Researchers at UCD


Zeljka Krpetic

Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Chemistry
Centre for BioNano Interactions
School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Tel: +353(0)1716 2416


Dr Krpetic joined the centre for BioNano Interactions in October 2012 as a Senior Post-doctoral Research Fellow. From May 2015 she has been appointed a Research Scientist at the CBNI, UCD.
She is working at the interface between biology and nanoscience and focusing on the preparation of novel nanomaterials designed for biological and biomedical applications. Her focus is to develop robust methods for preparation of monodisperse particle systems that minimise batch-to-batch variability enabling critical assessment of toxicity and novel biological responses. Furthermore she is developing new nanoparticle libraries and new characterisation strategies for critical assessment of anisotropic metal nanoparticles and their interactions with biological fluids and living cells. Her research aims are to develop novel particle modalities for controlling and directing how nanoparticles interact with biological fluids and living systems, and to optimise methods for characterising the complex biomolecule-nanoparticle interactions (e.g. Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation (DCS), NMR, agarose gels etc.) and nanoparticle-cell interactions (e.g. Transmission Electron Microscopy). Dr Krpetic is designing new modalities for clean nanoparticle synthesis, i.e. endotoxin-free nanoparticle batches, particularly suitable for in vivo applications. 
Zeljka is actively involved in EU FP7 project FutureNanoNeeds (, a European framework to respond to the regulatory needs of future nanomaterials and markets in her role of Nanoparticle Libraries Coordinator and supervisor of the MTA quality check for the project.
Dr Krpetic obtained a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy and a PhD in Chemistry in 2008 from the same institution for her research on the preparation, characterisation and biological applications of gold nano particles. Before joining CBNI she pursued three and a half years of post-doctoral research in the UK, working in the group of Prof. Mathias Brust (The University of Liverpool) a world leading expert on gold nano particle synthesis and Prof. Duncan Graham (Strathclyde University, Glasgow) world expert in SERS-based spectroscopy and nano-diagnostics. Dr Krpetic is an expert in preparative nano chemistry and tailored functionalisation of nanoparticles for diverse range of bio-applications including sensing, targeting, delivery and cancer therapy. Amongst many achievements, she designed novel particle systems for use in multimodal nanoparticle-based sending; she designed and manufactured the first example of gold nano particle based tool for ultra-sensitive double stranded DNA detection; she developed novel nanoparticles for study of the cell uptake and intracellular fate and developed gold nano particles and new approaches for circumventing cell uptake of nano particles by endocytosis-based mechanisms, that is of vital importance for the future use of nano particles in nanomedicine and drug delivery.



Book Chapters

Zeljka Krpetić, Sergio Anguissola, David Garry, Philip Kelly, and Kenneth A. Dawson (2014) 'Nanomaterials: Impact on cells and cell organelles' In: David Capco and Yongsheng Chen (eds). Nanomaterial: Impacts on Cell Biology and Medicine. N/A: Springer. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Dr. Luca Guerrini,Dr. ¿eljka Krpetić, Dr. Danny van Lierop,Prof. Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla,Prof. Duncan Graham (2015) 'Direct Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Analysis of DNA Duplexes'. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 54 (4):1144-1148. [DOI] [Details]
Masetti, M., Xie, H., Krpetic, Z., Recanatini, M., Alvarez-Puebla, RA., Guerrini, L. (2015) 'Revealing DNA Interactions with Exogenous Agents by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering'. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137 (1):469-476. [DOI] [Details]
Cioran, A.M., Teixidor, F., Krpetic, Z., Brust, M., Viñas, C. (2014) 'Preparation and Characterization of Au Nanoparticles Capped with Mercaptocarboranyl Clusters'. Dalton Transactions, 43 (13):5054-5061. [DOI] [Details]
Andrew J. Perrett, Rachel L. Dickinson, Zeljka Krpetić, Mathias Brust, Helen Lewis, Ian C. Eperon, Glenn Burley (2013) 'Conjugation of PEG and gold nanoparticles to increase the accessibility and valency of tethered RNA splicing enhancers'. Chemical Science, 4 :257-265. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Adam M. Davidson, Martin Volk, Raphaël Lévy, Mathias Brust, David L. Cooper. (2013) 'High-Resolution Sizing of Monolayer-Protected Gold Clusters by Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation'. ACS Nano, 7 :8881-8890. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Luca Guerrini, Iain Larmour, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham (2012) 'Importance of the Nanoparticle Size in Colorimetric and SERS-based Trace Detection of Ni(II) Ions by Functional Gold Nanoprobes'. Small, 8 :707-714. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Ishwar Singh, Wu Su, Luca Guerrini, Karen Faulds, Glenn A. Burley, Duncan Graham. (2012) 'Directed Assembly of DNA-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles Using Pyrrole-Imidazole Polyamides'. Journal of American Chemical Society, 134 :8356-8359. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Danny van Lierop, Luca Guerrini, Iain A. Larmour, Jennifer A. Dougan, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham (2012) 'Positively charged silver nanoparticles and their effect on surface-enhanced Raman scattering of dye-labelled oligonucleotides'. Chemical Communications, 48 :8192-8194. [Details]
Ana M. Cioran, Ana D. Musteti, Francesc Teixidor, Zeljka Krpetić, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust, Clara Vinas (2012) 'Mercaptocarborane-capped Gold Nanoparticles: Electron Pools and Ion Traps with Switchable Hydrophilicity'. Journal of American Chemical Society, 134 :212-221. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Samia Saleemi, Ian A. Prior, Violaine Sée, Rumana Qureshi, Mathias Brust (2011) 'Negotiation of Intracellular Membrane Barriers by TAT-Modified Gold Nanoparticles'. ACS Nano, 5 :5195-5201. [Details]
Stephen J. McMahon, Wendy B. Hyland, Emilie Brun, Karl T. Butterworth, Jonathan A. Coulter, Thierry Douki, David G. Hirst, Suneil Jain, Anthony P. Kavanagh, Zeljka Krpetić, Marcus H. Mendenhall, Mark F. Muir, Kevin M. Prise, Herwig Requardt, Léon Sanche, Giuseppe Schettino, Fred J. Currell, Cécile Sicard-Roselli (2011) 'Energy dependence of gold nanoparticle radio-sensitisation in plasmid DNA'. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115 :20160-20167. [Details]
Laura Rodriguez-Lorenzo, Zeljka Krpetić, Silvia Barbosa, Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla, Luis M. Liz-Marzan, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust (2011) 'ntracellular mapping with SERS-encoded gold nanostars'. Integrative Biology, 3 :922-926. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Paola Nativo, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust (2011) 'Acrylate Facilitated Cellular Uptake of Gold Nanoparticles'. Small, 7 :1982-1986. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Francesca Porta, Enrico Caneva, Vladimiro Dal Santo, Giorgio Scarì (2010) 'Phagocytosis of biocompatible gold nanoparticles'. Langmuir, 26 :14799-14805. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Paola Nativo, Violaine See, Ian A. Prior, Mathias Brust, Martin Volk (2010) 'Inflicting Controlled Nonthermal Damage to Subcellular Structures by Laser-activated Gold Nanoparticles'. Nano Letters, 10 :4549-4554. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Paola Nativo, Francesca Porta, Mathias Brust (2009) 'A multidentate peptide for stabilisation and facile bioconjugation of gold nanoparticles'. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 20 :619-624. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Giorgio Scarì, Enrico Caneva, Giovanna Speranza, Francesca Porta (2009) 'Gold nanoparticles prepared using cape aloe active components'. Langmuir, 25 :7217-7221. [Details]
Francesca Porta, Zeljka Krpetić, Laura Prati, Aureliano Gaiassi, Giorgio Scarì (2008) 'Gold-Ligand interaction studies of water soluble aminoalcohol capped gold nanoparticles by NMR'. Langmuir, 24 :7061-7064. [Details]
Zeljka Krpetić, Francesca Porta, Giovanna Speranza, Vladimiro Dal Santo, Pierangelo Francescato, Giorgio Scarì. (2007) 'Gold nanoparticles capped by peptides'. Materials Science and Engineering, B, 140 :187-194. [Details]


Research Interests

Dr Krpetic's research interests involve the studies of nanoparticles at the interface between biology and nanoscience. Her research interest include the development of new preparation methods of anisotropic biocompatible gold nanoparticles and nanomaterials designed for biological and biomedical applications including diagnostic purposes. She is also studying and developing new strategies for biomolecule-nanoparticle interactions using Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation. Furthermore she is developing new nanoparticle libraries for critical assessment of high throughput biological outcomes in vitro and in depth interactions with biological fluids and living cells. Dr Krpetic is designing new modalities for clean nanopaticle synthesis, i.e. endotoxin-free nanoparticle batches, particularly suitable for in vivo applications.
Dr Krpetic is actively involved in EU FP7 project FutureNanoNeeds (, a European framework to respond to the regulatory needs of future nanomaterials and markets. Her role in the project as Nanoparticle Libraries Coordinator includes coordination of the design, development and manufacturing of diverse nanoparticle libraries throughout the project.