Biosensors, electrochemistry and drug research: cooperation of Tomsk Polytechnic University and Prague University of Chemistry and Technology

These days Tomsk Polytechnic University is hosting the XIX International Scientific Conference of Students and Young Scientists - Chemistry and Chemical Technology in the XXI Century, named after Professor L.P. Kulev, bringing together students and young researchers from 16 countries. Among participants, there are students and scientists of Prague University of Chemistry and Technology.  UCT Vice-Rectors Bohumil Kratochvíl and Pavel Matejka told TPU press office about joint research with TPU scientists and new projects.

Photo: Pavel Matejka, Elena Korotkova, Bohumil Kratochvíl (left to right)

In 2013, TPU and UCT signed an agreement on educational and scientific cooperation.  Nowadays, the basis for joint work between the universities is the bi-nationally supervised PhD program.

“PhD students are the basis of scientific work at the university.

The results they obtain will lay a foundation for the further research. Unlike their research supervisors who tend to be busy and simply cannot afford to leave for six months for another university and carry out research there, young scientists have such opportunity.   They can bridge different organizations for information and experience exchange” - says Pavel Matejka, Vice-Rector for External Relations and Communication of UCT.

Currently, two TPU PhD students Ekaterina Khristunova and Olga Guselnikova are conducting their research in Prague. Ekaterina is working towards immunosensors based on silver nanoparticles for rapid detection of antibodies in biological objects, in particular the tick-borne encephalitis virus. Olga is developing ultrasensitive gold-based sensors with the use of organic compounds. They can rapidly and accurately detect even a small amount of desired substance in various media, e.g. toxic heavy metals or molecules-signs of disease. The latest results of this research are published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical (IF 5.401, Q1).  

“Sensors are one of the areas of our collaboration in the field of electrochemistry.  Thus, at TPU we designed sensors for rapid analysis of cholesterol, heparin in blood,

- says Elena Korotkova, the head of Division for Chemical Engineering. - TPU has an influential school of electrochemistry, whose good name ascends to Professor Armine Stromberg.  Our students have high professional level allowing them to work at international research centers.  The Prague university is one of these centers that provides a solid laboratory facility for conducting experiments”.

According to Bohumil Kratochvíl, the chairperson of the conference program committee, UCT Vice-Rector for Research, another promising collaboration area between UCT and TPU is X-ray diffraction for analyzing structures of pharmaceutical substances and phase composition of drug mixture.

“The university should have a laboratory for X-ray diffraction for studying substance structure, in particular for studying and developing new drug substances. TPU does not have one yet, however, I hope that our bi-nationally -supervised PhD students will lay a foundation for such laboratory ”, - says Professor Bohumil Kratochvíl .

In addition, the representatives of UCT commended several students specializing in the area of fuel chemistry, development of additives for improving fuel quality, e.g. gasoline, diesel fuel. 

"We hope that they will be able to participate in double postgraduate programs this September.

Chemistry of fuel will be a new area of collaboration between universities.

In addition, we prepared two joint applications for the EU Erasmus+ program.  The first one is related to academic mobility, and the second one to the development of double postgraduate programs”, - underlines Vice-Rector Pavel Matejka.

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The XIX International Conference of Students and Young Scientists - Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the XXI century, named after Professor L.P. Kulev is hosted at TPU May 21-24. It brought together 450 participants from 16 countries: Russia, the Czech Republic, Britain, China, Venezuela, Chile, and others. Within the next four days, the conference participants will discuss topical issues of modern chemical technology, biotechnology, pharmacy, chemistry of rare elements, and environmental protection.