Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Bioactive, in situ modified, fibrous membranes based on bacterial cellulose: processing, characterisation and assessment of biomedical potential

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.14.02  Engineering sciences and technologies  Textile and leather  Textile chemistry 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
bacterial cellulose, bio textile, acetic acid bacteria, carbon source, protein-peptide conjugates, microparticles, biomedical application
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  55077  Eva Cepec  Biology  Technical associate  2021 - 2024  13 
2.  34276  PhD Andreja Dobaj Štiglic  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  42 
3.  34354  PhD Urška Dragin Jerman  Oncology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  62 
4.  15873  PhD Mateja Erdani Kreft  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  416 
5.  07004  PhD Darinka Fakin  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2024  328 
6.  32136  PhD Selestina Gorgieva  Materials science and technology  Head  2020 - 2024  204 
7.  52025  PhD Maša Hren  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2023 - 2024  26 
8.  27558  PhD Silvo Hribernik  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2024  302 
9.  25780  PhD Samo Hudoklin  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  111 
10.  50281  Urška Jančič  Textile and leather  Junior researcher  2020 - 2024  37 
11.  24332  PhD Manja Kurečič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  231 
12.  22407  PhD Alenka Ojstršek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2024  213 
13.  52595  Azra Osmić  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2021  14 
14.  28393  PhD Nataša Resnik  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  91 
15.  07814  PhD Karin Stana Kleinschek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2024  1,118 
16.  34712  PhD Mojca Stojan Dolar  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2020 - 2023  71 
17.  38479  PhD Aleksandra Šakanović  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  25 
18.  14279  PhD Janja Trček  Biotechnology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  200 
19.  08279  PhD Peter Veranič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  360 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  24,088 
2.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,720 
3.  0796  University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  Maribor  5089638003  27,664 
4.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051  18,160 
Bacterial Cellulose (BC) is an ultrafine, nanofibrillar material, produced by acetic acid bacteria strains, offering an exclusive combination of properties (high crystallinity and surface area, purity, flexibility and tensile strength, water holding capacity, etc.). According to ProMarket Research, the global market of BC was valued at ~ 225 M EUR in 2017, with the expectation to reach ~ 600 M EUR by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 13.3% during 2018-2025. The biosynthesis of BC conforms fully to green chemistry principles, fitting well with the goals of the circular economy, waste minimisation and reuse, all highlighting the importance of engaging effort in BC production and utilisation, especially in high value markets, such as medical. However, BC production is highly expensive; the major costs are allocated to processing media and the carbon source (accounting for 30%). The industrial and agricultural wastes and by-products have been proposed as more economical alternatives. Another significant drawback of BC is its lack of bioactivity, being essential for medical application, for which diverse modification pathways are proposed. Within this context, the project aims to develop bioactive, nanofibrillar membrane based on BC as a new bio textile for biomedical application, i) Utilising grape pomace waste from wine production as an alternative carbon source and ii) Including innovative bioactive protein-peptide conjugates, in situ (during BC cultivation) The bioactive conjugate will be prepared by covalent coupling of the antimicrobial agent nisin and extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, forming a protein-peptide conjugate with improved stability and antimicrobial activity, in free-form, or in the form of microparticles. While the selection of ECM protein will secure an initially positive cell response, the rationality behind using nisin as a GRAS- regulated antimicrobial peptide is its activity against pathogenic oral bacteria, which elevates the potential for future translational study. Two demonstrators will justify the relevance for specific application in regenerative medicine, as an antimicrobial membrane for periodontal defect treatment. The same will encompass the complementary cytotoxicity testing using human cell lines, the antimicrobial activity testing against pathogenic oral bacteria (related to periodontal disease), degradation, as well as the mineralisation aspect of the membranes. The project fits well to the National and EU political frameworks: 1) To thematic priority of 2 clusters within the second pillar of the Horizon Europe framework (2021-2028 period), which considers bio economy and natural resources from one side and health on another, and 2) To the Slovenian Development Strategy (to 2030), where a Highly productive economy creates added value for all, and an Inclusive, healthy, safe and responsible society are 2 orientations where the topic belongs. The success of this trans-disciplinary project is guaranteed by the topic-related expertise and complementary knowledge of the research teams, the FS and FERI in Material Science and Chemistry, FNM in Biotechnology and Microbiology, and MF in Cell and Molecular biology. Direct impact is foreseen by i) Revalorisation of grape waste from the wine industry as an alternative carbon source in BC culture media and ii) The development of new, BC-based bio textile as a whole platform for products with high added value. The dissemination of gained knowledge and results through scientific papers, innovation(s) or patent(s) and presentations at world-recognised international conferences will contribute to institutional recognition, improving international and interdisciplinary collaborations. Indirect benefit is foreseen by the establishment of cooperation between research groups, gaining experience in the realisation of such interdisciplinary study and forming a basis for future research activities. Nonetheless, the post-project translational study, as a long t
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