University homepage In English
University of Helsinki Faculty of Science
Analytical Chemistry


Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
P.O. BOX 55 (A.I. Virtasen aukio 1)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki



Bioanalytical Research

Bioanalytical Research

In the past years, substantial evidence has been obtained for interactions between lipoproteins and extracellular matrix proteoglycans in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis The polyanionic and hydrophilic glycosaminoglycan chains dominate the physical properties of proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are assumed to bind apolipoprotein B and E containing lipoproteins. Collagens that represent the most abundant family of protein in the human body, also take part in the formation of the extracellular matrix. Collagen I and III are present in most tissues and they also seem to be involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The goal of our research carried out in interdisciplinary collaboration (analytical chemistry-biochemistry-computational chemistry-medicine-physics) is to develop new miniaturized devices and techniques with novel properties and functions applicable to in vitro and in situ lipoprotein studies. By these new techniques totally new data on different nanoprocesses can be produced. In addition to the main target capillary and microchip electromigration techniques employed, molecular dynamic simulations complete the studies by elucidating different interactions at the atomic level. Moreover, the interaction results obtained with electromigration techniques will be compared with those achieved with biosensors, and several other instrumental techniques, such as asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation, atomic force microscope and scanning electron microscope are frequently implemented.

Phospholipids are the main components of natural membranes. Most natural phospholipids are either zwitterionic or negatively charged. Liposomes are vesicles formed by the aggregation of amphiphilic phospholipid molecules, which in structure closely resemble natural cell membranes. Today they are extensively used in medical and pharmaceutical research to model the structure and function of cell membranes. Interactions between analytes and phospholipid membranes are dependent on the characteristics of both analytes and membrane. Liposomes composed of phospholipids are studied in capillaries with electromigration techniques. Interactions between phospholipid or proteoliposome membranes and low-molar mass drugs or proteins are explored.

Professors in charge
Prof. Marja-Liisa Riekkola