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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Polimeri in polimerni materiali s posebnimi lastnostmi (Slovene)

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18145  PhD Gabriela Ambrožič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  62 
2.  08675  PhD Alojz Anžlovar  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  182 
3.  26505  PhD Blaž Brulc  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2009 - 2010  22 
4.  31968  PhD Sašo Čebašek  Chemistry  Beginner researcher  2014  12 
5.  30844  PhD Nataša Čuk  Materials science and technology  Beginner researcher  2009 - 2014  55 
6.  10692  PhD Miroslav Huskić  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  320 
7.  27687  PhD Edita Jasiukaityte  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2012  136 
8.  21173  PhD Marjan Ješelnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2012 - 2014  30 
9.  27654  PhD Tomaž Kos  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2013  40 
10.  28412  PhD Sebastijan Kovačič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2014  181 
11.  17162  PhD Andrej Kržan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  344 
12.  11733  PhD Matjaž Kunaver  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  339 
13.  32913  Neja Laljek  Chemistry  Technical associate  2010 - 2012 
14.  17268  Miran Lavrič    Technical associate  2009 - 2014 
15.  30693  PhD Alenka Možir  Pharmacy  Beginner researcher  2013 - 2014  34 
16.  29613  PhD David Pahovnik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  192 
17.  33213  PhD Peter Perdih  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2014  19 
18.  12041  PhD Ida Poljanšek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2010  354 
19.  17270  Polona Prosen    Technical associate  2009 - 2014 
20.  24291  PhD Katja Rebolj  Neurobiology  Researcher  2012 - 2013  57 
21.  31967  PhD Simona Sitar  Chemistry  Researcher  2014  56 
22.  17272  Mirjana Širca    Technical associate  2012 - 2014 
23.  28566  PhD Tina Šmigovec Ljubič  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  17 
24.  29676  Jasmina Turnšek  Materials science and technology  Technical associate  2014 
25.  21342  PhD Daniel Vrbanić  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  79 
26.  12318  PhD Ema Žagar  Materials science and technology  Head  2009 - 2014  489 
27.  06126  PhD Majda Žigon  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  661 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,264 
2.  1858  SAVATECH Industrial Rubber and Tyres  KRANJ  1661205  253 
Significance for science
Through profound understanding and innovative solutions of scientific challenges the proposed program provides an important contribution to the world treasury of knowledge. New discoveries were published in high quality polymer journals and were presented in domestic and international conferences, whereas the most innovative solutions were protected by patents. Research in the field of health was focused on improving the solubility of poorly-water soluble, low-molecular weight antidiabetic drug glimepiride by preparing solid dispersions based on dendritic polymers. Solid dispersions were further incorporated into the final pharmaceutical form – tablets. The improved glimepiride water-solubility was explained by specific H-bond interaction between the drug and the carrier. The results present an original contribution and innovative approach for drug dosage optimization with the aim to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. The scientific results provide better understanding of the specific structure of the formed complexes and the underlying mechanism for the improved glimepiride solubility, which is necessary for effective transfer of the gained experimental insights into the practice, i.e. industrial production of final pharmaceutical forms. Protein drugs or biopharmaceuticals are becoming the key drugs of the future. Their major drawback is labile structure, which can be solved by employing suitable delivery system. One of the best and technologically the simplest approaches to overcome this issue is the preparation of nanoparticles formed by spontaneous complexation of the protein and the polymer carrier. Since no organic solvents are used in this procedure, there is no fear of losing protein activity due to denaturation. The most important part is to select an appropriate “smart” polymer designed for a specific protein, which enables efficient complexation and, in addition, is responsive to external stimuli. We synthesized novel polymers which proved to be highly efficient for association with selected protein and resulted in formation of stable nanoparticle systems. The protein loading in nanoparticles was high and even exceeded the values reported so far in the literature. The results were protected in three patent applications and published in several articles. The utility of renewable resources for the production of commercial products represents a very important and innovative topic in which the researchers from our research group as well as industry were involved. We have focused on substitution of traditional fossil fuel based polymers with biobased substitutes. Findings in the process of liquefaction of lignocellulosic materials were the basis for the optimization of the synthesis of polyesters based on renewable resources as well as polyurethane foams as potential materials for insulation. In addition, we optimized the composition of adhesive mixture for the manufacturing of particle boards based on the knowledge of condensation pathways of the liquefied lignocellulosic material and melamine-urea-formaldehyde polymers. In this way, the formaldehyde emission was reduced which has a direct impact on the residence quality in places where the furniture and construction elements are made of particleboards. Finally, we invented and optimized a new simplified procedure for production of nanocellulose from natural sources, which was patent protected. Polymer nanocomposites are an important field in polymer chemistry, since they enable expansion of application fields of polymer materials. Our program group has established new modifications of nanoparticle surfaces with polymers to enable enhanced interactions with chemically similar polymer matrices as compared to conventional nanoparticle modifications. In this way, we prepared polymer materials with improved properties (hardness, thermal stability, etc.).
Significance for the country
The content and goals of the program took into account the newest discoveries and directions of European and global polymer science and technology, and are closely connected to Slovenian chemical industry, which creates a substantial part of the national income. Successful realization and generated results during program implementation did not only contribute to the world treasury of knowledge but are also beneficial for further progress of Slovenian polymer industry. The research in the field of health proceeded within the framework of two applicative projects with a Slovenian pharmaceutical company Lek on the topics, which have been aligned with the company interests, i.e. improvement of poor water-solubility of low-molecular weight drugs and improved efficiency and safety of medical treatment with biopharmaceuticals. Thus, the results of this research have a significant applicative potential for the development of technologically promising new drug delivery systems of utmost importance for pharmaceutical industry, which is an important financial element in Slovenia, already involved in the development of biopharmaceuticals and distinguished by a large number of products with high added value. Current technological, social and economic situation raises important environmental questions regarding the waste disposal and the use of non-renewable energy sources. As a consequence, a lot of research has been focused on development of polymer materials derived from renewable resources, which represent an alternative to current fossil fuel based polymer materials. The use of renewable resource essentially contributes to the sustained development of humanity. The procedures to obtain new materials from natural sources involve rational utilization of wood, wood waste, waste cellulose pulp, which are abundant in Slovenia. These products, replacing to some extent raw materials derived from crude oil, are of high added-value and are ready for implementation in Slovenian industry. The importance of biomass liquefaction and nanocellulose production for Slovenia is confirmed by construction of a pilot reactor in company GGP – Gozdno Gospodarstvo Postojna and, finally, by the Silver award for innovation in 2010 and the Puch award of Republic of Slovenia for innovation of the year 2012 granted by Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije and Območna zbornica Ljubljana, respectively. Interest of Slovenian companies in the field of polymer nanocomposites indicates established collaborations of the program group with industrial partners (Podkrižnik d.o.o., Akripol, etc.). The research group is involved also in education process and other type of knowledge dissemination, which is important for Slovenia development and indirectly for its promotion. In the area of biopolymers we participated in the international project Innovative Value Chain Development for Sustainable Plastics in Central Europe (PLASTiCE) where we had the role of coordinator (13 partners from 4 countries). In the project we (co)organized 7 seminars/conferences and contacted more than 100 companies. We conducted 4 case studies resulting in 3 industrial prototypes. We established an international network of national focal points currently covering 9 countries (www.sustainableplastics.eu). Currently, we coordinate the project Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region (acronym DeFishGear) with 16 partners from 7 countries in the Adriatic region. Our program group is connected in several Slovenian associations, educates new workforce and is active in international cooperation to support the social development guidelines.
Audiovisual sources (1)
no. Title (with video link) Event Source
1. Polimeri in polimerni materiali s posebnimi lastnostmi (Slovene)    Research programme video presentation 
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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