ESR 10 – Marko Dobricic

ESR project: In vitro biocompatibility assay for glyconano-conjugates.

Supervisor: Dr Marco Monopoli

Institution: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, IE

Country of origin: Italy

NanoCarb research: Marko will carry out his project in the RCSI Chemistry Department with the aim to develop in vitro testing assay to validate the efficacy and safety of nanoparticles functionalised with specific glycans. The assay will be informative on the biocompatibility and on the cytotoxicity in different cell lines, representative of specific organs, as these are the first criterion for nanomaterials safety regulation. The project will help to understand the specific mechanisms between biomolecular corona on the surface of the nanoparticles and the specific interactions with cellular receptors expressed on immunological cells, in order to predict the NP behaviour in preclinical studies.

Scientific background: Marko received his Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2015. His thesis was about the iron homeostasis molecular pathways in Friedreich’s ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease, and developing cell models from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Afterwards, he continued his Master’s studies at the University of Bologna in molecular and industrial biotechnology (2015-2018), focusing on nanotechnology and electrochemistry. For the thesis project, a DNA hairpin-based biosensor was developed based on electrochemiluminescence as the transduction method.