Topic Overview:

Soil organic matter, in a narrower sense, humic substances, has been subject of research for several centuries. Nevertheless,  questions on its formation or character still have not been resolved. The traditional polymer theory seems to be replaced in the last two decades by supramolecular views, lately claims on the non-existence of the humic substances have become rampant, looking at the soil organic matter as a complex mixture of products at various degrees of the decomposition of decaying  original plant or animal matter. Further, it can contain also metabolic products of the soil microorganisms.

Task:

Literature search on the synthesis of polyketides in soil, thermodynamics and kinetics of synthesis reactions. Preparation of base to discuss their potential incorporation into the principal structural unit of the soil organic matter.

Requirements:

Basic knowledge of physical and organic chemistry. Experience with natural organic matter, soil chemistry, humic substances is advantageous but not required.

Outcomes:

Final report on results.

References:

M.Schnitzer, C.M.Monreal. Quo Vadis Soil Organic Matter Research?: A Biological Link to the Chemistry of Humification. Advances in Agronomy 113, pp. 139-213 (2011) .
Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Materials Research Centre – Laboratory of Biocolloids
A Physico-Chemical Contribution to Discussion on Soil Organic Matter
Topic Overview:

Electroanalytical monitoring of biological active compounds (drugs, pollutants, biomarkers, food contaminants,  etc.)

Task:

Literature search and development of new electroanalytical methods.

Requirements:

Basic knowledge of electroanalytical methods.

Outcomes:

Publication.
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Analytical Chemistry
Electroanalytical Monitoring of Biological Active Compounds
Topic Overview:

The development of various drug delivery systems is an area of active research. This research is focused mainly on chemical,  biochemical, or physiological aspects. The movement of a delivery system in human body, to the point of the drug action is  much less investigated. The drug transport to the targeted site where the drug’s chemical action should take place is essential for its proper function.

Task:

Depending on applicant’s level and software access the tasks can be a literature search only, or evaluation of data measured or modelled in our laboratory or computer modelling of some smaller task – diffusion in 2D or 3D environment with some obstacles or computer modelling of published data.

Requirements:

Basic knowledge of equations in mathematical physics, capability of using computer software to solve these equations and basic capability of programming.

Outcomes:

Final report on results.

References:

Modelling tasks: Access to COMSOL and its Particle Tracking Module advantageous. If inaccessible, access to MATLAB (or similar) highly recommended, at least. Literature search task: Access to some scientific database (Web of Science etc.)
Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Materials Research Centre – Laboratory of Biocolloids
Modelling of Transport Phenomena in Biological Environment
Topic Overview:

Hydrogels constitute a versatile platform for a variety of biomedical applications – for example, in the drug delivery, as  extracellular matrix models, or in tissue engineering. When developing new hydrogels, design rules are still lacking and the development relies largely on trial and error approach. This topic should make a step in progress in this direction.

Task:

Literature search on preparation data for medical hydrogels. Meta-analysis aimed at completing base for formulating some rules for the strategy of  hydrogels rational design.

Requirements:

Basic knowledge of colloid chemistry, access to some scientific database (SciFinder, Web of Science etc.).

Outcomes:

Final report on results.
Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Materials Research Centre – Laboratory of Biocolloids
Hydrogels for Medical Applications – Rational Design Strategies
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