MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Whole-cell Biosensors in Toxicology


Sensor Technologies


prof. dr. Metka Filipič


Ability of the integration of knowledge in the fields of cell physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry and modern measurement techniques for the design, construction and use of whole-cell biosensors for detecting specific toxic effects and for environmental biomonitoring.

Independent solving of the problems related to the topic of the doctoral dissertation, which refer to the content of the course and the integration of interdisciplinary content.


• Principles and types of whole-cell biosensors.
• Fields of application of whole-cell biosensors in toxicology and ecotoxicology.
• Construction of whole-cell biosensors related to the intended application (selection of relevant responsive cell elements, detection of responses, sensitivity and specificity for selection of specific toxic effect or analyte).
• Case studies of the application of whole-cell based biosensors in (eco)toxicology.
• Case studies related to the PhD study of the candidate.

Course literature:

• Biosensors and Environmental Health, 2012 VR. Preedy, V. Patel (eds), Taylor&Francis group, CRC Press.
• Cell based biosensors: Priciples and applications, 2010. P.Wang, Q. Liu (eds) Artech House, Boston/London, Norwood, MA, USA.

Journal articles:
• Palmer, A.E., Qin, Y., Park, J.G., McCombs, J.E., 2011. Design and application of genetically encoded biosensors. Trends in Biotechnology 29, 144-152.
• Zhong, J.-J., Gu, M., Mitchell, R., Kim, B., 2004. Whole-Cell-Based Biosensors for Environmental Biomonitoring and Application, In Biomanufacturing. pp. 269-305. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
• Park, M., Tsai, S.L., Chen, W., 2013. Microbial Biosensors: Engineered Microorganisms as the Sensing Machinery. Sensors 13, 5777-5795.
• Žager, V, Čemažar, M, Hreljac, I, Lah Turnšek, T, Serša, G, Filipič, M. Development of human cell biosensor system for genotoxicity detection based on DNA damage-induced gene expression. Radiol. Oncol. 2010, 42-51. [COBISS.SI-ID 898427]

Significant publications and references:

• FILIPIČ, Metka, LAH TURNŠEK, Tamara, HRELJAC, Irena, ČEMAŽAR, Maja, SERŠA, Gregor, ŽAGER, Valerija, KAMENŠEK, Urška. Celični sistem za hitro zaznavanje in določanje genotoksičnosti : patent : SI 23294 (A), 2011-08-31. Ljubljana: Urad RS za intelektualno lastnino, 2011. 20 str., ilustr. [COBISS.SI-ID 2328399]

Selected articles:
• ŽAGER, Valerija, ČEMAŽAR, Maja, HRELJAC, Irena, LAH TURNŠEK, Tamara, SERŠA, Gregor, FILIPIČ, Metka. Development of human cell biosensor system for genotoxicity detection based on DNA damage-induced gene expression. Radiol. oncol. (Ljubl.), Mar. 2010, vol. 44, no. 1, str. 42-51. [COBISS.SI-ID 898427]
• AVBERŠEK, Miha, ŽEGURA, Bojana, FILIPIČ, Metka, HEATH, Ester. Integration of GC-MSD and ER-Calux assay into a single protocol for determining steroid estrogens in environmental samples. Sci. total environ., 2011, vol. 409, issue 23, str. 5069-5075, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.08.020. [COBISS.SI-ID 25062951]
• ŠTRASER, Alja, FILIPIČ, Metka, ŽEGURA, Bojana. Cylindrospermopsin induced transcriptional responses in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Toxicol. in vitro, 2013, str. 1-9 [in press], doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2013.05.012. [COBISS.SI-ID 2805327]
• PEZDIRC, Marko, ŽEGURA, Bojana, FILIPIČ, Metka. Genotoxicity and induction of DNA damage responsive genes by food-borne heterocyclic aromatic amines in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Food chem. toxicol., 2013, vol. 59, str. 386-394, doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.06.030. [COBISS.SI-ID 2827087]

FP7 Project:
• Fate and effects of cytostatic pharmaceuticals in the environment and identification of biomarkers for an improved risk assessment on environmental exposure – Cytothreat (2011-2014; coordinator Metka Filipič).


Oral exam (50%)
Case study (50%)

Students obligations:

Oral exam.
Case study.