Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Biophysics of Polymers, Membranes, Gels, Colloids and Cells

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   
3.03.00  Medical sciences  Neurobiology   

Code Science Field
B002  Biomedical sciences  Biophysics 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
intermolecular interactions, proteins, viruses, DNA, colloids, nanoparticles, liquid crystals, membranes, vesicles, cell organelles, cells, tissues, intercellular communication, morphogenesis, embryonic development, microfluidics, laser tweezers, graphene, organic-inorganic semiconductors
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (76)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  35459  PhD Ahmed Samy M. Abdelaal Kreta  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2020  23 
2.  35569  PhD Nataša Adžić  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016 
3.  11142  PhD Milan Ambrožič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2018  258 
4.  33760  PhD Lamprini Athanasopoulou  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021 
5.  36454  PhD Maruša Bizjak  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  31 
6.  11088  PhD Bojan Božič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  119 
7.  06617  PhD Gvido Bratina  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  216 
8.  05483  PhD Milan Brumen  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  441 
9.  33752  PhD Manisha Chhikara  Physics  Researcher  2021  16 
10.  26235  Alenka Cimprič    Technical associate  2015 - 2021 
11.  05974  PhD Mojca Čepič  Educational studies  Researcher  2015 - 2021  824 
12.  52920  PhD Daniele De Martino  Physics  Researcher  2019 
13.  18326  PhD Jure Derganc  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  112 
14.  16311  PhD Jure Dobnikar  Physics  Researcher  2015  163 
15.  26447  PhD Andrej Dobovišek  Physics  Researcher  2017 - 2021  110 
16.  30982  PhD Saša Dolenc (Ziherl)  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  126 
17.  38234  PhD Tadej Emeršič  Mathematics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  41 
18.  19553  PhD Aleš Fajmut  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  224 
19.  39133  Jakob Frontini  Physics  Junior researcher  2016 - 2017 
20.  51533  PhD Alexander George Dixon  Physics  Researcher  2018 - 2020 
21.  18038  PhD Gregor Gomišček  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  91 
22.  32099  PhD Maja Grundner  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Technical associate  2015  35 
23.  26228  Nevenka Hauschild    Technical associate  2018 - 2019 
24.  29527  PhD Ana Hočevar Brezavšček  Physics  Researcher  2015  32 
25.  36785  Senta Jaunig    Technical associate  2015 - 2018 
26.  34440  PhD Urška Jelerčič  Physics  Junior researcher  2015  16 
27.  26456  PhD Matej Kanduč  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  196 
28.  32153  PhD Gašper Kokot  Physics  Technical associate  2021  64 
29.  26459  PhD Nejc Košnik  Physics  Researcher  2015  79 
30.  18384  Marijan Kozamernik    Technical associate  2018 - 2021 
31.  36332  PhD Matej Krajnc  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  53 
32.  34481  PhD Kristina Leskovar  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  16 
33.  34385  PhD Jasna Lojk  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2019  68 
34.  37608  PhD Bing Sui Lu  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  10 
35.  12001  PhD Janja Majhenc  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  73 
36.  23455  PhD Mojca Mally  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  22 
37.  13159  PhD Marko Marhl  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  648 
38.  34480  PhD Rene Markovič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  106 
39.  36473  PhD Jinta Mathew  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2015 - 2017 
40.  56008  Milan Obradović    Technical associate  2021 
41.  54880  PhD Nadiia Pastukhova  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  24 
42.  22305  PhD Egon Pavlica  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  104 
43.  29708  PhD Jerneja Pavlin  Educational studies  Researcher  2015 - 2016  367 
44.  19225  PhD Mojca Pavlin  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  264 
45.  33126  PhD Maja Pečar  Educational studies  Researcher  2015 - 2018  56 
46.  34543  Raveendra Babu Penumala  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 
47.  54183  Lea Peternel  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Technical associate  2020 - 2021 
48.  08589  PhD Rudolf Podgornik  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2019  705 
49.  36390  Maja Poklinek Čančula  Educational studies  Junior researcher  2015 - 2020 
50.  32154  PhD Anže Rapoš Božič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  65 
51.  50626  PhD Jernej Repas  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  30 
52.  52061  PhD Jan Rozman  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  10 
53.  55840  Tadeja Snedec  Oncology  Junior researcher  2021 
54.  53852  PhD Fabio Staniscia  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  29 
55.  38316  PhD Biljana Stojković  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  24 
56.  19136  PhD Daniel Svenšek  Physics  Researcher  2019  203 
57.  02013  PhD Saša Svetina  Neurobiology  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  556 
58.  54709  Marin Šako  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
59.  52169  PhD Antonio Šiber  Physics  Researcher  2018  27 
60.  54463  Rok Štanc  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  15 
61.  33183  PhD Tjaša Švelc Kebe  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2018  15 
62.  39231  PhD Vadym Tkachuk  Physics  Technical associate  2017 - 2021 
63.  26467  PhD Uroš Tkalec  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  213 
64.  53592  Erika Tomsič  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021 
65.  37421  PhD Fei Tong  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2017  14 
66.  35591  PhD Luca Tubiana  Physics  Researcher  2015  12 
67.  30998  Marko Tuljak    Technical associate  2015 - 2021 
68.  39934  PhD Jurij Urbančič  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  40 
69.  53816  PhD Horacio Andres Vargas Guzman  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  63 
70.  13355  PhD Nataša Vaupotič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  286 
71.  32008  PhD Saša Vrhovec Hartman  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2015 - 2018  23 
72.  53668  PhD Clement Adrien Zankoc  Physics  Researcher  2019 - 2021 
73.  26234  PhD Špela Zemljič Jokhadar  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  52 
74.  13415  PhD Primož Ziherl  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  338 
75.  52033  PhD Jan Zmazek  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  25 
76.  01068  PhD Boštjan Žekš  Neurobiology  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  644 
Organisations (6)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,035 
2.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,448 
3.  0588  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education  Ljubljana  1627082  30,602 
4.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,207 
5.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,301 
6.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051  18,085 
The program Biophysics of polymers, colloids, membranes, gels and cells is the main national research program in biophysics. The proposed agenda includes a broad range of new problems and challenges at the level of molecules, viruses, cells, tissues, and organisms of both theoretical and experimental nature, the biophysical topics being complemented by selected problems in soft matter physics.   The program consists of 22 core and 5 supplementary topics grouped into 5 workpackages based on the characteristic lengthscale: i) macromolecular interactions, ii) nanocolloids, iii) liquid-crystal composites; iv) membranes and vesicles, and v) cells and tissues. On one hand, the proposed topics deal with fundamental questions of biophysics including both long-standing unresolved issues such as packing of genetic material in viruses as well as novel concepts such as antifragility. On the other hand, the program has an applied component - for example, we expect that a better understanding of interactions between organic molecules and substrate may lead to novel hybrid microelectronic devices. A part of the research will be carried out in collaboration with physicians so that the program will also have a clinical character. Along with the studies of phenomenology in question we will develop the theoretical and experimental approaches (e.g., the microfluidic techniques for vesicle and cell manipulation) so that a part of the expected results will be methodological. Very Important aspects of the program are modeling and development of minimal models of structures and processes, e.g. epithelial tissues. Members of the program are leading Slovenian biophysicists whose scientific excellence is demonstrated by publications in top-impact journals such as Reviews of Modern Physics and Nature. Institutions involved include Jožef Stefan Institute, University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, and University of Nova Gorica. A part of research will be conducted in collaboration with the University Medical Centre Ljubljana and high-tech Slovenian companies such as Lek, d.d. and Aresis, d.o.o. The program is closely intertwined with higher education as many members are lecturers at all cycles; especially important is their work with PhD students. Members of the program are also engaged in popularization of science.   The research program is firmly embedded in the global science, which is reflected in joint publications with partners from aborad, participation in bilateral projects and international networks, organization of scientific meetings, and student exchange. Members of the program collaborate with partners from Austria, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA, Israel, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea. The program's reputation is also due to members' engagement in editorial work in international journals, organizational tasks in networks, conferences, workshops, and summer schools, visiting professorships at universities abroad and numerous invited lectures.
Significance for science
The proposed research and the expected results will contribute to the development of science, technology, and medicine at the basic, applied, methodological, and clinical level. The theoretical part of the program will elucidate a number of fundamental problems in molecular biophysics and in physics of colloids, liquid crystals, membranes, cells, and tissues. These problems are permeated by the phenomenological-methodlogical duality - on one hand we will typically pursue a previously unexplored phenomenon and on the other we will develop approaches and approximations that most succinctly capture its essence. In some cases (e.g., in the analysis of the phase diagram of soft anisometric colloids) we do not expect to make progress at a fundamental level because the classical theory of elasticity as starting point of the project has been known for a long time. Yet we will work out approximations that summarize the main aspects of interaction between deformable particles. Equally fundamental albeit from the experimental perspective will be our studies of the interaction of lipids and proteins with a flaccid membrane which will contribute to a better understanding of membrane processes in cell physiology.    The proposed research on nanostructures based on complex liquid-crystalline molecules is at the junction of materials science and nanoscience. Such nanostructures may be used to fabricate electroactive composites, polar conducting fiber etc. Numerous applications of suspension of nanofibers are envisaged in the field of biochemical sensors, energy transducers, and organic catalysts. Doping liquid-crystalline polymers with inorganic nanoparticles may be used to produce thin-film organic materials with material properties (e.g., conductivity and charge generation) may be controlled by mechanical stress, temperature changes or illumination, which would open a wide range of applications in technology and medicine. Equally appealing is the potential for applications of the proposed studies of interaction of organic molecules with 2D materials, which remain poorly understood. Our investigations will unravel the mechanisms of ordering of these molecules on surfaces, thereby contributing to a more rapid progress in the field of new electronic component base on hybrid organic-semiconductor systems.  With their applied and clinical value, our investigations of aggregation of proteins will be used in the development of new biological medications in Lek, d.d. The proposed studies of permeability of biological membranes for various inclusion will contribute to a better understanding of the effect of medications, which is undoubtedly important for their efficient application and development. Also critical for medicine is the understanding of the kinetics of peptide pores in the phospholipid membrane as pore-forming peptides facilitate the introduction of certain substances into cell nucleus, which improves the therapeutic effect. Finally a deeper insight into the impact of fatty acids on erythrocytes resulting from the proposed program will lead to a better understanding of the side effects of parenteral nutrition.
Significance for the country
The importance of the proposed research for the development of Slovenia is multifaceted. First, the program will engage a cohort of researchers who have introduced a new scientific field at the national level; examples include physical virology and experimental studies of interactions of organic molecules with graphene. In many cases, these scientists remain the only or the most important carriers of this knowledge in Slovenia, thus playing a key role in research in the nation. In their respective fields, many members of the program are well-established at the international level, either within research collaborations and networks or through their work with scientific journals, which also contributes to the development and international visibility of Slovenia.    The proposed research is instrumental in creating the conditions where most of the members can work at their respective universities as full-fledged teachers and advisors, conveying new knowledge to the students and introducing them into research. Given that they are in charge of more than 50 courses at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cycle at the University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, and University of Nova Gorica, members of the program remain key faculty for a number of study programs. In addition, they are very active as avisors at all levels. Especially important in this context is their work with PhD students; in the past 6-year period 13 PhD theses were supervised by members of the program. Yet another aspect of the impact of the proposed work is related to transfer of new knowledge and research results into teaching practice at all levels from elementary school to university-level study programs as well as to the popularization of science. Members of the program engage in these activities by building primarily on the topics studied within the program as some of them can be used to emphasize the role of scientific findings in everyday life. This strengthens the motivation of the pupils and students to enroll in science- and technology-oriented programs, where lack of interest is a long-standing problem. As this is a very sensitive issue demanding unwavering attention, the role of the proposed program is very important in this context.    Although the program is not explicitly dedicated to applied research, collaboration with companies is a part of its mission - especially with high-technology enterprises close to basic research due to the nature of their work. Members of the program collaborate with Aresis d.o.o. in the development of applications of laser tweezers in the area of microfluidics and cell biology, and joint projects with Lek d.d. are focused on studies of aggregation of proteins in biological medications and other problems. A part of this work is being done by PhD students engaged in Lek.d.d. and supervised by members of the program.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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