Zeljka Krpetic

Dr Zeljka Krpetic

Lecturer in Physical Chemistry

Office Times

Thursdays 12.00-14.00


After achieving my PhD in Chemistry at The University of Milan (Italy) in 2008 followed by my post-doctoral research training in the cross-disciplinary field of applied nanotechnology in the UK and Ireland I joined the University of Salford, Manchester as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in September 2016.

Previously I have been working as a Senior Research Scientist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in several academic institutions across UK and Europe Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI), University College Dublin (Ireland), The University of Liverpool (UK) and Stratchlyde University (UK) where I took an active role in several European, UK and Irish research projects: FP6 “NACARDIO”, EU FP7 “BisNano”, EPSRC funded “Science and Innovation” (UK), EU FP7 ‘FutureNanoNeeds’, EU FP7 ‘NanoSolutions, Collaborative Centre for Applied Nanotechnology - CCAN ‘Nanokinetics’ project and FP7 ‘NanoMILE’.

As a result of my broader research engagement since 2014 I have been a member of the editorial board of Cancer Nanotechnology journal (Springer Publishing group).

My area of research expertise is the preparative nano-chemistry and tailored functionalisation of nanoparticles for diverse range of biomedical applications including development multimodal sensing platforms, synthesis of nanoparticles for targeted delivery and cancer therapy and development of new approaches to nanoparticle characterisation.

Amongst many achievements, I designed novel nanoparticle systems applied in multimodal nanoparticle-based sensing; I designed and manufactured the first example of gold nanoparticle based tool for ultra-sensitive double stranded DNA detection; I developed novel nanoparticles cell uptake studies and investigation of the intracellular fate and developed gold nanoparticles and new approaches for circumventing cell particle uptake by endocytosis-based mechanisms, that is of vital importance for the future use of nano particles in nanomedicine and drug delivery and she created highly monodisperse gold anisotropic nanoparticle libraries and developed protocols for new clean approaches to nanoparticle syntheses for in vivo and in vitro applications.


I am currently involved in teaching  Physical and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Salford (Level 5) to BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry students and am developing a new course within the area of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Research Interests

I am leading an interdisciplinary research at the interface between chemistry, biology and applied nanoscience focusing on the design, preparation, characterisation and advanced applications of nanomaterials for biological and biomedical applications.

My research aims to better understand the interactions of nanoparticles with living systems and define and manufacture better quality next generation nanomaterials for commercial and biomedical uses. Moreover, my research includes the development of nanosensing tools for probing the biological responses, design and preparation of smart multicomponent intracellular nano-vehicles and development of new approaches to nanoparticle analysis and characterisation strategies for critical assessment of anisotropic metal nanoparticles and their interactions with living cells. My research combines the Electron Microscopy tools and analytical centrifugation approaches (Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation) for advanced characterisation of the bio-nano interface.

Qualifications and Memberships

PhD in Chemistry, University of Milan, Italy (December 2008) Dissertation title: “Preparation, Characterisation and Biological Applications of Gold Nanoparticles”

MSc in Chemistry, University of Milan, Italy (July 2005) Dissertation title: “Gold Nanoparticles Stabilised by Mono and Polyfunctional, N and/or O Functionalised Organic Ligands. Applications in Biological Systems”

Member of the Italian Chemical Society (Società Chimica Italiana), 2007.

Member of E-MRS (European Materials Research Society), 2011.

Subject: Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Nanomaterials, Nanosciences, Nanoparticle synthesis


Book Chapters


1. Željka Krpetic, Sergio Anguissola, David Garry, Philip M. Kelly, Kenneth A. Dawson. ‘Nanomaterials: Impact on cells and cell organelles’ In: Nanomaterial: Impact on Cell Biology and Medicine. David Capco and Yongsheng Chen Eds. Springer, 2014


Journal Papers: Refereed

  1. Philip Kelly, Chris Philip M. Kelly, Christoffer Åberg, Ester Polo, Ann O’Connell, Jennifer Cookman, Jonathan Fallon, Željka Krpetic,* Kenneth A. Dawson*. Biological Identity and Recognition of Nanoparticles: Epitope Mapping of the Biomolecular Corona. Nature Nanotechnology, 2015, 10, 472-479 
  2. Matteo Masetti, Hai-nan Xie, Željka Krpetic, Maurizio Recanatini, Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla, Luca Guerrini. Revealing DNA Interactions with Exogenous Agents by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 469-476.
  3. Luca Guerrini, Željka Krpetic, Danny van Lierop, Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla, Duncan Graham. Direct Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Analysis of DNA Duplexes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 54, 1144-1148.
  4. Gabriel J. Gordillo, Željka Krpetic, Mathias Brust. Interactions of Gold Nanoparticles with a Phospholipid Monolayer Membrane on Mercury. ACS Nano, 20148, 6074–6080.
  5. Ana M. Cioran, Francesc Texidor, Željka Krpetic, Mathias Brust, Clara Vinas. Preparation and Characterisation of Au Nanoparticles Capped with Mercaptocarboranyl Clusters. Dalton Transactons, 2014, 43, 5054-5061.
  6. Željka Krpetic, Adam M. Davidson, Martin Volk, Raphaël Lévy, Mathias Brust, David L. Cooper. High-Resolution Sizing of Monolayer-Protected Gold Clusters by Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation ACS Nano20137, 8881–8890.
  7. Andrew J. Perrett, Rachel L. Dickinson, Željka Krpetic, Mathias Brust, Helen Lewis, Ian C. Eperon, Glenn A. Burley. Conjugation of PEG and gold nanoparticles to increase the accessibility and valency of tethered RNA splicing enhancers. Chemical Science 4, 2013, 257-265.
  8. Željka Krpetic, Ishwar Singh, Wu Su, Luca Guerrini, Karen Faulds, Glenn A. Burley, Duncan Graham. Directed Assembly of DNA-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles Using Pyrrole-Imidazole Polyamides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 143, 2012, 8356-8359. 
  9. Danny van Lierop, Željka Krpetic, Luca Guerrini, Iain A. Larmour, Jennifer A. Dougan, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham. Positively charged silver nanoparticles and their effect on surface-enhanced Raman scattering of dye-labelled oligonucleotides. Chem Commun.  2012, 48, 8192-8194.
  10. Ana M. Cioran, Ana D. Musteti, Francesc Teixidor, Željka Krpetic, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust, Clara Vinas. Mercaptocarborane-capped Gold Nanoparticles: Electron Pools and Ion Traps with Switchable Hydrophilicity. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 2012, 212-221.
  11. Željka Krpetic, Luca Guerrini, Iain Larmour, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham. Importance of the Nanoparticle Size in Colorimetric and SERS-based Trace Detection of Ni(II) Ions by Functional Gold Nanoprobes. Small, 8, 2012, 707-714.
  12. Stephen J. McMahon, Wendy B. Hyland, Emilie Brun, Karl T. Butterworth, Jonathan A. Coulter, Thierry Douki, David G. Hirst, Suneil Jain, Anthony P. Kavanagh, Željka Krpetic, Marcus H. Mendenhall, Mark F. Muir, Kevin M. Prise, Herwig Requardt, Léon Sanche, Giuseppe Schettino, Fred J. Currell, Cécile Sicard-Roselli. Energy dependence of gold nanoparticle radio-sensitisation in plasmid DNA. J. Phys. Chem. 115, 2011, 20160-20167.
  13. Laura Rodriguez-Lorenzo, Željka Krpetic, Silvia Barbosa, Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla, Luis M. Liz-Marzan, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust. Intracellular mapping with SERS-encoded gold nanostars. Integrative Biology, 3, 2011, 922–926.
  14. Željka Krpetic, Paola Nativo, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust. Acrylate Facilitated Cellular Uptake of Gold Nanoparticles. Small (Special Issue: C. A. Mirkin, 20 Years at Northwestern) 7, 2011, 1982–1986.
  15. Željka Krpetic, Samia Saleemi, Ian A. Prior, Violaine Sée, Rumana Qureshi, Mathias Brust. Negotiation of Intracellular Membrane Barriers by TAT-Modified Gold Nanoparticles. ACS Nano 5, 2011, 5195–5201. (Article evaluated by F1000. Faculty of 1000: 2011. F1000.com/10984956)
  16. Željka Krpetic, Paola Nativo, Violaine See, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust, Martin Volk. Inflicting Controlled Nonthermal Damage to Subcellular Structures by Laser-activated Gold Nanoparticles. Nano Letters 10, 2010, 4549–4554.
  17. Željka Krpetic, Francesca Porta, Enrico Caneva, Vladimiro Dal Santo, Giorgio Scarì. Phagocytosis of biocompatible gold nanoparticles. Langmuir 26, 2010, 14799–14805.
  18. Željka Krpetic, Giorgio Scarì, Enrico Caneva, Giovanna Speranza, Francesca Porta. Gold nanoparticles prepared using Cape Aloe active components. Langmuir 25, 2009, 7217−7221.
  19. Željka Krpetic, Paola Nativo, Francesca Porta, Mathias Brust. A multidentate peptide for stabilisation and facile bioconjugation of gold nanoparticles. Bioconjugate Chemistry 20, 2009, 619−624.
  20. Sandra Rondinini, Gabriele Aricci, Željka Krpetic, Cristina Locatelli, Alessandro Minguzzi, Francesca Porta, Alberto Vertova. Electroreductions of silver-based electrocatalysts: the use of Ag nanoparticles for CHCl3 to CH4 conversion. Fuel Cells 9, 2008, 253−263.
  21. Francesca Porta, Željka Krpetic, Laura Prati, Aureliano Gaiassi, Giorgio Scarì. Gold-Ligand interaction studies of water soluble aminoalcohol capped gold nanoparticles by NMR. Langmuir 24, 2008, 7061−7064.
  22. Željka Krpetic, Francesca Porta, Giovanna Speranza, Vladimiro Dal Santo, Pierangelo Francescato, Giorgio Scarì. Gold nanoparticles capped by peptides. Materials Science and Engineering B 140, 2007, 187−194.
  23. Željka Krpetic, Francesca Porta, Giorgio Scarì. Selective entrance of gold nanoparticles into cancer cells. Gold Bulletin 39, 2006, 66−68.
  24. Laura Prati, Alberto Villa, Francesca Porta, Dangsheng Su, Di Wang, Željka Krpetic. Single-phase bimetallic system for the selective oxidation of glycerol to glycerate. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis; Scientific Basis for the Preparation of Heterogeneous Catalysts 162, 2006, 553−560.