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Results ■ Future Developments

Future Developments

We are working together with the Drug Discovery and Development (D3) Department to initiate a long-term interdisciplinary project that aims to develop new medicines in which purposely designed pharmacological agents - characterized by rapid metabolism in vivo but persistent activity at their molecular target (e.g. selective irreversible or pseudo-irreversible protein modifiers built from naturally occurring hydrolysable modules) - will be combined with biodegradable functionalized nanomaterials capable of selectively delivering such agents to their target tissues. D3 and Nanochemistry scientists are brainstorming to further define long-term objectives and milestone deliverables of this potential project.

Together with both the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies (NBT) and the Nanophysics Departments we are developing a novel inter-department platform for cell growth (neuron growth)/nanoparticle aggregation, aided by properly designed and fabricated devices based on superhydrophobic substrates. Our aim is to achieve neuron-induced controlled aggregation of nanoparticles.

In collaboration with other Centers of the IIT networks, we are defining a common strategy for materials in energy-related applications. Two important aspects that we are tackling are the integration of nanoparticles in photovoltaic devices and in energy storage devices. Also, in collaboration with other Universities we have plans to start research in topological insulators.

We also have several plans related to Electron Microscopy. In the near future, we expect to engage in:

  • Electron cryo-tomography for the 3D reconstruction of biological and inorganic materials embedded in vitrified solutions and/or prepared with low-temperature techniques.
  • Electron Holography for electric potential and magnetic field analysis of materials at sub-micrometer scale.
  • Chemical analysis of materials with single atomic column resolution.
  • SBF (scanning block face) FIBSEM for the 3D reconstruction of large volumes of biological samples prepared with traditional and low-temperature EM techniques (in cooperation with the Nanostructures Department).
  • Cryo-EM also in association with single particle analysis for the observation and characterization of small (10-100 nm) vitrified specimens (i.e. liposomes, macromolecules) not stained or fixed in any way, showing them in their native environment.
  • Structural characterizations of nanomaterials by the Precession Electron Diffraction (PED) technique.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 09:32


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