Research

Apatite nanoparticles strongly improve red blood cell cryopreservation by mediating trehalose delivery via enhanced membrane permeation

Biomaterials, 140, 138-149 (2017).
Martin Stefanic, Kevin Ward, Harvey Tawfik, Ralf Seemann, Vladimir Baulin, Yachong Guo, Jean-Baptiste Fleury, Christophe Drouet
Cryopreservation of red blood cells (RBC) is an important method for maintaining an inventory of rare RBC units and managing special transfusion circumstances. Currently, in a clinical setting, glycerol is used as cryoprotectant against freezing damage. After […]

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GPU implementation of the Rosenbluth generation method for static Monte Carlo simulations

Computer Physics Communications, 216, 95–101(2017).
Yachong Guo, Vladimir A. Baulin
We present parallel version of Rosenbluth Self-Avoiding Walk generation method implemented on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) using CUDA libraries. The method scales almost linearly with the number of CUDA cores and the method efficiency has only hardware limitations. The method is introduced in two realizations: on a […]

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Rome: SNAL workshop within 3rd World Congress on New Technologies (NewTech’17)

 
7 June 2017 from 12:10 to 17:30. The general topic of the meeting is 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.
as a apart of
3rd World Congress on New Technologies (NewTech’17)
Given the large […]

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Barcelona: Workshop on Nanostructured Surfaces

4 April 2017. Workshop on Nanostructured Surfaces will be held at the Hotel Alimara Barcelona****, Barcelona, Spain.
Scope
The meeting is focused around the topic of nanostructured surfaces: design, fabrication, modelling and applications.

The workshop will cover recent advances in design of the anti-microbial nanostructured surfaces including inspirational theoretical modelling and fabrication of biomimetic surfaces, their characterisation and in-vitro/in vivo validation of […]

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Dynamic studies of the interaction of a pH responsive, amphiphilic polymer with a DOPC lipid membrane

Soft Matter, 13, 3690-3700 (2017)
Sivaramakrishnan Ramadurai, Marco Werner, Nigel K.H. Slater, Aaron Martin, Vladimir A. Baulin, Tia Keyes
Deeper understanding of the molecular interactions between polymeric materials and the lipid membrane is important across a range of applications from permeation for drug delivery to encapsulation for immuno-evasion. Using highly fluidic microcavity supported lipid bilayers, we studied […]

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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 Catolonia. The event took place […]

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Direct proof of spontaneous translocation of lipid-covered hydrophobic nanoparticles through a phospholipid bilayer

Science Advances 2 (11), e1600261 (2016)
Yachong Guo, Emmanuel Terazzi, Ralf Seemann, Jean Baptiste Fleury and Vladimir A. Baulin

Hydrophobic nanoparticles introduced into living systems may lead to increased toxicity, can activate immune cells, or can be used as nanocarriers for drug or gene delivery. It is generally accepted that small hydrophobic nanoparticles are blocked by lipid bilayers and accumulate in the […]

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Adsorption of Human Plasma Albumin and Fibronectin onto Nanostructured Black Silicon Surfaces

Langmuir: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b02601 (2016)
Duy H. K. Nguyen, Vy T. H. Pham, Mohammad Al Kobaisi, Chris M. Bhadra, Anna Orlowska, Shahram Ghanaati, Berardo Mario Manzi, Vladimir A Baulin, Saulius Juodkazis, Peter Kingshott, Russell J Crawford, and Elena P. Ivanova

The protein adsorption of two human plasma proteins, albumin (Alb) and fibronectin (Fn) onto synthetic nanostructured bactericidal material, black silicon […]

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“Race for the surface”: eukaryotic cells can win

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces: 8(34) 22025-22031 (2016)
Vy T. H. Pham, Vi Khanh Truong, Anna Orlowska, Shahram Ghanaati, Mike Barbeck, Patrick Booms, Alex James Fulcher, Chris M. Bhadra, Ricardas Buividas, Vladimir A Baulin, Charles James Kirkpatrick, Pauline Doran, David E. Mainwaring, Saulius Juodkazis, Russell J Crawford, and Elena P. Ivanova

With an aging population and the consequent […]

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Salou: Management meeting

30 September 2016. Management meeting in Salou, Spain
Agenda:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in Hotel Magnolia Salou,
Carrer de Madrid, 8, 43840 Salou, Tarragona
Attending people:

Vladimir Baulin (URV, Spain, coordinator)
Marco Werner (URV, Spain, project manager)
Jens-Uwe Sommer (IPF, Dresden)
 Domenico Lombardo (CNR, Italy)

 Elena Ivanova (Swinburne, Australia)

 Fabrice Thalmann (CNRS, France)

 Marc Schmutz (CNRS, France)

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The Bioeffects Resulting from Prokaryotic Cells and Yeast Being Exposed to an 18 GHz Electromagnetic Field

PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158135 (2016)
The Hong Phong Nguyen , Vy T. H. Pham , Song Ha Nguyen , Vladimir A. Baulin, Rodney J. Croft, Brian Phillips, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova

The mechanisms by which various biological effects are triggered by exposure to an electromagnetic field are not fully understood and have been the subject […]

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Salou: Workshop on biomaterials and lipid membranes 2016

30 September – 2 October 2016. 5th Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2016 will be held at the hotel Magnolia****, Salou (Costa Dorada), Spain.
Scope
The meeting is a part of regular workshops held in Salou since 2011. The selected contributions to the meeting can be published in the web themed issue “Interaction of nano-objects with lipid membranes” in Soft […]

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Dresden: Management meeting and Mid-term review

11-12 April 2016. Management meeting and mid-term review

Agenda:
Venue:
Meeting will be held at Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden
Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V.
Hohe Str. 6, Dresden

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Peroxidised phospholipid bilayers: insight from Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics simulations

Soft Matter, 12, 263-271 (2016)
Yachong Guo, Vladimir Baulin and Fabrice Thalmann

An original coarse-grained model for peroxidised phospholipids is presented, based on the MARTINI lipid force field. This model results from a combination of thermodynamic modelling and structural information on the area per lipid, which have been made available recently. The resulting coarse-grained lipid molecules form stable bilayers, […]

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Self-organised nanoarchitecture of titanium surfaces influences the attachment of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (2015) 99 (16), 6831-6840 DOI: 10.1007/s00253-015-6572-7
Vi K. Truong, Vy T. H. Pham, A. Medvedev, R. Lapovok, Y. Estrin, T. C. Lowe, V. Baulin, V. Boshkovikj, C. J. Fluke, R. J. Crawford, E. P. Ivanova

The surface nanotopography and architecture of medical implant devices are important factors that can control the extent of bacterial attachment. The ability to prevent bacterial attachment […]

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Efficient and Stable Method to Solve Poisson–Boltzmann Equation with Steep Gradients

Computational Electrostatics for Biological Applications
2015, pp 111-119 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-12211-3_5
Beibei Huang and Vladimir A. Baulin

This work describes a method to solve Poisson–Boltzmann Equation (PBE) with steep gradients when common methods of solving non-linear equations do not converge or work inefficiently. This is particularly the case for relatively large boundary conditions leading to rapid changes of the solution in a narrow […]

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Mechanism of dynamic reorientation of cortical microtubules due to mechanical stress

Biophysical Chemistry, (2015) 207, 82–89 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpc.2015.09.004
Alexander Muratov and Vladimir A. Baulin
Directional growth caused by gravitropism and corresponding bending of plant cells has been explored since 19th century, however, many aspects of mechanisms underlying the perception of gravity at the molecular level are still not well known. Perception of gravity in root and shoot gravitropisms is usually attributed to gravisensitive […]

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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. 

http://mp4-medium-dwn.media.tv3.cat/6/2/1440073012926.mp4

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:
 

 
Authors

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Graphene Induces Formation of Pores That Kill Spherical and Rod-Shaped Bacteria

ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b03368 (2015)
Vy T. H. Pham, Vi Khanh Truong, Matthew D. J. Quinn, Shannon M. Notley, Yachong Guo, Vladimir A. Baulin, Mohammad Al Kobaisi, Russell J. Crawford, and Elena P. Ivanova

Pristine graphene, its derivatives, and composites have been widely reported to possess antibacterial properties. Most of the studies simulating the interaction between bacterial cell […]

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Salou: Management meeting

22 October 2015. Management meeting in Salou, Spain
Agenda:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in Hotel Magnolia Salou,
Carrer de Madrid, 8, 43840 Salou, Tarragona
Attending people:

Vladimir Baulin (URV, Spain, coordinator)
Marco Werner (URV, Spain, project manager)
Jens-Uwe Sommer (IPF, Dresden)
 Domenico Lombardo (CNR, Italy)

 Elena Ivanova (Swinburne, Australia)

 Fabrice Thalmann (CNRS, France)

Shahram Ghanaati (GUF, Frankfurt)
Ian Tucker (Unilever, UK)
David Mainwaring (Swinburne, Australia)

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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 faces, which has been inhabited […]

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Salou: Workshop on biomaterials and lipid membranes 2015

19-21 October 2015. 4th Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2015 will be held at the hotel Magnolia****, Salou (Costa Dorada), Spain.

The meeting is a part of regular workshops held in Salou since 2011. The selected contributions to the meeting will be published in the web themed issue “Interaction of nano-objects with lipid membranes” in Soft Matter.
 

The […]

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Roccalumera: ITN SNAL Summer School on biomaterials, cell membranes and lipid bilayers 2015

ITN SNAL Summer School on biomaterials, cell membranes and lipid bilayers is organized within the scope of training events of Initial Training Network SNAL funded by European Union through Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. The summer school will be held at the Main Palace Hotel, a 4-star superior hotel in Taormina, Sicily from 24 July to 2 […]

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Manchester: Management meeting

11 April 2015. Management meeting in Manchester University, UK

Timetable:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in : School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, UK
Schuster building,
Oxford Rd,
Manchester M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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Manchester: SNAL open day

8 April 2015. SNAL open day in Manchester University, UK

Timetable:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in : School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, UK
Schuster building,
Oxford Rd,
Manchester M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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Cambridge: Management meeting

1-2 October 2014. Management meeting in Cambridge University, UK

Agenda:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology:
Pembroke Street
Cambridge
CB23RA
1-2 October stay at Fitzwilliam College

Storey’s Way
Cambridge CB3 0DG

 Attending people:

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SCMF – Single Chain Mean Field Theory

Basics
The Single Chain Mean Field (SCMF) theory was originally proposed by Ben-Shaul, Szleifer and Gelbart [zotpressInText item=”{QBZPNNQN},{RXXJ3MHB}”] to describe micellization of block copolymers. This method has further been developed to describe the structure of phospholipid membranes at the molecular level[zotpressInText item=”{4KUHSU4T},{QE3GFT2S}”]. SCMF is one of the theoretical tools exploited in the Molecular Simulation group in Tarragona.
 The SCMF theory describes a […]

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General model of phospholipid bilayers in fluid phase within the single chain mean field theory

J. Chem. Phys. 140, 174903 (2014)
Yachong Guo, Sergey Pogodin and Vladimir A. Baulin

Coarse-grained model for saturated phospholipids: 1,2-didecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DCPC), 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLPC), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) and unsaturated phospholipids: 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1,2- dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) is introduced within the single chain mean field theory. A single set of parameters adjusted for DMPC bilayers gives an adequate description […]

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Nanotopography as a trigger for the microscale, autogenous and passive lysis of erythrocytes

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2 (19), 2785-2948 (2014)
Vy T. H. Pham, Vi Khanh Truong, David E. Mainwaring, Yachong Guo, Vladimir Baulin, Mohammad Al Kobaisi,   Gediminas Gervinskas, Saulius Juodkazis, Wendy R. Zeng, Pauline Doran, Russell J Crawford and Elena P. Ivanova

Microscale devices are increasingly being developed for diagnostic analysis although conventional lysis as an initial step presents […]

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ITN-SNAL Marie Curie Project URV

 
Universitat Rovira i Virgili Coordinate EU-funded Marie Curie training network for Early Stage Researchers
ITN-SNAL Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network
Coordinator: Vladimir Baulin

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Lipid oxidation induces structural changes in biomimetic membranes

Soft Matter, 10, 4241-4247 (2014)
G. Weber, T. Charitat, M. S. Baptista, A. F. Uchoa, C. Pavani, H. C. Junqueira, Y. Guo, V. A. Baulin, R. Itri, C. M. Marques, A. P. Schroder

Oxidation can intimately influence and structurally compromise the levels of biological self-assembly embodied by intracellular and plasma membranes. Lipid peroxidation, a natural metabolic outcome of […]

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Bactericidal activity of black silicon

Nature Comm., 4, 2838 (2013)
E. P. Ivanova, J. Hasan, H. K. Webb, G. Gervinskas, S. Juodkazis, Vi K. Truong, A. H. F. Wu, R. N. Lamb, V. A. Baulin, G. S. Watson, J. A. Watson, D. E. Mainwaring, R. J. Crawford

 Black silicon is a synthetic nanomaterial that contains high aspect ratio nanoprotrusions on its surface, produced through a simple reactive-ion etching technique for use in photovoltaic applications. Surfaces with high […]

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ESR2-T: Molecular simulation models of biomimetic polymers in lipid bilayers

Theoretical physics, theory in soft matter, computer simulations
Contact
Adrien Berthault
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 […]

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Salou: Kick-off meeting and workshop 2014

31 May – 3 June 2014. Kick-off meeting of the ITN project SNAL and 3nd Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2014 will be held at the hotel Magnolia****, Salou (Costa Dorada), Spain.

This meeting follows up the 1st Workshop held in Salou 19-23 September 2011 and 2nd Workshop 24-26 February 2013. The selected contributions to the meeting will be […]

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Anti-bacterial surfaces inspired by cicada and dragonfly wings

This is the first reported example of a naturally existing surface with a physical structure that exhibits such effective bactericidal properties. Cicada wing nanopillars are extremely effective at killing Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells; the wing surface was able to kill individual cells within approximately 3 min. This bactericidal ability of the wing surface is primarily a physico-mechanical effect, […]

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Interaction of peptides and proteins with membranes

Cell membranes represent a serious protective barrier for external molecules, proteins, nanoparticles and drugs. This barrier is quite efficient in protecting the interior of the cells. Cell penetrating peptides, certain proteins, pore forming peptides can preferentially interact with lipid membranes and form different structures. Very little can be said about the pathway and the entry […]

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Self-assembly of interpolyelectrolyte complexes and their interaction with lipid membranes

 Electrostatic interactions are instrumental in determining the structure and function of living organisms, biopolymers and drug delivery systems. Charged macromolecules can self-assemble and aggregate into compact intermolecular complexes.
This ability of oppositely charged polymers to form finite size complexes determines their biological function, which for example is important in gene transfection and compactization of DNA, that provide promising alternatives to viral vectors. […]

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Translocation of nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and polymers through bilayers

Cell membranes represent a serious protective barrier for external molecules, proteins, nanoparticles and drugs. This barrier is quite efficient in protecting the interior of the cells. However, large nanoscale objects, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been found inside the cells both in direct and indirect biological experiments. Such experiments suggest that carbon nanotubes can efficiently […]

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Polymer micelles as drug carriers

Block copolymer micelles are composed of polymer chains with sequences of hydrophilic and hydrophobic blocks. In a dilute aqueous solution, they form spherical or cylindrical nano-objects comprised of several chains with a hydrophobic core and extended hydrophilic corona. Lipophilic drugs can be dissolved in the core of these micelles, while the corona will assure solubility […]

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Permeability of lipid bilayers induced by polymers

Lipid bilayers emerge by self-organization of amphiphilic molecules and are the essential component of membranes of living cells. An important task of them is the selective exchange of substances between the cell and its environment. This becomes particularly interesting for delivering foreign molecules and RNA into the cell. In the classical view of cell biology static […]

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