Dr. Zeljka Krpetic

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Zeljka Krpetic

Contact Details

Peel Building Room G06

Please email for an appointment.



Current positions

Lecturer in Physical Chemistry


After achieving my Ph.D. 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 as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in September 2016.

I have been working in several academic institutions across UK and Europe: Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI) at the University College Dublin (Ireland), The University of Liverpool (UK) and the Centre for Nanometrology at Strathclyde University (UK) where I took an active role in several European, UK and Irish funded 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, I am a member of the editorial board (since 1014) and nominated an Associate Editor the Cancer Nanotechnology journal (Springer Publishing group) since 2017.

My research is focused on 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, enhanced antimicrobial properties and cancer radiotherapy dose enhancement and development of new approaches to nanoparticle characterisation in view of enhancing the quality assurance of the nanomaterials used in nanomedicine.

Amongst many achievements, I designed novel nanoparticle systems applied in multimodal nanoparticle-based sensing and manufactured the first example of a gold nanoparticle-based tool for ultra-sensitive double-stranded DNA detection. I also developed novel nanoparticles-cell uptake studies and studied the intracellular fate of nanoparticles on electron microscopy level.

In particular, my research was focused on the development of gold nanoparticles and new approaches for circumventing cell particle uptake by endocytosis-based mechanisms, that is of vital importance for the future use of nanoparticles in nanomedicine and drug delivery. Of equal importance, my studies introduced new methods for preparation of highly monodisperse gold particles and shaped particle libraries and developed new protocols for clean (endotoxin-free) approaches to nanoparticle syntheses for in vivo and in vitro applications.

Salford NanoLab, my research group at Salford University is developing novel nanoparticle formulations for X-ray dose enhancement anticancer therapy and new nanoparticle systems with advanced antimicrobial properties.

Areas of research

Nanotechnology, Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterisation, Bio-Nano Interactions, Nanomedicine, Bionano Technology


  • Level 4: Introduction to Physical Chemistry; BSc (Hons) Chemistry, BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry
  • Level 5: Core Physical Chemistry (ex Physical and Analytical Chemistry), BSc (Hons) Chemistry, BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry
  • Level 7: Research Project; MSc
  • Level 7: Novel Therapeutics; MSc Drug Design & Discovery
  • I am module leader of the Core Physical Chemistry (Level 5) and co-teaches on the Introduction to Physical Chemistry (Level 4) and Novel Therapeutics (Level 7) modules.
  • I am currently developing two modules for Level 7, MSc ‘Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine’ and ‘Environmental Nanotechnology Nanotoxicology and Nanosafety’.

Research Interests

I am conducting 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.

I combine Electron Microscopy (TEM) and analytical centrifugation (Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation) approaches for the advanced high-resolution 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.
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), since 2017.
  • Member of the American Chemical Society, since 2016.
  • Member of Biomedical Research Centre, University of Salford, since 2016.