Tutor doc. RNDr. Josef Cvačka, Ph.D.
Team Hmotnostní spektrometrie (Dr. Josef Cvačka)
Topic Lipidomics of vernix caseosa
Faculty PřF UK
Abstract Vernix caseosa is a white to yellowish biofilm that covers the skin of the human fetus during the last trimester of pregnancy, and usually remains present on the skin of the newborn. It is necessary for the prenatal development of the skin and its postnatal adaptation. It consists of desquamated corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix, has antibacterial properties and exhibits a remarkable ability to heal wounds. Clinically relevant artificial substitutes are searched to help preterm infants with immature skin or patients with burn injuries or chronic wounds. In order to design an artificial vernix caseosa, it is necessary to understand its formation and chemical composition [1-4].

In this project, we want to study the complex composition of the vernix caseosa using lipidomics. First, methods based on shotgun lipidomics and HPLC-based lipidomics will be developed, taking into account the extreme complexity of the lipid mixture and the presence of highly hydrophobic compounds with long aliphatic chains. Targeted and non-targeted methods of analysis will be applied to samples representing different gestation times during the last trimester of pregnancy. State-of-art mass spectrometers will be used for the measurements. Data will be evaluated using specialized programs and statistical multivariate methods. The project promises to obtain unique data that will contribute to a better understanding of the formation and development of human skin.

1/ R.Míková et al., Newborn Boys and Girls Differ in the Lipid Composition of Vernix Caseosa. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99173 (2014)
2/ L.Šubčíková et al., Analysis of 1,2-diol diesters in vernix caseosa by high-performance liquid chromatography – atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry, J. Chromatogr. A, 1378, 8–18 (2015).
3/ A.Kalužíková et al., Cholesteryl esters of ω-(O-acyl)-hydroxy fatty acids in vernix caseosa, J. Lip. Res., 58, 1579–1590 (2017).
4/ E.Harazim et al., Nonhydroxylated 1-O-acylceramides in vernix caseosa, J. Lipid Res., 59, 2164–2173 (2018).

More information & How to apply
Find more projects and see how to apply at www.iocb.cz/phd. (Please note: Deadline for applications is February 21, 2019; IOCB Interview Day is on March 14, 2019)