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Internal grant agency will support five student projects in 2023

Our institute supports independent research of Ph.D. students through the Internal grant agency. Students can apply for up to 50,000 CZK to cover the material costs, carry out experiments, or travel expenses covering the Ph.D. student’s trip to a conference.


IGA 2023 awardees. From left to right Mark Terentyak, Claudia Vásquez, Magdalena Bendová (PhD Studies Board Chair), Aleš Krčil, Kajal Julaha, Jan Čížek

As of 1 January 2023, the following five projects have been supported for the next twelve months, until the end of this year:

  1. Kajal Julaha: Vertical measurement of black carbon aerosols using a drone

This study aims to measure the vertical profiling of black carbon (BC) aerosols using a drone. The measurements will be taken at two locations: 1. NAOK which represents the regional background site and 2. MFF which represents an urban location. At NAOK, a 250 m tower is also available, serving as a way to calibrate the drone measurements. Measurements will be taken using micro-Aethalometer AE51 for 2-3 weeks long measurement campaigns during different meteorological conditions.


  1. Jan Čížek: Chiral polyelectrolyte multilayers based on cyclodextrins for the preparation of enantioselective membranes

The aim of the project is to prepare and characterize the separation properties of thin enantioselective layers in the form of polyelectrolyte complexes for the separation of racemic mixtures. The polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEM) will be prepared from charged cyclodextrins, oligosaccharides capable of forming enantioselective inclusion complexes with a range of chiral species. The PEMs will be deposited layer-by-layer on a substrate in the form of commercially available surface-charged membranes.


  1. Aleš Krčil: Synthesis of mono- and multivalent fluorinated lactosides and their interaction with galectins

Galectins are proteins that non-covalently bind carbohydrates and are involved in a number of pathological processes such as cancer development or inflammatory processes. The interaction between galectins and carbohydrates can be studied using fluorinated lactosides. The aim of the project is to synthesize mono- and multivalent lactosides and to study their interaction with galectins with the possibility of preparing selective inhibitors of galectins applicable e.g. in cancer treatment.


  1. Mark Terentyak: Development of a validated model for mass transfer in a bubbled column

Aeration is a key factor in aerobic cultivation and to get it right, the volume coefficient of mass transfer needs to be known. Oxygen transfer from gas to liquid is affected by a number of conditions. When studying aerobic processes, theoretical models can be developed that link hydrodynamics to mass transfer. The aim of this project is to develop and validate such a model. The volume coefficient of the mass transfer itself will be determined by the dynamic pressure method and validation will be performed based on experimental data.


  1. Claudia Vásquez: Design of a suitable defoaming system for Limnospira maxima (spirulina) cultivation

One of the issues during L. maxima cultivation in bubbled photobioreactors (PBRs) is the formation of unwanted foam, this is a concern that not only affects the growth of spirulina and final product quality but contributes to an increment of operational costs. Besides, this matter has not been widely explored in microalgae cultivation, therefore, practical solutions are not available in the literature. The present project is focused on the development of a defoaming system for spirulina cultivation.

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