I am currently a post doctoral researcher at the Bio-Nanomaterial group at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. (since January 2016)
My main research activity is to study interactions of differently shaped nanoparticles with artificial and biological membranes using different methodological approaches.
Individual scientific approaches and findings have been described in various papers on the assessment of nanomaterial-membrane interactions, and majority of the work has been included in my PhD thesis entitled Interactions of different nanomaterials with artificial and biological lipid membranes (Slovenian language). Here, the synthesis of the proposed mechanisms governing interactions between nanomaterials and membranes is discussed in more details and the effects, observed at different levels of biological organization, are compared.
My experiences in testing nanoparticles include following methods:
- Light phase contrast microscopy and phospholipid vesicles (liposomes). In collaboration with Laboratory of Biophysics;
- Small Angle X-ray Scattering technique (SAXS) and multilamellar vesicles (MLVs). In collaboration with with dr. Michael Rappolt;
- In vivo and ex vivo studies with model digestive gland tissue of terrestrial invertebrate organism (Porcellio scaber, Isopoda, Crustacea);
- Biochemical sensor system: enzyme tests with Acetylcholinesterase. In collaboration with Departement of Biochemistry;
- Human red blood cells: isolation, sample preparation.
- In vitro methods on different human cell lines: hepatocytes, astrocytes, lung epithelium cells; using methods High Content Screening Analysis (HCA) , Flow cytometry, Immunoblotting, Epifluorescence microscopy, Confocal Microscopy. In collaboration with CBNI, UCD, Dublin, Ireland;
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Flourescence Spectroscopy. In collaboration with Department of Biochemistry and Food chemistry;
- Sample preparation for proteomics.
I graduated in Biology (September, 2010) from Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The title of the thesis is: The effect of nanoparticles C60 and CoFe2O4 on artificial phospholipid membranes.
In October, 2010 I enrolled in the interdisciplinary doctoral study Bioscience, research area Nanosciences, coordinated by the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana.
- (2014) Participation at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress (NanoTOX 2014) in Antalya. Student Fellowship Award.
- (2013) 15-day Transnational Access (QualityNano Research Infrastructure) at Centre for Bionano Interactions (CBNI), UCD, Dublin, Ireland (Quality Nano fellowship).
- (2012) Participation at the 6th Nanotoxicology Conference, September 4–7, 2012, Beijing China. Best Poster Award.
- (2012) 10-day Transnational Access (QualityNano Research Infrastructure) at Centre for Bionano Interactions (CBNI), UCD, Dublin, Ireland (Quality Nano fellowship).
- (February – May, 2011) Research at Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI), UCD , Dublin, Ireland: using In vitro methods HCA and Flow cytometry.
- (2010 – present) Research at the Beamline SAXS, c/o ELETTRA (Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A. di interesse nazionale, AREA Science Park, Basovizza, Trieste), in colaboration with with prof. dr. Michael Rappolt, Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystems Research (IBN), Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the Beamline SISSI (»Source for Imaging and Spectroscopic Studies in the Infrared«).
Methods and machines I specialize in::
- Light Microscopy and GUVs; cooperation in establishment of Standard Operation Procedure(SOP) for testing the biological potential of nanoparticles (biosensor-based, medium independent method);
- Ex vivo membrane destabilisation studies (AO/EB staining) of digestive glands (Porcellio scaber);
- Tissue culture laboratory establishemnt and different in vitro techniques.
- Human red blood cells: shape alterations upon contact with nanomaterials.