192021.


The link between ambient particle exposure and cardiopulmonary diseases, as well as lung cancer is well established from numerous of epidemiological studies. Although not fully understood, several important factors for particle toxicity have been suggested. These include particle size, surface reactivity, and organic composition. Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) has received special attention due to their carcinogenic properties and abilities to generate reactive oxygen species, thus being likely candidates among organic compounds that are driving the adverse health effects.

Vehicular traffic and in particular diesel engine exhaust is an important contributor to both fine particles and PACs in urban atmospheres. Thus, with the near future transition from fossil fuels to bio-based alternatives, implications to adverse health effects from these potentially new emissions needs to be further investigated.

This research proposal describes analytical workflows involving powerful instrumental techniques that enable us to thoroughly characterize the chemical composition of heavy-duty-diesel emission particles. Planned investigations on the how the emissions change with different biofuels, atmospheric aging and the use of emissions control techniques is expected to generate valuable data for improving future health risk assessments, air pollution modelling, and emission mitigation strategies where the long-term goal is to improve the public health.

Project members:

Ioannis Sadiktsis (Principal Investigator), MMK, Stockholm University
Joakim Pagels, Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Lund University



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2020. Hwanmi Lim (et al.). Science of the Total Environment

    Children spend a significant amount of their day in preschool; thus, environmental quality at preschools may have an impact on children’s health. In the present study, we analyzed polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including PAHs, alkylated PAHs and oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs), in indoor and outdoor air particulate matter (PM10) and indoor dust at preschools in Stockholm, Sweden. There were significant correlations between PAC levels in outdoor and indoor PM10, with in general higher PAC levels outdoors. Fluoranthene and pyrene were detected at highest levels in all sample types, although phenanthrene and methylated phenanthrene derivatives also were found at high levels in indoor dust. In addition, the highly carcinogenic PAHs 7H-benzo[c]fluorene, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, benz[j]aceanthrylene, and dibenzo[a,l]pyrene were detected in some samples. Benzanthrone was the most prevalent OPAH in PM10 samples and 9,10-anthraquinone in indoor dust. Based on diagnostic ratios and Positive Matrix Factorization we identified vehicle emission and biomass burning as important PAC sources for all samples analyzed. However, poor correlation between PAC levels in indoor PM10 and indoor dust suggested additional sources for the latter. Measuring activation of DNA damage signaling in human cells exposed to organic extracts of the samples indicated substantial genotoxic potential of outdoor PM10 and indoor dust. Determination of benzo[a]pyrene equivalents demonstrated that the highly potent PAHs benz[j]aceanthrylene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene contributed more than 20% to the total carcinogenic potency of the samples. We conclude that PAC levels at Stockholm preschools are relatively low but that outdoor air quality may impact on the indoor environment.

  • 2019. Marcos Felipe de Oliveira Galvão (et al.). Environmental Pollution

    Approximately 3 billion people world-wide are exposed to air pollution from biomass burning. Herein, particulate matter(PM) emitted from artisanal cashew nut roasting, an important economic activity worldwide, was investigated. This study focused on: i) chemical characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and oxygenated (oxy-) PAHs; ii) intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS); iii) genotoxic effects and time- and dose-dependent activation of DNA damage signaling, and iv) differential expression of genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, inflammation, cell cycle arrest and DNA repair, using A549 lung cells. Among the PAHs, chrysene, benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), benzo[b]fluoranthene, and benz[a]anthracene showed the highest concentrations (7.8–10 ng/m3), while benzanthrone and 9,10-anthraquinone were the most abundant oxy-PAHs. Testing of PM extracts was based on B[a]P equivalent doses (B[a]Peq). IC50 values for viability were 5.7 and 3.0 nM B[a]Peq at 24 h and 48 h, respectively. At these low doses, we observed a time- and dose-dependent increase in intracellular levels of ROS, genotoxicity (DNA strand breaks) and DNA damage signaling (phosphorylation of the protein checkpoint kinase 1 – Chk1). In comparison, effects of B[a]P alone was observed at micromolar range. To our knowledge, no previous study has demonstrated an activation of pChk1, a biomarker used to estimate the carcinogenic potency of PAHs in vitro, in lung cells exposed to cashew nut roasting extracts. Sustained induction of expression of several important stress response mediators of xenobiotic metabolism (CYP1A1, CYP1B1), ROS and pro-inflammatory response (IL-8, TNF-α, IL-2,COX2), and DNA damage response (CDKN1A and DDB2) was also identified. In conclusion, our data show high potency of cashew nut roasting PM to induce cellular stress including genotoxicity, and more potently when compared to B[a]P alone. Our study provides new data that will help elucidate the toxic effects of low-levels of PAH mixtures from air PM generated by cashew nut roasting.

  • 2018. Ahmed Ramzi (et al.). Journal of Chromatography A 1566, 102-110

    A two-dimensional non-comprehensive high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) system coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of skin allergenic hydroperoxides of limonene and linalool. These compounds are some major components behind skin sensitization and contact (skin) allergy to fragrances.

    Fragrance hydroperoxides usually occur in complex compositions, often as constituents of the natural essential oils added to a large number of commercial products. Their similarities to interfering compounds, many with identical elemental composition, make the determination difficult even when using selective detection methods like mass spectrometry. In this work, a first-dimension chromatographic heart-cut isolation of the hydroperoxides on a reversed-phase HPLC system was combined with a second-dimension normal-phase HPLC system for separation of the hydroperoxides. The intersystem transfer was made by trapping the heart-cut fraction on a short graphitized carbon column, exchanging the mobile phase and back-flushing the hydroperoxides into the second dimension.

    Each analysis was performed within 60 min without any pretreatment, except dilution, prior to injection. The obtained instrumental limits of detection (LODs) at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3 were lower than 1.2 ng injected on column and method LODs were below 0.3 ppm. An after-shave product was shown to contain the highest concentrations of the measured hydroperoxides, with 445 ± 23 ppm of total linalool hydroperoxides. This level is likely able to elicit skin reactions in already sensitized individuals.

  • 2017. Ingeborg E. Nielsen (et al.). Atmospheric Environment 165, 179-190

    Time-resolved particle emissions from a conventional wood stove were investigated with aerosol mass spectrometry to provide links between combustion conditions, emission factors, mixing state of refractory black carbon and implications for organic tracer methods. The addition of a new batch of fuel results in low temperature pyrolysis as the fuel heats up, resulting in strong, short-lived, variable emission peaks of organic aerosol-containing markers of anhydrous sugars, such as levoglucosan (fragment at m/z 60). Flaming combustion results in emissions dominated by refractory black carbon co-emitted with minor fractions of organic aerosol and markers of anhydrous sugars. Full cycle emissions are an external mixture of larger organic aerosol-dominated and smaller thinly coated refractory black carbon particles. A very high burn rate results in increased full cycle mass emission factors of 66, 2.7, 2.8 and 1.3 for particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, refractory black carbon, total organic aerosol and m/z 60, respectively, compared to nominal burn rate. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are primarily associated with refractory black carbon-containing particles. We hypothesize that at very high burn rates, the central parts of the combustion zone become air starved, leading to a locally reduced combustion temperature that reduces the conversion rates from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to refractory black carbon. This facilitates a strong increase of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions. At nominal burn rates, full cycle emissions based on m/z 60 correlate well with organic aerosol, refractory black carbon and particulate matter. However, at higher burn rates, m/z 60 does not correlate with increased emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, refractory black carbon and organic aerosol in the flaming phase. The new knowledge can be used to advance source apportionment studies, reduce emissions of genotoxic compounds and model the climate impacts of refractory black carbon, such as absorption enhancement by lensing.

  • 2016. Robin Nyström (et al.). Fuel 186, 261-269

    A major contributor to ambient particulate air pollution is exhaust from diesel engines and other vehicles,which can be linked to different adverse health effects. During the last decades, a global drive towardsfinding sustainable and clean bio-based alternative fuels for the transport sector has taken place and biodieselis one of the most established alternatives today. To better assess the overall effects on a publichealth level when introducing biodiesel and other renewable fuels, a better understanding of the detailedexhaust particle properties, is needed. In this work, the physical and chemical properties of biodieselexhaust particles were studied in comparison to standard diesel exhaust emissions, in an existing enginewithout modifications, focusing on particulate carbonaceous matter and PAH/Oxy-PAH as well as fineparticle size distribution. An older off-road engine, produced between 1996 and 2004, was used withthree different fuels/fuel blends; (1) 100 wt% low-sulfur standard petro diesel (SD), (2) 100 wt% rapeseedmethyl ester biodiesel (B100) and (3) a blended fuel – B30 consisting of 30 wt% RME and 70 wt% SD. Thestudy focused mainly on emissions from transient engine operation, but includes also idling conditions.The gaseous emissions measured for the biodiesel fuel were in general in accordance with previousreported data in the literature, and compared to the standard petro diesel the emissions of CO was lowerwhile NOx emissions increased. The particulate mass concentration during transient operation wasalmost halved compared to when petro diesel was used and this was associated with a decrease in averageparticle size. The shift in particle mass and size was associated with a higher fraction of organic matterin general, considerable less PAH’s but a relative higher fraction of Oxy-PAH’s, when shifting frompetro diesel to biodiesel.

  • 2016. Ioannis Sadiktsis (et al.). Science and Technology for the Built Environment 22 (3), 346-355

    Humans spend most of their lives in indoor environments; hence, indoor exposure to air pollution may constitute a large part of the total exposure to air pollution. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are well known for their mutagenicity and carcinogenicity and are ubiquitous in urban environments as a result of combustion from e.g. vehicular traffic. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated to air particulate matter in indoor environments originates from several sources including: cooking and heating, outdoor sources, smoking, candle and incense burning. Infiltration has been suspected to be one major source of indoor polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In this study, four different air filter materials intended for mechanical ventilation were tested for their capability to remove particle bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other genotoxic compounds from a real urban aerosol. Particles were sampled at two highly trafficked locations in Stockholm using a sampling system capable of sample particles in parallel, thus allowing sampling of filtered and un-filtered air simultaneously. The sampled particles were extracted and analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the genotoxicity of the organic extract was determined using Ames mutagenicity tests. Each air filters capability of removing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and reducing genotoxic effects was determined by comparing the filtered and un-filtered air samples. The results showed that all air filter materials had the capability of removing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and reduce genotoxic effects downstream the air filter, and that the magnitude of the reduction was correlated with the standardized particulate collection efficiencies of a 0.4 μm particles for the tested air filter materials. However, the filter with the lowest performance did not significantly reduce direct acting mutagens.

  • 2014. Petter Olsson (et al.). Journal of Chromatography A 1360, 39-46

    The retention characteristics of the major lipid components in biodiesels and edible oils as well as representative polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs) have been investigated on five different normal phase HPLC stationary phases, in order to optimize class separation for an automatized online HPLC cleanup of PAHs prior GC-MS analysis. By stepwise comparison of different hexane/MTBE compositions as mobile phases on cyano-, phenyl-, pentabromobenzyl-, nitrophenyl- and amino- modified silica columns, the capacity and selectivity factors for each analyte and column could be calculated. It was concluded that the most suitable column for backflush isolation of PAHs in biodiesel and edible oil matrices was the pentabromobenzyl-modified silica (PBB). A previously described online HPLC-GC-MS system using the PBB column was then evaluated by qualitative and quantitative analysis of a biodiesel exhaust particulate extract and a vegetable oil reference material. The GC-MS full scan analysis of the biodiesel particulate extract showed that the lipids had been removed from the sample and a fraction containing PAHs and oxygenated derivatives thereof had been isolated. Quantified mass fractions of PAHs of the reference material BCR-458 agreed well for most of the certified PAH mass fractions in the spiked coconut oil reference material.

  • 2014. Amanda L Hunter (et al.). Particle and Fibre Toxicology 11 (62)


    Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in fire fighters and has been linked with exposure to air pollution and fire suppression duties. We therefore investigated the effects of wood smoke exposure on vascular vasomotor and fibrinolytic function, and thrombus formation in healthy fire fighters.


    In a double-blind randomized cross-over study, 16 healthy male fire fighters were exposed to wood smoke (~1 mg/m3 particulate matter concentration) or filtered air for one hour during intermittent exercise. Arterial pressure and stiffness were measured before and immediately after exposure, and forearm blood flow was measured during intra-brachial infusion of endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilators 4–6 hours after exposure. Thrombus formation was assessed using the ex vivo Badimon chamber at 2 hours, and platelet activation was measured using flow cytometry for up to 24 hours after the exposure.


    Compared to filtered air, exposure to wood smoke increased blood carboxyhaemoglobin concentrations (1.3% versus 0.8%; P < 0.001), but had no effect on arterial pressure,augmentation index or pulse wave velocity (P > 0.05 for all). Whilst there was a dose-dependent increase in forearm blood flow with each vasodilator (P < 0.01 for all), there were no differences in blood flow responses to acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside or verapamil between exposures (P > 0.05 for all). Following exposure to wood smoke, vasodilatation tobradykinin increased (P = 0.003), but there was no effect on bradykinin-induced tissue-plasminogen activator release, thrombus area or markers of platelet activation (P > 0.05 for all).


    Wood smoke exposure does not impair vascular vasomotor or fibrinolytic function, or increase thrombus formation in fire fighters. Acute cardiovascular events following firesuppression may be precipitated by exposure to other air pollutants or through other mechanisms, such as strenuous physical exertion and dehydration.

  • 2014. Ioannis Sadiktsis (et al.). Fuel 115, 573-580

    The fuel impact on the emission of more than 40 particulate associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the molecular weight range 178–302 Da were investigated. The fuels; neat diesel (EN 590), rape seed methyl ester (B100) and a 30% w/w blend thereof (B30) were tested on a portable power generator without any exhaust aftertreatment. Gaseous emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were measured along with particulate emissions and its size distribution for the different fuels. Collected diesel particles were extracted using pressurized fluid extraction and analyzed using an online hyphenated liquid chromatography–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry system.

    The neat B100 and the B30 fuel produced less CO and total PAHs while the emissions of NOx and particulate matter increased compared with petroleum diesel fuel per kW h. The reduction of PAH emissions of the alternative diesel fuels were 36% and 70% for B30 and B100 respectively. While the PAH profiles for the neat diesel fuel and B30 were similar, the profile of B100 differed in the sense that the emission contained a higher percentage of PAHs with higher molecular weights. The emission of these PAHs was however larger using the neat diesel fuel with the exception for some of these higher molecular weight PAHs of which there was an increased emission using B100. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed that the collected particles from B100 contained a substantial amount of volatile components. A mass spectrometric full scan analysis suggests that these volatile components are in fact unburned or partially-burned fuel constituents.

    It is concluded that the particles originating from biodiesel combustion might be very different from those originating from petroleum diesel combustion which places new demands on the development of measurement methodologies originally developed for particulate emissions from petroleum-based fuels.

  • 2014. Rozanna Avagyan (et al.). Environmental science and pollution research international 21 (19), 11580-11586

    Urban particulate matter (PM), asphalt, and tire samples were investigated for their content of benzothiazole and benzothiazole derivates. The purpose of this study was to examine whether wear particles, i.e., tire tread wear or road surface wear, could contribute to atmospheric concentrations of benzothiazole derivatives. Airborne particulate matter (PM10) sampled at a busy street in Stockholm, Sweden, contained on average 17 pg/m3 benzothiazole and 64 pg/m3 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, and the total suspended particulate-associated benzothiazole and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole concentrations were 199 and 591 pg/m3, respectively. This indicates that tire tread wear may be a major source of these benzothiazoles to urban air PM in Stockholm. Furthermore, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole was determined in urban air particulates for the first time in this study, and its presence in inhalable PM10 implies that the human exposure to this biocide is underestimated. This calls for a revision of the risk assessments of 2-mercaptobenzothiazole exposure to humans which currently is limited to occupational exposure.

  • 2013. Rozanna Avagyan (et al.). Journal of Chromatography A 1307, 119-125

    A high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method utilizing electrospray ionization in positive and negative mode has been developed for the separation and detection of benzothiazole and benzotriazole derivates. Ultra-sonication assisted solvent extraction of these compounds has also been developed and the overall method demonstrated on a selected clothing textile and an automobile tire sample. Matrix effects and extraction recoveries, as well as linearity and limits of detection have been evaluated. The calibration curves spanned over more than two orders of magnitude with coefficients of correlation R2 > 0.99 and the limits of detection and the limits of quantification were in the range 1.7–58 pg injected and 18–140 pg/g, respectively. The extraction recoveries ranged between 69% and 102% and the matrix effects between 75% and 101%. Benzothiazole and benzotriazole derivates were determined in the textile sample and benzothiazole derivatives determined in the tire sample with good analytical performance.

  • 2012. Ioannis Sadiktsis (et al.). Environmental Science and Technology 46 (6), 3326-3334

    Eight tires were analyzed for 15 high molecular weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAN), using pressurized fluid extraction. The variability of the PAIR concentrations determined between different tires was large; a factor of 22.6 between the lowest and the highest. The relative abundance of the analytes was quite similar regardless of tire. Almost all (92.3%) of the total extractable PAH content was attributed to five PAHs: benzo[ghi]perylene, coronene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, benzo[e]pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene. The difference in the measured PAIR content between summer and winter tires varied substantially across manufacturers, making estimates of total vehicle fleet emissions very uncertain. However, when comparing different types of tires from the same manufacturer they had significantly (p = 0.05) different PAH content. Previously, there have been no data available for carcinogenic dibenzopyrene isomers in automobile tires. In this study, the four dibenzopyrene isomers dibenzo[a,l]pyrene, dibenzo[a,e]pyrene, dibenzo[a,i]pyrene, and dibenzo[a,h]pyrene constituted <2% of the sum of the 15 analyzed HMW PAHs. These findings show that automobile tires may be a potential previously unknown source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes to the environment.

  • 2011. Yasar Thewalim, Ioannis Sadiktsis, Anders Colmsjö. Journal of Chromatography A 1218 (31), 5305-5310

    The retention times of selected compounds in temperature programmed gas chromatography were predicted using a two-parameter model, on the basis of thermodynamic data obtained from isothermal runs on seven capillary columns, primarily substituted with 5% diphenylsiloxane. The scope for using thermodynamic data obtained from isothermal runs on one column to optimize separation on a different column or a different instrument setup was investigated. Additionally, the predictive utility of thermodynamic data obtained using a DB-5 column that had been in use for three years was compared to that of a new column of the same model. It was found that satisfactory separation could be achieved on one capillary column or instrument setup on the basis of thermodynamic data obtained using a different column or instrument set-up.

Visa alla publikationer av Ioannis Sadiktsis vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 5 februari 2021

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