Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Novel functionalized nanomaterials for applications as nano- or biosensors/actuators/bioresponsive (carrier) systems

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology  Inorganic nonmetallic materials 

Code Science Field
T152  Technological sciences  Composite materials 

Code Science Field
2.10  Engineering and Technology  Nano-technology 
magnetic nanotubes, drug delivery, drug release, cancer therapy, responsive delivery system
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  11517  PhD Marjan Bele  Materials science and technology  Head  2011 - 2014  554 
2.  29158  PhD Elena Chernyshova  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2013  127 
3.  19277  PhD Robert Dominko  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  765 
4.  00582  PhD Miran Gaberšček  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  902 
5.  22768  PhD Abdelrahim Hassanien  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2013  159 
6.  04355  PhD Spomenka Kobe  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  767 
7.  26027  PhD Andraž Kocjan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  74 
8.  15654  PhD Matej Andrej Komelj  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  176 
9.  35589  PhD Nina Kostevšek  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2014  116 
10.  30850  PhD Uroš Maver  Medical sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2012  456 
11.  18594  PhD Paul John Mc Guiness  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  338 
12.  28561  PhD Jože Moškon  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  88 
13.  32104  PhD Peter Nadrah  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  78 
14.  32161  PhD Darja Pečko  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  49 
15.  24982  PhD Benjamin Podmiljšak  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  96 
16.  18824  PhD Kristina Žužek  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  365 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,261 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,921 
This proposal addresses the nano-fabrication, synthesis, and subsequent evaluation of magnetic nanotubes with different characteristics and assessing their biomedical potential as carrier systems for targeted drug delivery. Such intelligent drug delivery systems possess a huge potential to lower the dosages of administered drugs and with this the costs and patient suffering during treatment. A special case will be represented by magnetic shape memory nanotubes, which will be incorporated into functionalized nano-composite capsules. The nano-composite capsule based on brittle xerogel acts as a delivery system with drug molecules incorporated into the capsule’s fractal-like structure. The surface of the nano-capsules is functionalized for a spot delivery to desired targets in the body (such as into the tumor cells). The nano-composite xerogel matrix is synthesized to be able to carry potent drugs that can be released upon remote activation by a moderate magnetic field generated by the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This nano-device, based on a novel random heterogeneous elasto-ferromagnetic composite, forms an active drug delivery vehicle. The activation mechanism is based on a phase transition induced by the strain – external magnetic field hysteresis of the nano-rods. Unlike the current technologies used for targeted drug delivery, we thus propose a nanodynamic system that can change magnetic energy into mechanical work. The phase transition leads to a strain in the nano-rods that breaks the xerogel matrix in a controlled manner leading to a subsequent release of the incorporated drug. This novel application of a unique physical phenomenon allows for a truly programmable, drug independent, open loop, targeted delivery system exploiting the convergence of nano-scale material science, chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and physics. The significant advances of past five or six years in nano-scale materials science, intelligent drug delivery systems, mathematical modeling and computational techniques give us an opportunity to design and optimize functional materials for desired applications. Simultaneously, a variety of potent cancer and/or healing drugs were found. They are very effective in cancer treatment, but have intolerable side effects on the healthy tissues or are rapidly degraded by the enzymes present in the human body. Consequently, the only way to use these drugs is by using Targeted Drug Delivery systems, which encapsulate them until released on demand. An interdisciplinary approach of the mentioned fields provides the pathway. The intertwining of the research subjects is as follows. The analysis of the nano-transport provides the upper design limits for the drug transporting devices in terms of their mass and dimensions. These critical parameters must be met by the physical design properties of these vehicles provided by analysis and simulations of the heterogeneous random materials, and, finally, the encapsulation analysis based on the different possible surface functionalizations providing targeting abilities. These design limitations will be thoroughly addressed by novel nano- and micro-fabrications specified in the proposal. The successful completion of the research will have an enormous impact on the field of nano-medicine by opening the possibilities to use custom tailored active nano-devices capable to deliver potent drugs encapsulated in generic (non-drug specific) containers, sheltering the patient’s healthy tissues and release them upon non-invasive (as in non-surgical) external actuation. This research will be the basis for long term collaboration among the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, Jozef Stefan Institute and National Institute of Chemistry, both located in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Significance for science
The field of nanostructured materials is important in the development of medicine, catalysis and environmental remediation. In this project we focus on the development of nanostructured materials of mesoporous silicate and FePd nanotubes for medical applications. These materials enable the development of advanced delivery systems that target more accurately target tissues and controlled release of the active substance. In this way, it is possible to significantly reduce adverse drug reactions and increase the effectiveness of the drug, as it can be delivered to the target site. With our research we have also proved the possibility to control the rate of release of molecules from the pores of the model delivery system and examine the impact of the size of molecules, which closes the pores, to release molecules from these pores. Results were published in several international scientific publications of high quality, including: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Materials chemistry and physics, Electrochimica Acta and the Journal of electroanalytical chemistry.
Significance for the country
With our work in the field of nanostructured materials, we increase the visibility of Slovenian science in this area. With our results, which are basic in nature, we have increased the knowledge of the composite and mesoporous materials for biomedical applications in the Slovenian area. Our expertise has been expanded between Slovenian and foreign professional public attendance at international conferences (European Materials Research Society 2012 Spring Meeting, Slovenian Chemical Days 2011, 1st International Symposium on Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery and Cancer Diagnosis, 2012, 4th International Congress Nanotechnology, 2013) and with publications in scientific journals.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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