Research Team of Jiřina Medalová

Keywords

Biomaterials, Biocompatibility, Adhesion, Trypsin Resistance, Plasma, Melanin, Graphene Quantum Dots, Theranostics

Contacts

Head of laboratory: Mgr. Jiřina Medalová, Ph.D.
Office: UKB – A36/111
E-mail: 176525@mail.muni.cz
Phone: 54949 8586
 

 

Projects

Biomaterials

     In spite of the major advances of transplantation medicine there is still a huge need of organs and tissues to be transplanted. The goal of many researches is thus to develop such biomaterial that could carry different populations of cells (ideally coming from the acceptor himself) that simulate the particular organ. There are many materials, both natural and synthetic, that can be modified to create a more effective weapon in the hands of modern medicine. Synthetic polymers can be produced easily in many shapes and sizes but they are mostly hydrophobic, thus they need to be covered by some function group to suit the cell requirements.

    We aim to test surfaces functionalized by amines, which are produced by The plasma technology group (CEITEC). Our main goal is to get polycaprolacton nanofibrous membrane which would be covered by amines from both sides – one side will be optimalized for growth of endothelial cells and the other for vascular smooth muscle cells. We aim to produce sheets, which could be rolled up and used as the vessel replacements.

    The main feature of such a synthetic vessel is the good adhesion of cells on the surface and their ability to proliferate accordingly the needs of organs. Therefore, we need to analyze cytokinetic parameters of cells growing on these plasma-treated surfaces. Besides proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation we are also focused on behavior of cells – their motility, spreading area, morphology.

                          Click to play 
Spontaneous migration of HUVEC cells on amine rich surface

Graphene Qantum Dots

   On the boundary of medicine and physic is a new field of theranostics. Those agents can be used to acquire diagnostic images and also deliver a therapeutic dose of appropriate drug at once. We aim to test zero-dimensional nanoparticles made from carbon called graphene quantum dots (GQDs) as they are autofluorescent in wide spectrum. Those GQDs could be doped by many atoms (we are testing amines, Cobalt, Kalium, and Gadolinium). The ideal GQD would be nontoxic, permeable through cell membrane, and emitting fluorescence in far red part of spectrum. Such a vector we can then conjugate with a drug that can either kill or protect the target cell. Those GQDs are already in use in cancer treatment, however we aim to develop neuroprotective theranostics.

Melanin

     Human skin is constantly exposed to many environmental impacts, like UV irradiation or pollutants, and creates usually the only barrier against them. The UV irradiation can cause many severe defects, for example extremely dangerous melanoma tumor. However, there are several mechanisms developed in the skin to protect against UV, which include intensive communication and many signaling pathways between epidermal cells.

      The most well-known protection is the melanogenesis. Melanin is synthesized in melanocytes in specialized organelles called melanosomes. There are several proteins participating this process or regulating it, including PMEL17, p38, TRP1 and the central transcription factor MITF. Once the melanin is produced and melanosomes are mature, they are transported along the cytoskeleton to the periphery of melanocyte and subsequently transferred to keratinocytes. This process is still quite unclear. However, some hypotheses were established and we aim to test them, together with studying the roles of involved proteins PAR2, SCF, and melanoregulin. Our goal is to establish co-cultivation systems simulating conditions in the epidermis and analyze the features of melanin transport and transfer.

Melanoma cells irradiated by UV light and incubated for  5 days

Collaboration

  • Biomaterials: Assoc. prof. Mgr. Lenka Zajíčková, Ph.D., Plasma Technology Group, Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic 
  • Biomaterials: Assoc. prof. MUDr. Lucie Bačáková, CSc., Institute of Physiology, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic
  • GQDs: Inmaculada Jennifer Gomez Perez, Ph.D. Plasma Technology Group, Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Research team

Ph.D. student:      Mgr. Petra Černochová christmas party

Diploma students:   Bc. Anna Dolečková

                                   Bc. Helena Skálová

                                   Bc. Martina Buchtelová

Bachelor student: Jana Bartošíková