Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
Research interests: biophysics of lipids and lipid protein interactions; application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology
Professor Zoya Leonenko is a well-known expert in biophysics and scanning probe microscopy and is the author of over 60 scientific publications and several book chapters.
Leonenko leads a nanoscale biophysics research group at the University of Waterloo. She uses advanced scanning probe microscopy methods to study biophysics of lipids and lipid-protein interactions, interactions of nanoparticles with lipid membrane and monolayers, and to develop novel application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology and biosensing.
Leonenko is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy holding a joint position with Department of Biology. Dr Leonenko joined the University of Waterloo in 2007. Prior to this, she worked at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor. She was also a recipient of an Invited Professorship Award from the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France in 2006. Leonenko’s laboratory in the Department of Physics and Astronomy was established in 2007 and is supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)/Ontario Research Fund (ORF) funds. The laboratory is equipped with two advanced scanning probe microscopes from Agilent Technologies and JPK Instruments, complimented by optical and fluorescence microscopy and Langmuir-Blodgett instrumentation.
- PhD, Chemical Physics, Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Novosibirsk State University, Russia
- Diploma (MS), Physical Chemistry, Novosibirsk State University, Russia
Studying biophysics of lipids and lip-protein interactions
Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) methods, including atomic force microscopy, provide a powerful way for imaging and manipulations of matter at the nanoscale and are especially useful in life sciences and bionanotechnology. Professor Leonenko’s research program employs SPM methods to study biophysics of lipids and lipid-protein interactions, the role of structural changes and physical properties of lipid template in controlling biological processes and diseases.
Investigation of lipid membrane as an important part of every living cell
Amyloid fibrils are insoluble protein aggregates that associated with several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Leonenko’s research team studies the structure and physical properties of the model and cell membrane in relation amyloid fibril formation and toxicity. These studies will aid in understanding of complex mechanism of amyloidoses and will help to develop novel methods for early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Additional research projects
Professor Leonenko’s research group will also investigate the following: structure and function of pulmonary surfactant and interaction of surfactant with nanoparticles; application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology and biosensor development; interactions of nanoparticles with lipid membrane and development of novel scanning probe force microscopy methods and novel applications of these methods for bio-and -nanotechnologies.
- Biophysics of lipids and lipid-protein interactions in relation to Alzheimer’s disease
- Application of lipid films in biomedical nanotechnology and nanosensor development
- Developing of novel scanning probe microscopy methods and their applications
- E. Drolle, F. Hane, B. Lee, Z. Leonenko, (2014), “Atomic Force Microscopy to Study Molecular Mechanisms of Amyloid Fibril Formation and Toxicity in Alzheimer's Disease”, Drug Metabolism Reviews, Early Online: 1-17.
- F. Hane, S. Attwood, and Z. Leonenko, (2014), “Comparison of Three Competing Dynamic Force Spectroscopy Models to Study Binding Forces of Amyloid-β 1-42”, Soft Matter, 10: 1924-1930.
- F. Hane and Z. Leonenko, (2014), “Effect of Metals on Kinetic Pathways of Amyloid-β Aggregation”, Biomolecules, 4: 101-116.
- F. Hane, B. Lee, A. Petoyan, A. Rauk, Z. Leonenko, (2014), “Testing Synthetic Amyloid-β Aggregation Inhibitor Using Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy”, Journal of Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 54: 492-498.
- Y. Choi, S. Attwood, M. Hoopes, E. Drolle, M. Karttunen, Z. Leonenko, (2014), “Melatonin Directly Interacts with Cholesterol and Alleviates Cholesterol Effects in Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine Monolayers”, Soft Matter, 10(1): 206-213.
- F. Hane, G. Tran, S. Attwood, and Z. Leonenko, (2013), “Cu2+ Affects Amyloid-β (1-42) Aggregation by Increasing Peptide-Peptide Binding Forces”, PLoS ONE, 8(3): e59005
- E. Drolle, N. Kucerka, M. Hoopes, Y. Choi, J. Katsaras, M. Karttunen, and Z. Leonenko, (2013), “Effect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes”, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1828: 2247-2254.
- L. Dindia, L. Faught, Z. Leonenko, R. Thomas, M. Vijayan, (2013), “Rapid Cortisol Signaling in Response to Acute Stress Involves Changes in Plasma Membrane Order in Rainbow Trout Liver”, American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 304(11): E1157-E1166.
- S. Attwood, Y. Choi, Z. Leonenko, (2013), “Preparation of DOPC and DPPC Supported Planar Lipid Bilayers for Atomic Force Microscopy and Atomic Force Spectroscopy”, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14: 3514-3539.
- E. Finot, L. Markey, F. Hane, M. Amrein, and Z. Leonenko, (2013), “Combined Atomic Force Microscopy and Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Applied to the Analysis of Lipid-Protein Thin Films”, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 104: 289-293.
- Z. Zhang, F. Yang, Y. Han, R. Gaikwad, Z. Leonenko, and B. Zhao, (2013), “Surface and Tribological Behaviors of the Bioinspired Polydopamine Thin Films under Dry and Wet Conditions”, Biomacromolecules, 14: 394-405.
- L. Dindia, J. Murray, E. Faught, T. Davis, Z. Leonenko, and M. Vijayan, (2012), “Novel Nongenomic Signaling by Glucocorticoid May Involve Changes to Liver Membrane Order in Rainbow Trout”, PLoS ONE, 7(10): e46859.
- E. Drolle, R. Gaikwad, and Z. Leonenko, (2012), “Nanoscale Electrostatic Domains in Cholesterol-Laden Lipid Membranes Create a Target for Amyloid Binding”, Biophysical Journal, 103: L27-L29. *Featured as "Emerging Biophysical Technologies"
- Z. Leonenko, M. Beazeley, and M. Campbell, (2012), “The Exquisite Details of Dementia”, International Innovation, 16: 57-59. *Invited Paper/Media Interview
- M. Wesolowski, B. Moores, Z. Leonenko, R. Karimi, J. Sanderson, and W. Duley, (2012), “Synthesis of Polymer-Like Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon by fs-pulsed Laser Induced Plasma Processing of Solid Hexane”, Plasma Processes and Polymers, 9: 701-708.
- F. Hane, E. Drolle, R. Gaikwad, E. Faught, and Z. Leonenko, (2011), “Amyloid-β Aggregation on Model Lipid Membranes: An Atomic Force Microscopy Study”, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 26: 485-494.
- B. Moores, E. Drolle, S. Attwood, J. Simons, and Z. Leonenko, (2011), “Effect of Surfaces on Amyloid Fibril Formation”, PLoS ONE, 6(10): e25954.
- B. Moores, J. Simons, S. Xu, and Z. Leonenko, (2011), “AFM-Assisted Fabrication of Thiol SAM Pattern with Alternating Quantified Surface Potential”, Nanoscale Research Letters, 6: 185-189.
- F. Hane, E. Drolle, Z. Leonenko, (2010), “Effect of cholesterol and amyloid-beta peptide on structure and function of mixed lipid films and pulmonary surfactant BLES. An Atomic Force Microscopy study”, Journal of Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, Medicine, 6(6) 808-814.
- M.J. Wesolowski, S. Kuzmin, B. Moores, B. Wales, R. Karimi, A.A. Zaidi, Z. Leonenko, J.H. Sanderson, W.W. Duley. Polyyne synthesis and amorphous carbon nano-particle formation by femtosecond irradiation of benzene. Carbon, 2010, 49(2), 625-630.
- B. Moores, F.Hane, L.M.Eng, Z. Leonenko, (2010), “Kelvin probe force microscopy in application to biomolecular films: Frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, and lift mode”, Ultramicroscopy, 110(6), 708-711.
- E.Finot, Y.Leonenko, B.Moores, L.M.Eng, M.Amrein,Z.Leonenko, (2010), “Effect of cholesterol on electrostatics in lipid-protein films of a lung surfactant”, Langmuir, 26 (3), 1929-1935.
- Z.Leonenko, M.Amrein. (2009), “The electrical surface potential of pulmonary surfactant, Frontiers in Biosciences, Atomic force microscopy in biology”. Invited, peer-reviewed review, 14, 4337-4347.
- F. Hane, B. Moores, M. Amrein, Z. Leonenko, (2009), “Effect of SP-C on surface potential distribution in pulmonary surfactant: Atomic force microscopy and Kelvin-probe force microscopy study”, Ultramicroscopy Journal, 109, 968-973, (Journal cover).
- J. Sherley, M. Amrein, Z. Leonenko, (2008), “Nanoscale structure of supported films of pulmonary surfactant BLES in relation to concentration of spread solution. Fluorescence and atomic force microscopy study”, Biomedical Nanotechnology Journal, 4(2), 210-216.