My project at the Umeå university is aimed to investigate the mechanisms of mercury methylation by bacterial cells. A special emphasis is given to surface interactions between inorganic mercury and bacterial cell membranes, which are addressed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The role of media constituents and mercury speciation in this process is studied by means of mass spectrometry techniques. The interaction of mercury with planktonic bacteria is furthermore compared with their counterparts in biofilms.
I have previously worked with biofilms of probiotic bacteria to study the effect of the functionalization of the substrate surface on their growth. I have mainly used infrared spectroscopy to study molecular organization of grafted on the substrate molecules and, subsequently, of the biofilm on that substrate. Other techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, Rutheford backscattering spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron microscopy, electronic and optical microscopies, and contact angle measurements, were also used to characterize substrate surfaces and/or bacteria.
I have also experience of working with nanoparticles of metals in relation with their exposure to the environment and human body. Dynamic light scattering and atomic absorption spectrometry were used to determine changes in nanoparticles' size, charge and solubility, as a function of the properties of model biological solutions used for suspension preparation.
In addition, I have studied the properties of hyaluronic acid hydrogels, patterned using photolithography technique and modified with synthetized iron oxide nanoparticles, for tissue engineering applications.
I have obtained my PhD in chemistry at the University of Lorraine (LCPME and IJL laboratories) in Nancy, France. My master degree in nanochemistry and materials science was from both the Université Grenoble Alpes (France), and Tomsk Polytechnic University (Russia), the latter is where I also obtained my bachelor degree in physics with the speciation in nanomaterials and nanotechnologies.