Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Mechanisms of health maintenance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   

Code Science Field
B000  Biomedical sciences   

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
homeostasis, food hygiene, bacterial adhesion, oxidative stress, ageing, mechanical control of posture and gait, healthy living environment, ecosystem services, health mechanisms
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (22)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22304  PhD Mojca Bavcon Kralj  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2021  190 
2.  15647  PhD Klemen Bohinc  Physics  Researcher  2017 - 2021  485 
3.  52566  PhD Darja Božič  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021  59 
4.  37417  PhD Mitja Drab  Physics  Researcher  2017  64 
5.  15074  PhD Raja Gošnak Dahmane  Neurobiology  Researcher  2017 - 2021  208 
6.  11790  PhD Tjaša Griessler Bulc  Biology  Head  2017 - 2021  499 
7.  27679  PhD Darja Istenič  Biology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  238 
8.  53477  Zala Jan  Public health (occupational safety)  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  28 
9.  52182  Marko Jeran    Technical associate  2018 - 2019  297 
10.  22776  PhD Mojca Jevšnik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2017 - 2021  573 
11.  52080  PhD Vito Kovač  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  17 
12.  05916  PhD Veronika Kralj Iglič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2017 - 2021  844 
13.  33872  PhD Marilyne Pflieger  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2017 - 2018  57 
14.  23172  PhD Borut Poljšak  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2017 - 2021  280 
15.  35550  PhD Franja Prosenc  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2021  65 
16.  53323  Anna Romolo    Technical associate  2019 - 2021  28 
17.  20840  PhD Darja Rugelj  Sport  Researcher  2017 - 2021  616 
18.  56175  PhD David Škufca  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021  40 
19.  31673  PhD Roman Štukelj  Sport  Researcher  2017 - 2021  112 
20.  53476  Urška Šunta  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  30 
21.  11539  PhD Polonca Trebše  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2017 - 2021  503 
22.  22443  PhD Renata Vauhnik  Neurobiology  Researcher  2017 - 2021  353 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0382  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Health Sciences  LJUBLJANA  1627155  14,513 
Growing urbanization, increasing resource consumption, climate changes, expensive and low quality food, ageing of the population and increase of stress-inducing factors require increasing flexibility of humans in their living environment. Holistic approach to health maintenance includes profound analysis of the environmental factors which affect health with the intention to explore the impact factors and mechanisms which are the most important for human wellbeing. Such approach leads to the concept of healthy living environment in the future. The focus will be the importance of food, food supplements, and lifestyle of the humans in relation to environment. The health mechanisms will be researched by developing new methods from the level of cells, tissues, organisms to social formations enabling deeper understanding of their important interlinkages. The work will be organized in four major pillars focusing on impacts on the homeostasis: (a) foods, (b) lifestyle, (c) environment, and (d) basic mechanisms. (a): The food production and food storage processes will be considered and optimized with considered hygiene standards. The effects of the food supplements on cell microvesiculation will be studied. (b): The mechanisms of motor control of posture and gait will be researched. The effects of different therapeutic procedures in homeostasis with a special emphasis on population ageing problems will be estimated. Specific procedures will be suggested in order to prevent falls and to create elderly-friendly living environment. Biomechanical aspects of posture and gait will be considered in healthy subjects and in patients (in particular, patients with cerebral palsy, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and joint dislocation). The release of endocannabinoids during physical exercise will be studied. (c): The impacts of various environmental factors on human health will be researched. The protection and rehabilitation of the environment and enhancement of ecosystem services will be suggested. Guidelines for healthy living environment oriented towards zero emissions will be developed. Features on the microscopic level will be studied. In particular, effects of physical exercise in different environment on cell microvesiculation will be considered. (d): Biophysical aspects of transmission of matter and information in the organism with special emphasis on the role of biological membranes and their nanostructures in these processes will be studied theoretically, experimentally and by clinical and population studies. On the basis of membrane properties, relevant biomarkers of homeostasis in isolates from body fluids will be determined. Bionanosensors will be developed based on interaction between organic and inorganic nanostructures or nanostructured surfaces.
Significance for science
Regarding the (a): food, (b): lifestyle, (c): environment and (d): basic mechanisms of homeostasis, the expected contributions will be: (a): We will continue with the research activities in the field of food safety at various stages of the food supply food (FSC) chain. The special focus will be on importance of continuous training for food handlers. Field of Food hygiene will be upgraded with a general and a specific food law. Development of new methods for assessment of oxidative stress. Description of interaction of microorganisms with surfaces. Obtaining new knowledge on hygiene through the interdependence of degradation processes and routes of pathogenic microorganisms. (b): Development of indices for early detection of fall-prone elderly, development of efficient fall prevention programme (Rugelj et al. 2016), development and evaluation of a web-based computer program for data analysis We will also develop exercise system for non operative treatment for anterior cruciate ligament (Vauhnik et al., 2015) and exercise models for decreasing the number of knee ankle injuries among athletes, develop a specific diagnostic tool for anterior cruciate ligament injury and develop screening test to identify those who has an increased risk for anterior cruciate ligament among athletes, using an innovative robotic technology. Development of mathematical models for assessment of biomechanical parameters (stresses, forces, load bearing areas) in joints and validation of the models by clinical studies. Pursuing mechanical hypothesis of etiology of various diseases (degeneration of joint cartilage, development of osteonecrosis, mechanisms of natural and artificial joint dislocation and endoprothesis wear). (c): Creation of new research directions, in the field of adaptive, resilient and green cities; healthy living environment, green infrastructure, ecosystem services; and closing material flows in order to promote circular economy. Development of innovative wastewater treatment technologies with nutrient recovery (acquaponic, biomass production, source separation and nutrient recovery from municipal and industrial wastewaters). Development of new analytical and measurement methods and techniques for identification of key environmental parameters with possibility of feedback control. Suggesting new possibilities and developing decision support systems for sustainable water management by a new generation of green technologies (treatment wetlands, algae based technologies, evapotranspiration systems) considering life cycle assessment (LCA) and health risk assessment. New treatment methods for swimming pool waters (physical and chemical approaches) which aim to disable microorganisms in water in a more “human friendly” way as well as to reduce in the consumption of chlorine as a residual disinfectant (AOX and THM). Determination and identification of various groups of disinfection products by performing the monitoring of microorganisms and various chemical pollutants (phosphorus, nitrogen compounds, organic pollutants) in conventional and biological swimming pools. We will evaluate the efficiency of technologies for water preparation for this specific purpose; investigations on stability of novel insecticides like ryanodines and identification of their degradation products under different natural and simulated conditions of chemical, photochemical and microbial degradation in different environmental compartments. (d): Results on cell-cell communication mechanisms will contribute to knowledge on physiological and pato-physiological processes such as cancer progression, spreading of inflammation and blood clot formation. In the field of theoretical biophysics the results of the project will contribute to elucidation of mediated interactions in living systems that could be relevant in suppression of nanovesiculation. Results will also contribute to the field of theoretical physics by further development of a density functional theory
Significance for the country
Quantification of nanovesiculation is potentially widely applicable diagnostic method for assessment of clinical status in health and disease in human and animals. On the market the appropriate equipment is not yet available while protocols for assessment of NVs are not yet standardized. In the case that we would be the first to develop the relevant equipment and protocols, we (and our partners from industry) would have no competition on the worldwide market. Developed diagnostic and therapeutic methods will slow down development of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes mellitus, and help to prevent thromboembolic events, which is favourable from the medical, social and economic point of view. Results will have a direct impact on health, life expectancy and quality of life of individuals, on quality of life of their families as well as positive ethical and economic impact on the society. The results regarding environmental factors will have a direct impact on the economy (industry, construction and communal companies) and society (healthy living environment at local, national level) through sustainable water supply, treating of municipal and industrial wastewaters, processing of biological wastes on different levels. This topic is promising in terms of new scientific achievements in the field of health, microbiological pollution, the emergency of cyanobacteria, and reducing allergic reactions, as well as in terms of regulation and management (energy efficiency). Results of the research could be used in the water preparation technology for conventional systems and thus reduce the intake of chemicals and minimize health problems of swimmers. In terms of development of new insecticides, coming to the market we expect that new data on their possible effects to the environment will help to reduce the harmful effects of their use in agriculture. Potential users of the results are beside to professional services at competent ministries also control laboratories. Knowledge of the degradation and mobility in combination with toxicity of ryanodine insecticides is a key importance for the effective control in areas such as water supply, plant protection, environmental protection and food quality. The research results will generate a body of knowledge about innovative and integrated (cross-sectoral) approaches for managing of water and nutrients at different scales towards a reduction of the ecological footprint of settlements, cities, regions and globally. Development of closed-loop concepts will also contribute to a new perception and understanding about the usage of wastewater and other types of waste. It will also help decision-makers who are faced with increasing complexity and uncertainty, to obtain scientific proved results regarding reuse of resources and its risk. The program will enable to fulfil the goals set by national and EU legislation in the area of renewable energy resources and sustainable technologies (Directive 2001/77/EEC), sustainable use of water sources (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC) sustainable wastewater management (Urban WW Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC), drinking water quality (Directive 80/778/EEC), nutrient recycling (Nitrates directive 91/676/EEC), and separation and re-use of waste (Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC). Program is consistent with the European strategy of development of rural regions (CAP, www.copa-cogeca.eu) and European Innovation Partnership in Water, which encourages innovative approach in the water sector and in the field of smart cities and communities. . The project results will contribute to following initiatives in the EU; Common Agricultural Policy, Environmental Policy, Roadmap to Resource Efficient Europe; Blueprint to Safeguard Resources in Europe; EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020, Climate change adaptation strategy, Smart Cities strategy in Europe especially those related to water reuse, ecosystem services and recovery of resources. Indirect effects include pr
Most important scientific results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
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