Research


Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-09-01 - 2018-08-31

Back4Future provides a platform to deepen the collaboration between the nanoscience and nanotechnology cluster in Brno with partners in the Vienna area: TU Wien and BOKU Wien. The project aims to find synergies of research´, and to both deepen and broaden the research areas in Brno. CEITEC is a highly successful advanced materials and technology center in Brno specialized on cutting edge applications of nanotechnology. Within the consortium the cutting edge infrastructure and expertise in this area is paired with advanced research in materials science and life sciences in the nanotechnology area at TU Wien and BOKU Wien. This should lead to increasing scientific capabilities, improving of innovation performance and maximizing chances to obtain competitive funding. Moreover, the innovation culture should be boosted in general, utilized in more intensive cooperation with high-tech companies and spread to substantially increased number of start-up companies in the South Moravia and nearby regions. We envisage extending these activities beyond the end of the Back4Future project and to the wider region, including Bratislava, Wroclaw and, possibly, Budapest, Linz, Graz and Prague. A tangible output from this TEAMING project is an application for a large-scale joint TEAMING project to be submitted to the call in 2018.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-03-01 - 2018-08-31

omposite polymer materials are a rapidly growing market. These materials are also strongly driving device and product innovation by allowing creation of multifunctional, light-weight and moldable components for various products from airplanes to electronics and textiles. We have invented new methods for scalable production of inorganic nanomaterials that allow us to control their distribution and properties in polymer materials. In short, we can mask functional nano- or microparticles by a thin surface coating such that it assumes the properties of the polymer (or environment) in which it should be processed. Thereby, they can be controllably mixed and organized into the polymer, which is essential to give the polymer material better or additional e.g. mechanical and optical properties. The method is nearly universal and incorporates an innovation that allows us to modify the surface of quantum dots and other nanoparticles with very precise optic, electric and magnetic properties without deleterious effect on those properties. Industrial partners from the polymer materials industry have shown great interest in these developments, with applications ranging from recycled to lighting and fire retardant polymer components, e.g. for the automotive industry. In NanoComSol we will develop industrially relevant application demonstrators that show how these innovations can further be used to create composite materials that have qualitatively new properties produced at industrial scale. Successful such demonstrations will lead to manufacturing of polymer composite materials as active instead of only passive optical, electrical and magnetic components, while reducing costs, environmental impact and materials use in production. NanoComSol thus applies ERC-funded innovations in nanomaterial synthesis to develop industrial scale production of advanced functional materials.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-03-01 - 2018-08-31

Functional investigations of membrane proteins require probing them in their native environment: the lipid bilayer. The presence of a lipid bilayer is required to ensure correct folding and function. Due to the fragility of membrane protein conformation, this tends to require either extremely complicated and case-by-case developed detergent assays to extract and reconstitute membrane proteins or the direct use of native membranes. Today, the majority of functional assays, e.g. for drug screening, are carried out using fluorescently labeled ligands directly on live cells; this limits investigations to affinity assays and with all the well-known drawbacks of false positives and non-quantitative response of fluorescence labels and cell systems. These limitations could be a reason for the increasingly severe failure of pharma to deliver new drugs, and is as well a strong driver of costs. I propose to explore recent advances from my institute and my own research to implement a surface-based membrane platform that could allow investigating membrane proteins reconstituted in liposomes or even directly from native liposomes extracted from cells, on a nanoplasmonic chip that also could allow functional studies and to do so without denaturing the membrane protein at the surface. The nanostructured and nanoplasmonic chip is being developed as a side-track in my current project, and recent results have led to the development of the hypotheses put forward in this proposal regarding improved methods to integrate transmembrane proteins into supported membrane sensor platforms. Using nanostructured chips I will in this project explore two promising and key technological steps: 1. The use of PEG-lipid and PEG-liposomes to facilitate rupture of native liposomes without denaturing membrane protein components and keep them functional and mobile in surface-based assays. 2. The selective fusion of membrane-protein containing vesicles over nanopores containing (nanoplasmonic and electrochemical) sensor elements. A completed project will result in increased understanding of interaction of liposomes with nanostructures and substrates functionalized on the nanoscale, i.e. nanoscale sensors. It will provide new tools for insertion of membrane proteins into surface-based sensor structures functionalized with membranes.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations