The 24th OPUS competition of the National Science Center has been decided! | Faculty of Chemistry at the Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2023-11-29

The 24th OPUS competition of the National Science Center has been decided!

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Within the OPUS 24+LAP competition, the National Science Center provided funding for the project led by Adam Macierzanka, PhD, DSc, Eng., university professor.

The research project entitled "Digestion of human milk in relation to prematurely born infants" will be carried out at the Gdańsk Tech Faculty of Chemistry by an inter-departmental team (Department of Colloid and Lipid Technology, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Department of Food Chemistry, Technology and Biotechnology). The Gdańsk Tech Faculty of Chemistry is the leader of this project, which will be carried out in a consortium with the Medical University of Gdańsk (Faculty of Medicine).

The total amount of funding granted for research by scientists in Gdańsk will be PLN 1,952,240, of which the vast majority (>95%) will be allocated to research at FCh. The purchase of research equipment for the analysis of dispersed systems is also planned.

The project will be implemented in the years 2024–2026, in the LAP scheme, which assumes the participation of an additional scientific partner from outside Poland. In the case of this project, it is a team of scientists from the University of Stuttgart (UStutt, Department of Food Chemistry), whose research will be financed independently by the DFG (German Research Foundation).

Scientific topics of the project:

The aim of the research is to provide new, extensive scientific data on the impact of the lactation stage on the digestion of human milk and the bioavailability of nutrients in the digestive system of premature and full-term infants.

The project will initially include the analysis of four large groups of research material, representing different types of human milk - colostrum and mature milk obtained from both mothers of premature and full-term infants. Milk samples will be subjected to biochemical and physicochemical tests, simulating digestion in the physiological conditions of the infants' digestive system. These studies will include, among others: aspects of phase separation in the gastric content and the dynamic passage of food content into the small intestine and further digestion. The transformation of human milk during digestion will be monitored through advanced analysis of proteins, lipids and milk sugars to identify and explain differences between the four types of milk tested.

In addition to examining fundamental aspects of human milk digestion, the behavior of conventional milk replacers under gastrointestinal conditions will also be tested. This is to identify differences in the behavior of such formulas compared to human milk of a given type. The acquired data will be used in mathematical modeling, the results of which will be able to constitute a solid scientific basis for designing the composition and structure of new human milk supplements, intended strictly for feeding full-term or premature infants at various stages of their development.