Membrane-active nanostructured surfaces

Discovery of cell-rupture nano-pattern on the surface of insect wings ([cite]10.1002/smll.201200528[/cite],[cite]10.1007/s00253-012-4628-5[/cite]) has led to development of biomimetic artificial surfaces, that can kill bacterial cell by physical mechanism

Anti-bacterial surfaces inspired by cicada and dragonfly wings

One of these examples of artificial surfaces is Black Silicon (bSi) ([cite]10.1038/ncomms3838[/cite]). Biological response and toxicity of these materials are studied in-vitro (Anna project). Deformation of cells due to contact with nanostructures on the surface is modelled using density particle dynamics and mean field theories (Berardo project).

Particular focus of the project

  • Toxicity of spike-like architectures
  • Modelling of cell deformations due to spikes
  • Immune response to black silicon nanostructures

Associated projects

  • ESR12-F: Toxicity of nano-objects on human cells models

    In-vitro experiments on living cells, toxicology studies Contact Anna Orlowska Objectives Main objective is to compare, validate and corroborate the findings of the interaction of the nano-objects synthesised by the network to actual human cell models with the findings observed with the lipid membrane model systems. Tasks and methodology Recruited ESR will obtain experience in toxicity, cell- and molecular biological methodology ...

  • ESR1-T: Computer simulations of equilibrium structures of lipid membranes and nano-objects

    Theoretical physics, theory in soft matter, computer simulations Contact Berardo Manzi Objectives The aim of this project is to understand the interactions of lipid membranes with nano-objects including functional biomimetic polymers, polymeric micelles, carbon nanotubes and polymer therapeutic complexes/conjugates to enable the intelligent design of novel materials with improved bilayer modifying properties. A full range of theoretical methods will be ...

Outreach activities

  • Dragonfly Expedition

    26 June 2015 – Massif Els Ports, Tarragona, Spain Dragonfly expedition to Massif Els Ports in collaboration with Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre, Amposta, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona Unique limestone massif Els Ports is situated in Catalonia, Valencia and Aragon, characterised by its abrupt cliff ...

    Read more
  • TV3 film in Terres de l’Ebre

    7 August 2015 – Massif Els Ports, Tarragona, Spain Outreach activity: Catalan TV channel TV3 film our expedition in Terres de l’Ebre to describe our research on dragonfly wings in Massif Els Ports. Highlight in newspapers and radio: TV3 TarragonaRadio URV Activa La Vanguardia Diari de Tarragona ElEconomista Comsciencia Ceics news Nacidigital Biblioteca Roquetes How it was filmed: [peg-image src=”” href=”″ ...

    Read more
  • Open lecture on dragonflies research in Catalonia

    18 November 2016 – Amposta, Spain As a part of the annual event “Week of Science” celebrated in Catalonia (Setmana de la Ciència a Catalunya), Vladimir Baulin (researcher at URV) and Pere Luque (entomologist in the Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre) presented an open lecture for general public about research on dragonflies in ...

    Read more

SNAL publications

Project team

Vladimir Baulin
Elena Ivanova
Berardo Mario Manzi