Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Mechanisms of health maintenance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   
2.02.09  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering  Ecological technology 

Code Science Field
B000  Biomedical sciences   

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22304  PhD Mojca Bavcon Kralj  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 - 2016  190 
2.  15647  PhD Klemen Bohinc  Physics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  485 
3.  37417  PhD Mitja Drab  Physics  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  64 
4.  05099  PhD Karmen Godič Torkar  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2014 - 2016  259 
5.  15074  PhD Raja Gošnak Dahmane  Neurobiology  Researcher  2014 - 2016  208 
6.  11790  PhD Tjaša Griessler Bulc  Biology  Head  2014 - 2016  499 
7.  34488  PhD Roghayeh Imani  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2014 - 2015  25 
8.  34903  Klara Jarni  Biology  Technical associate  2014 - 2015  53 
9.  22776  PhD Mojca Jevšnik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2014 - 2016  573 
10.  05916  PhD Veronika Kralj Iglič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2014 - 2016  844 
11.  37148  Judita Lea Krek  Neurobiology  Technical associate  2014  18 
12.  23172  PhD Borut Poljšak  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2014 - 2016  280 
13.  20840  PhD Darja Rugelj  Sport  Researcher  2014 - 2016  616 
14.  31673  PhD Roman Štukelj  Sport  Researcher  2014 - 2016  112 
15.  11539  PhD Polonca Trebše  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2015 - 2016  503 
16.  22443  PhD Renata Vauhnik  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  353 
17.  36714  Miha Žitnik  Biology  Technical associate  2016  33 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0382  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Health Sciences  LJUBLJANA  1627155  14,513 
Growing urbanization, increasing resource consumption, climate changes (droughts, floods, and heat waves), expensive and low quality food, ageing of the population and increase of stress-inducing factors require increasing flexibility of humans in their living environment. Holistic approach to health maintenance includes profound analysis of the environmental factors which affect health with the intention to explore the impact factors and mechanisms which are in the changing conditions the most important for health maintenance and well being. Such approach leads to the concept of healthy settlements of the future. Within the proposed program the concept of healthy settlements of the future will be followed. The focus will be the importance of food and lifestyle of the humans in relation to living environment. The methods for following the systems on the level of cells, tissues, organisms and social formations will be developed and thus a holistic approach will be designed. The work will be organized in four major work packages: (a): impacts of food on homeostasis, (b): impacts of lifestyle on homeostasis, (c) impacts of environment on homeostasis and (d): basic mechanisms of homeostasis. (a): The impacts of food intake on homeostasis will be researched. The food production and food storage processes will be considered and optimized in terms of high-quality food produced and stored without chemicals with considered hygiene standards. (b): The mechanisms of motor control of posture and gate will be researched and further the effects of different therapeutic procedures in homeostasis with a special emphasis on population ageing problems will be estimated and specific procedures for maintenance and support of physiological state of the elderly (in order to prevent falls, maintain independence in the home environment and the creation of the elderly-friendly living environment with the use of modern technologies) will be suggested. (c): The impacts of various environmental factors on human health will be researched. The procedures for preservation of the environment (green areas), rehabilitation of degraded environment, guidelines for sustainable facilities and procedures for the control of hygiene in facilities will be suggested. (d): As sensors of the above already acknowledged methods will be used. New methods based on mechanisms of intercellular communication in health and disease will be developed. Biophysical aspects of transmission of matter and information in the organism with special emphasis on the role of biological membranes and their nanostructures (i.e. nanovesicles and nano tubes) in these processes will be studied theoretically, experimentally and by clinical and population studies. On the basis of membrane properties relevant biomarkers of homeostasis in isolates from body fluids will be determined. Novel minimally invasive methods will be developed for the purpose of early diagnostics of widespread common diseases, e.g. cancer and autoimmune diseases and estimation of risk for neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. In experiments high ethical standards will be considered. Laboratory animals will not be used. The research will be designed by theoretical predictions and thereby the number of experiments will be minimized. The impact of the experiments on the environment will be minimal.
Significance for science
1. Food Development of new methods enabled the assessment of oxidative stress, description of interaction of microorganisms with surfaces as well as obtaining a new knowledge on effectivenes of food safety educational programmes on secondary level in Slovenia. 2. Lifestyle Biomechanical methods for evaluation of human balance (i) and robotic technology-based measurements of knee laxity (ii) allow us to (i) predict trends for the balance changes in the elderly, allows us to evaluating different environmental and physiological components and to evaluate preventive protocols for the fall prevention programmes in the elderly. And (ii) to correlate the individual’s risk factors for injury of ACL with for sports specific risk factors. 3. Environment With the development of methods and relevant green technologies, we evaluated opportunities and health risks in the context of closing material flows and adaptation to climate change and to reduce the ecological footprint of villages, cities and regions, locally and globally. With the development of closed-loop approach we have contributed to a new knowledge and understanding of the use of human excreta. Through the aspect of an integrated approach while dealing with humans, we introduced new procedures and developed new methods to determine health risks, particularly in the contact with hazardous chemicals (pesticides), cosmetic products and by the disinfection of swimming pool water. This type of research is highly multidisciplinary and holistic-oriented, so we gained joint publication in high profile journals with researchers from respectful foreign universities, several applications in H2020 and close cooperation with companies (Koto, Algen, Atlantis, LiviPlant, Echo) 4. Mechanisms of health Based on biophysical methods we have gathered evidence for validation of hypotheses regarding mechanisms of different diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. These mechanisms originate in intercellular communication within the organism, which is mediated by very small (nano sized) fragments of cell membranes, which influence many processes. Interaction between organic and inorganic nanoparticles was used fort he design of biosensors for minimally invasive diagnostics of various diseases. We have connected with distinguished colleagues home and abroad to achieve a breakthrough to journals with high impact factors.
Significance for the country
1. Food More effective system of primary education and lifelong learning of food related topics are needed. To achieve total quality and safe life a multi-disciplinary and an innovative approach, which would be capable of quick and effective responding in the food supply chain is needed. This would involve and stress out the importance of subjective comprehension of health and safety concept. 2. Lifestyle Improved understanding the environmental and personal factors that define risk factors for accidental falls and consequential injuries is essential for planning a healthy lifestyle, promote active and healthy aging to plan specific training programs for reduction the number of risk factors for falls in the elderly in different environments. In order to facilitate their participation in daily life through the use of public transport, we identified the major risk factors for a variety of injuries and identify the limiting factor in the use of public transport services. Development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for detecting ACL laxity has the potential for early detection and surveillance of athletes at risk. Together with the appropriate exercise programs for the prevention of injuries and reduction of knee laxity in various competitive and recreational sports it can reduce surgical and rehabilitation costs. 3. Environment The research results contribute to promote the National Action Plan and "zero waste" concept on the national level for establishment of economy of closing material flows and for encouraging development of innovative solutions by transforming of waste into useful and safe material or energy source. The research addresses the field of environmental and sanitary engineering, in particular, when we are changing attitudes to use of e.g. human excreta. The research will contribute to the promotion of the concept of material-efficient societies at international level and to the transition of Slovenia into the low-carbon society. The usage of green technologies will strengthen existing alliances with foreign partners. Awareness and support of activities and measures for the promotion and protection of health (use of new technologies for disinfecting chlorine and bromine, reducing the risk of infection with pathogens, safe handling of chemicals-pesticides), we can contribute to reducing health care costs and increase economic competitiveness of Slovenia. 4. Mechanisms of health Improved understanding of origins of common diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders will have an important impact on the development of society as regards medical, social and economic aspects. In the fied of our research we are included in the leading scientific society which is important for promotion of SLovenia. We are developing original methods which contribute to general knowledge which is important fort he national identity. Special attention is devoted to ethical issues. We do not perform experiments on laboratory animals, we do not use methods that burden patients, we do not use materials that require health or life of animals. We are developing low cost methods which are within reach and which do not burden the environment. Use of such methods increases the reputation of SLovenia in the international society.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Views history