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COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020
This website is supported by COST

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana

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Tržaška 25
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia

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Brief presentation of the institution

Since its foundation in 1963 by the late Professor Lojze Vodovnik, the Laboratory of Biocybernetics has been involved in the study of interaction between electromagnetic fields and biological systems. The Laboratory is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering within the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana, located in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Its members are involved both in research and education (undergraduate as well as graduate).

Main Electroporation related topics

Our main field of research are the investigations of the influence of electric currents and electromagnetic fields on the physiological state of cells, tissues, organs, and the body as a whole. The aims of this research are to understand the basic mechanisms of bioelectric phenomena and to facilitate their use for therapeutic purposes. Major directions pursued in our group are cell membrane electroporation with its applications in biology, biotechnology, and medicine, particularly electrochemotherapy of tumors (ECT) and gene electrotransfer (GET). To gain an insight into the studied phenomena, we are determining, both analytically and numerically, the distribution of currents and fields within cell suspensions and tissues. We are also developing electronic devices for application in these fields of research, as well as information technology for clinical trials.

Main Electroporation related research techniques and equipment

- electroporators Igea Cliniporator EPS01 (60-1000V, 50µs-5ms), Cliniporator Vitae (500-3000V, 50-200µs), EP-GMS 7.1 (80-350V, 10µs-1ms, 7-electrode commutator, 0.1-5000Hz), NP-MS 2.1 (125-500V, 30-210ns, 2Hz-100kHz), EP-B (100-5000V, 100µs-50ms), cuvette nanoporator NP-C 2.1 (200V-8kV, 12ns, up to 100Hz), HV+LV electroporator EP-HVLV (20-850V, 100µs-1000ms)
- fluorescence microscope Zeiss Axiovert 200 with monochromator Polychrome IV (320-680nm), two CCD cameras (hi-res VisiCam 1280, hi-speed Andor EMCCD), and filters for ANEPPS(EX440/530nm,EM605nm), FURA(340/380,510), TOTO(500,535), DAPI(360,460), and TMRE(546,580); PC with MetaFluor and MetaMorph software
- fluorescence microscope Leica DM-IL LED with a CCD camera (Leica DFC450-C)
- microscopes Olympus CK40, Olympus SZX-FOF, and Leica DM-IL
- spectrofluorometers Jasco FP-6300 (for cuvettes) and Tecan Infinite M200 (for multiwell plates)
- opsens fiber optic temperature sensor (ProSens Signal conditioner and fiber optic probes)
- cell culture incubators, laminar flow chambers, fume hood, cooled centrifuges, automated cell counter Invitrogen Countess
- oscilloscopes (LeCroy WavePro 7300A and LT 354M, Tektronix MSO4104, ...), LCR meter Agilent 4284A, function generator Agilent 33220A
- dermatome TCM 300 BL, scalpel for thin tissue slicing, Franz cells for membrane transfer with regulated temperature
- analytical balance Mettler Toledo MS220, multichannel thermometer
- hardware and software for finite-element modeling (COMSOL Multiphysics 4.2)

Research topics, techniques and equipment not related to Electroporation

Part of research is dedicated to:
- non-invasive measurements of tissue perfusion and oxygenation that can provide important information about physiology and pathology of the organism,
- measurements in the fields of electrocardiography (ECG) and electromyography (EMG).
Techniques and equipment:
- near-infrared spectroscope NIRO2x2 (Keele University, UK),
- laser Doppler flowmeter Oxford Optronix OxyFlo 2000,
- luminescence-based fiber-optic oximeter Oxford Optronix OxyLite 2000,
- Biopac system (Biopac, USA) with amplifier modules for ECG and EMG, and other types of low-voltage signals generated by compatible transducers.

Brief information on available facilites

- laboratory for animal cell cultures,
- laboratory for bacterial cultures,
- laboratory for skin models,
- facilities for computation, simulation, and programming,
- 30-seats classroom with overhead projector.

Willingness to accept/host visiting researchers

Publications

Projects:

  • Antiangiogenic Gene Therapy of Cancer Using Electroporation and Magnetic Nanoparticles as Targeted Delivery Systems (2011-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Development of a Web-Based Application for Interactive Learning and Planning of Electroporation-Based Therapies and Treatments (2011-2013)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Synthesis, Characterisation and Use of Novel Ruthenium Compounds in Electrochemotherapy of Tumors (2011-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Belgian-Slovenian Cooperation in Science and Technology: The Use of Physical Methods Aimed at Increasing Cutaneous Permeability to Enhance Transdermal Drug Delivery (2011-2012)
    Project type: International
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Romanian-Slovenian Scientific Cooperation: Dielectrophoresis as a method for manipulation and characterization of electroporated cells (2012-2013)
    Project type: International
    Funding: Autoritatea Nationala pentru Cercetare Stiintifica (ANCS), Romania; Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • USA-Slovenian Scientific Cooperation: Optimization of pulse parameters for electroporation of cellular organelles (2011-2012)
    Project type: International
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • COST BM0704: Emerging EMF Technologies and Health Risk Management (2008-2012)
    Project type: International
    Funding: European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • Development and Validation of Software for Numerical Modeling of In Vivo Electroporation - In Silico Electroporation (2011-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Development of New Technologies for the Removal of Pathogenic Agents and Toxins from Different Water Sources (2011-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • New Lipid Model Systems for Determination of Electroporation Basic Mechanisms (2010-2013)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Research Programme: Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments (2009-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Competence Center: Biomedical Engineering (2011-2013)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • COST TD1104: European network for development of electroporation-based technologies and treatments (EP4Bio2Med) (2011-2015)
    Project type: International
    Funding: European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • French-Slovenian European Associated Laboratory: Pulsed Electric Fields Applications in Biology and Medicine - LEA EBAM (2011-2014)
    Project type: International
    Funding: National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), France; University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Institute of Oncology, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • French-Slovenian Scientific Cooperation (PROTEUS programme): Optimization of Electroporation Protocols for Gene Transfection In Vitro (2011-2012)
    Project type: International
    Funding: National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), France; Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • German-Slovenian Scientific Cooperation: High Electric Field Diagnostics of Intracellular Organelles (2005-)
    Project type: International
    Funding: Gesellschaft für Technologietranfer in der Universität Bielefeld, Germany
  • Infrastructure Programme: Network of research infrastructure centers at University of Ljubljana (2009-2014)
    Project type: National
    Funding: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia
  • Korean-Slovenian Scientific Cooperation: Imaging of conductivity and current density during electroporation (2011-2012)
    Project type: International
    Funding: National Research Foundation, Korea; Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Slovenia

Members:

  • Tina Batista-Napotnik
    Position: Research Assoc.
  • Ajda Biček
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Jaka Čemažar
    Position: Junior Researcher
  • Selma Čorović
    Position: Scientific Assoc.
  • Karel Flisar
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Saša Haberl
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Duša Hodžić
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Tomaž Jarm
    Position: Assoc. Prof.
  • Maša Kandušer
    Position: Scientific Assoc.
  • Bor Kos
    Position: Junior Researcher
  • Tadej Kotnik
    Position: Assoc. Prof.
  • Peter Kramar
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Matej Kranjc
    Position: Junior Researcher
  • Alenka Maček-Lebar
    Position: Assoc. Prof.
  • Samo Mahnič-Kalamiza
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Barbara Mali
    Position: Researcher
  • Marija Marčan
    Position: Junior Researcher
  • Igor Marjanovič
    Position: Researcher
  • Damijan Miklavčič
    Position: Professor
  • Denis Pavliha
    Position: Researcher
  • Nataša Pavšelj
    Position: Scientific Assoc.
  • Andraž Polak
    Position: Researcher
  • Gorazd Pucihar
    Position: Assistant Prof.
  • Matej Reberšek
    Position: Scientific Assoc.
  • Stanislav Reberšek
    Position: Professor
  • Tina Stepišnik
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Marko Ušaj
    Position: Research Assoc.
  • Barbara Zorec
    Position: Research Assistant
  • Janez Žigon
    Position: Technical Assistant

Project Office

Working groups

Steering Committee

Founding members

DC Rapporteurs

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