Topic:    Constructs of biomolecules with diamond nanoparticles for biomedical applications

Tutor:    Dr. Petr Cígler


Students from fields of study: biochemistry, molecular biology. Experience with work on proteins is appreciated. The student will study at Charles University, First faculty of medicine, PhD program Biomedicine (field of study: Biochemistry and pathobiochemistry). The state exam will involve mostly biochemistry.


Control of specific protein-protein interactions using nanoparticles is an emerging alternative to small molecule-based therapeutic interventions. The nanoparticles designed as “artificial proteins” generally require modification of their surface with (bio)organic molecules and/or polymers to ensure their selectivity and specificity of action. However, certain nanoparticles can interact with proteins also directly. In the PhD thesis, interaction of modified and “naked” nanosized diamond crystals (nanodiamonds, NDs) with proteins such as extracellular signalling factors (responsible for growth regulation) and α-synuclein (involved in Alzheimer disease) will be investigated using range of biophysical and spectroscopic methods. A part of the work will be focused also on synthesis of defined bionanointerface of NDs and construction of optical nanosensors with high spatiotemporal resolution for biological applications.

Relevant publications:

[1] Lynch I., Dawson, K. A.: Protein-Nanoparticle Interactions. Nano Today, 2008, 3, 40–47.

[2] Rendler T., Neburkova J., Zemek O., Kotek J., Zappe A., Chu Z., Cigler P., Wrachtrup J.: Optical imaging of localized chemical events using programmable diamond quantum nanosensors. Nature Comm.2017, 8, 14701.

[3] Neburkova, J., Vavra, J., Cigler, P.: Coating nanodiamonds with biocompatible shells for applications in biology and medicine. Curr. Opin. Solid State Mater. Sci.2017, 21 43–53.