Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Bio-psycho-social model of quality of life

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
2.06  Engineering and Technology  Medical engineering  
Public health, advanced (bio)materials, 3D printing, in vitro models, meta-analyses, evidence-based medicine, e-health, paediatric population, the elderly, regenerative and reproductive medicine, metabolic disorders, clinical and functional nutrition, quality of life, medical education
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 21, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  640  11,273  10,379  16.22 
Scopus  637  14,198  13,234  20.78 
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  27593  PhD Sebastjan Bevc  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2022 - 2024  747 
2.  11945  PhD Dejan Dinevski  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  371 
3.  19125  PhD Jernej Dolinšek  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2022 - 2024  599 
4.  25683  PhD Hojka Gregorič Kumperščak  Psychiatry  Researcher  2022 - 2024  299 
5.  23215  PhD Evgenija Homšak  Microbiology and immunology  Technical associate  2022 - 2024  157 
6.  25641  PhD Miljenko Križmarić  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2022 - 2024  440 
7.  15998  PhD Nataša Marčun Varda  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2022 - 2024  466 
8.  33260  PhD Tina Maver  Medical sciences  Researcher  2022 - 2024  174 
9.  30850  PhD Uroš Maver  Medical sciences  Head  2022 - 2024  447 
10.  02057  PhD Dušanka Mičetić-Turk  Human reproduction  Researcher  2022 - 2024  1,112 
11.  50675  PhD Marko Milojević  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2022 - 2024  56 
12.  23187  MSc Faris Mujezinović  Oncology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  259 
13.  53046  PhD Jan Rožanc  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  34 
14.  29591  PhD Maja Šikić Pogačar  Human reproduction  Researcher  2022 - 2024  150 
15.  50432  PhD Matej Štuhec  Psychiatry  Researcher  2022 - 2024  226 
16.  53295  Tadej Tofant    Technical associate  2022 - 2024  12 
17.  27610  PhD Eva Turk  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2022 - 2024  147 
18.  50121  PhD Boštjan Vihar  Biology  Researcher  2022  61 
19.  36420  PhD Tanja Zidarič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2022 - 2024  41 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0334  University Medical Centre Maribor  Maribor  5054150000  22,561 
2.  2334  University of Maribor, Faculty of Medicine  Maribor  5089638048  15,978 
The program includes basic and applied research at the interface of public health and materials science, focusing on the interaction of different population groups with increasingly advanced materials with which they come into contact. Since this interaction significantly influences human health, living and overall integration, it is fundamental to the bio-psycho-social quality of life. Our results will help develop a knowledge society aligned with RISS21-30, Horizon Europe, and are complementary to the CRP program. The program includes evaluation of interactions during and outside of medical care (patient/medical staff/relatives contact) with ""materials"" used during this interaction (drugs, medical devices, sensors, implants, nutrition, etc.). It increasingly encompasses also contact and remote care based on modern ICT solutions. The main research areas/topics will be verified on three population groups (pediatric population, adults, and the elderly): 1) Introduction of modern methods in healthcare education and clinical practice. 2) Advanced in vitro tissue and disease models and regenerative medicine. 3) Modern functional and clinical nutrition. 4) Reproductive health and metabolic disorders. In the first topic, modern patient monitoring and health education methods will be developed. It includes advanced simulators, virtual and augmented reality, and modern approaches to health education. The program focuses on the exploitation of the latter in scientific, professional, and educational aspects. Furthermore, new solutions in the wider field of e-health, including remote patient care will be developed and evaluated. Demographic trends and the increase of non-communicable chronic diseases shape our second topic. The program group is among the most pervasive in the broader field of advanced in vitro tissue and disease models, focusing on understanding their physiological and pathological properties. The aim is to find novel and efficient therapeutic solutions, including such in regenerative medicine and for COVID-19. The third topic focuses on healthy, safe, and modern nutrition (functional, clinical). The development of both new in vitro (cell cultures) and in vivo (clinical trials) models, as well as designing laboratory forms of various important nutrients (e.g., cultured meat), is crucial, where the latter part overlaps nicely with the second topic. The fourth topic will focus on searching for new therapeutic solutions for diseases of the reproductive organs with a poor prognosis (e.g., triple-negative breast cancer) and/or metabolic disorders (e.g., celiac disease). The acquired knowledge will be used in the development of: i) new guidelines in the included populations, with the aim of improving their quality of life, ii) materials for biomedical use, and improved medical care, iii) modern nutritional trends to reduce the incidence of certain chronic diseases, iv) new therapeutic approaches in reproductive health and metabolic diseases.
Significance for science
New findings resulting from preclinical and clinical studies will be the basis for developing new therapeutic approaches, materials, and the basis for advanced basic research, which will integrate all the key areas in which researchers in the program group have the expertise and are focused on. The path towards final results will therefore include several steps. Initially, we will analyze the present state (based on tests on in vitro tissue and disease models, in the context of epidemiological and clinical studies, based on meta-analyzes, especially in the pediatric population and the elderly population), then we will improve our understanding and explain the results (basic research in the fields of medicine, materials, telemedicine, nutrition, etc.), and finally, we will develop appropriate solutions (the development of advanced and transferable therapeutic or nutritional solutions). In the follow-up, we will focus on raising the level of related knowledge at all levels of education. The basic/preclinical research part will be crucial for understanding specific diseases on the macro-, micro-, and nano-level (e.g., molecular pathophysiology of various diseases, approaches to effective remote monitoring of important signs of disease., etc.). This knowledge will be used to develop advanced laboratory disease models, allowing simplified yet still comprehensive simulation of clinical manifestations, enabling more efficient development of new therapeutic solutions. Since we will focus on both important aspects of in vitro testing (safety and efficiency), our solutions will be ready to transfer to clinical trials. Based on the new findings acquired in the steps mentioned above, we intend to develop new materials (functional diapers, food supplements, wound dressings, tissue fillers, drug delivery systems, (bio)sensors, implants, etc.), as well as appropriate technologies for their production with emphasis on improving the quality of life of patients in all stages of their treatment. We highlight some of the scientific contributions resulting from the work program of the group: o new insights in the development of advanced in vitro functional tissue and disease models, o new knowledge regarding the use of natural extracts in the treatment of various diseases, o new insights in the field of celiac disease (including participation in the development of new diagnostic tools for its identification), o new insights in the field of regenerative medicine (new multi-functional wound dressings and profound understanding of their functioning in contact with cells and tissues), o new solutions for monitoring patients remotely, o new solutions and knowledge transfer related to the use of advanced simulators in medicine, The acquired knowledge will contribute: o to the development of complementary scientific fields (e.g. materials science, information technology, other fields of medicine), o to new trends in education in medicine and related sciences, o to the development of a knowledge society. The program's content is aligned with the main objectives of Horizon Europe and the European Strategic Development Agenda (SRA - Strategic Research Agenda) and Slovenian strategic documents RISS21-30. The results will be published in the best indexed scientific journals. They will be presented at the most important international conferences, and in such a way enable the exchange of experiences and ideas with colleagues active in similar fields, which will increase the opportunities for complementary cooperation with foreign experts from various fields. This will also increase the possibility of our inclusion into different bilateral projects and EU research projects, as well as lead to partnerships with industry.
Significance for the country
Combination of epidemiological studies and meta-analyses with in vitro and in vivo studies in the laboratory and clinics is crucial for the introduction of new safe and effective therapeutic approaches into the clinical practice, and hence to benefit the patient. Improved quality of life that will result from the development of more efficient and patient-friendly therapeutic approaches, will significantly contribute also to the overall socio-economic impact of the programme group. At the same time, and within the scope of the proposed programme group topics, we strive to develop solutions that are also affordable. As such these will lead to savings for both, the institutional funds (hospitals and insurance companies), as well as for users/patients themselves. The results of the planned research will contribute to the enrichment of the Slovenian treasury of knowledge at the intersection of the fields of public health and the development of new materials for biomedical applications. The focus is on targeted areas of regenerative and reproductive medicine, nutrition, telemedicine and medical education, in all included population groups. With a quality interaction between different fields, mastered by programme group researchers, like materials science, public health, paediatrics, telemedicine, etc., the obtained results of will importantly affect and contribute to the spread of knowledge to other scientific disciplines. Applied knowledge acquired through research, will be a great fundament for the development of advanced products, processes and therapeutic approaches. The latter will be initially systematically screened in precisely planned epidemiological studies, in which we will try, apart from the evaluation of the present state, determine also the potential of already developed or prototype solutions. The interdisciplinary developed solutions, technologies and processes will enable novel discoveries also in other areas, e.g. in other branches of medicine, hygiene, information technology, microbiology, nutrition, cell biology, etc. New insights will be directly transferred into practice through our partners in several ongoing projects, either with the industry or with hospitals. Both types of partners represent the crucial final link in the value chain of our programme group orientation, since the represent a direct contact with the final user/patient. The solutions will also be good starting point to raise awareness in related industries, relying on advanced technologies, modern materials and new trends in therapy, and those that combine information technology with medicine. Within national and European projects with different partners, through functional training, joint degrees (e.g. master's and PhD), and based on various target research topics we will indirectly affect technological development and conversion of new knowledge/findings to clinical practice, as well as push related product development towards a higher efficiency and safety on one hand, and a greater added value on the other. This will positively contribute to raising the competitiveness of related (Slovenian and EU) economy (e.g. through sustainable production of high-tech products) and lead to more an efficient functioning of the health care system in Slovenia. The described orientation in our programme group has already led to some breakthrough results that are presently at the stage of clinical trials. Through organization of meetings, symposia, conferences, workshops and other forms of communication and transmission of knowledge (e.g. new learning content and subjects in the curricula) we will also contribute to raising awareness of future doctors, companies, as well as the public about available or planned advanced and sustainable solutions in medicine and related areas. All these activities can greatly contribute to the conversion of Slovenian small and medium-sized enterprises to manufacture products with a higher added value and thus to increase the competitiveness of Slovenian industry and to mitigate the effects of the recession to focus on sustainable development, improved health. Finally, such advanced products and sustainable solutions will contribute to achievement of a longer healthy period and a healthier overall ageing, and consequently, to a better quality of life. Finally, our research work will influence the development of undergraduate and postgraduate education and thereby substantially contribute to the development of the higher education system and thus to the creation of a knowledge society.
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