Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The amniotic membrane as a novel multimodal therapy for bacterial cystitis and bladder cancer: unravelling its antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and anticancer activity

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.01.00  Medical sciences  Microbiology and immunology   
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
amniotic membrane, bacterial cystitis, cancer, urinary bladder, high priority pathogens, microbiota, urine, bioinformatics tools, biomimetic models, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, urology
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (30)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19485  PhD Tomaž Accetto  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  178 
2.  24350  PhD Tjaša Cerar Kišek  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2020 - 2022  207 
3.  23503  Sanja Čabraja    Technical associate  2020 - 2023 
4.  14575  PhD Maja Čemažar  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,432 
5.  34354  PhD Urška Dragin Jerman  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  61 
6.  15873  PhD Mateja Erdani Kreft  Neurobiology  Head  2020 - 2023  410 
7.  25780  PhD Samo Hudoklin  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  109 
8.  51965  PhD Aleksandar Janev  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  25 
9.  19130  PhD Jera Jeruc  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  164 
10.  33227  PhD Tanja Jesenko  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2022  169 
11.  36366  PhD Špela Kos  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2022  81 
12.  36367  PhD Urša Lampreht Tratar  Oncology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  126 
13.  56647  Hristina Obradović  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
14.  17889  Nada Pavlica Dubarič    Technical associate  2020 - 2023 
15.  28393  PhD Nataša Resnik  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  88 
16.  11654  PhD Rok Romih  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  248 
17.  14504  PhD Katja Seme  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  706 
18.  08800  PhD Gregor Serša  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,515 
19.  33067  PhD Tomaž Smrkolj  Stomatology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  142 
20.  16064  PhD Marjanca Starčič Erjavec  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  444 
21.  34712  PhD Mojca Stojan Dolar  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2020 - 2023  71 
22.  25989  PhD Katja Strašek Smrdel  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2023  65 
23.  38479  PhD Aleksandra Šakanović  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  25 
24.  17885  Linda Štrus    Technical associate  2020 - 2023 
25.  33100  PhD Larisa Tratnjek  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  62 
26.  08279  PhD Peter Veranič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  359 
27.  20343  PhD Daša Zupančič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  89 
28.  19588  Sabina Železnik    Technical associate  2020 - 2023 
29.  39124  PhD Taja Železnik Ramuta  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2021  104 
30.  07042  PhD Darja Žgur Bertok  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Retired researcher  2020 - 2023  441 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,402 
2.  0302  Institute of Oncology Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5055733000  15,485 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,832 
The role of amniotic membrane (AM) is primarily to provide a suitable environment for the development of the fetus. Many of AM’s properties make it suitable for clinical use, namely it a) promotes wound healing, b) prevents inflammation and scarring, c) has low immunogenicity, and some studies also show that it has d) anticancer and e) antimicrobial properties. However, AM’s antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and anticancer efficacy has not yet been investigated in the field of urology. Bacterial cystitis is a disease, characterized by a significant increase in number of uropathogenic bacteria in the urine together with accompanying symptoms. It is one of the most common bacterial infections in humans and is also highly recurrent. Bacterial cystitis is becoming more and more problematic to treat due to the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in Europe and the 9th most common cancer worldwide. Its incidence is higher in the developed countries. Despite the advances in surgical and chemotherapeutic approaches, the prognosis of disease is still poor, mainly due to the high rates of tumour recurrence. The development of new antimicrobials and anticancer agents is therefore necessary. Aims of the project are therefore: 1) to investigate the multimodal role of AM on biomimetic in vitro models of bacterial cystitis and bladder cancer, and on an animal model that mimics the molecular, morphological and physiological characteristics of bladder cancer; 2) to determine cell-biological mechanisms of AM activity, evaluate the safety of its use and to record its immunomodulatory role on in vitro, in vivo and patient-derived models; 3) to investigate the microbiota in the bladder of the animal model and in the urine of patients with i) bacterial cystitis, ii) bladder cancer, iii) bladder cancer and bacterial cystitis, and iv) in the urine of healthy volunteers to determine the antimicrobial efficacy of AM against uropathogenic and WHO priority pathogens; 4) to determine the relationship between urinary microbiota and the likelihood of development of bacterial cystitis and / or bladder cancer, and to provide a safety assessment of the use of AM for potential clinical use. Organization and feasibility of the project The project is divided into four work packages (WP), the content of which is graphically depicted in Chapter 27. In order to achieve the objective of the project, the in vitro (WP1), in vivo (WP2) and ex vivo (WP3) studies will be interconnected and will feed the downstream dissemination and exploitation process (WP4). WP4 will contribute to the final evaluation of AM for clinical use and importantly, personalized medicine. The consortium provides complementary expertise, experience and equipment, without unnecessary duplication or overlap. The success of the project is also ensured by the selection of excellent researchers and state-of-the-art equipment. Originality and potential impact of expected results The emergence of bacterial cystitis with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and the incidence rates of bladder cancer in Europe and worldwide are increasing and our research will be immensely important, since it will 1) provide a new multimodal therapy for the treatment of bacterial cystitis and bladder cancer by employing antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and anticancer properties of AM and 2) contribute a safety assessment of the use of AM for potential clinical use. In 2017, the WHO published a list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. We therefore expect that the evaluation of AM's antimicrobial efficacy against high priority pathogens will contribute to important new knowledge leading to development of new antibiotics. In addition, the elucidation of the relationship between the microbiota in the urine and the likelihood of bacterial cystitis and / or bladder cancer development will be pioneering work and will provide the necessary knowledge in this fi
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