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Technology TransferPatents ■ Green technologies/Nanotechnologies

Green technologies / Nanotechnologies

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The invention relates to a device able to recognize, purify, and analyze exosomes from biological fluids. It is composed by a surface-modified graphene that can be supported on different substrates, including SiC or glass. The surface is modified with antibodies or aptamers which allow to bind the target. Thanks to this modification, exosomes are recognized with a high degree of specificity. After/during the recognizing step, the device can be analyzed by optical or electrical methods such as microscopy or electrical conductivity measurements, respectively.


The invention relates to a method to produce chemically enhanced polyaniline / reduced graphene oxide nanocompisites starting from a previous patented material is developed. The produced nanocomposite is readily dispersible in some organic solvents and it can be used as ink. This ink can be easily processed by the inkjet direct printing technique and produce devices on flexible substrates. The devices has resonance frequency that can be tuned simply by the number of printing passes thanks to electronic resonance with extremely long transfer rates between reduced graphene oxide and polyaniline. This resonance introduces a discontinuity in the capacitance producing asymptotic divergences to infinity having sign dependent on the frequency sweep direction. Hence devices may be geometrically tuned to operate with desired capacitance (either positive or negative) at the desired frequency


Laser device comprising, as the active medium, a nanocrystals colloidal film of semiconductor material, wherein said nanocrystals are two-dimensional adapted to constitute nanocrystals quantum wells for the confinement of the charge carriers in the nanocrystals, and having a mechanism of bi-exciton gain.


The invention relates to a material formed by carbon nanotubes and polymerized ionic liquid and the method for producing such material. This material is used for the production of the active part of a soft actuator and it has improved conductibility and mechanical characteristics compared to the existing ones.


There is described a method for making an array of biodegradable micro-needles , comprising the steps of: • depositing a plurality of drops of a liquid substance comprising a polymer on a surface of a starting substrate; • positioning a pyroelectric substrate at a certain distance from the starting substrate in such a way that the drops deposited are positioned between said surface of the starting substrate and a surface of the pyroelectric substrate; • varying the temperature of the pyroelectric substrate or a part thereof to induce on said surface of the pyroelectric substrate a charge density such that starting from the drops deposited, under the effect of an electrodynamic force, respective cones are formed having a tip facing towards the pyroelectric substrate ; • determining a consolidation of the cones, to form said micro-needles, preventing the tip of said cones from contacting said surfaces of the pyroelectric substrate.


Heat-sensitive system comprising at least one nanoparticle able to convert an electromagnetic radiation into thermal energy when said nanoparticle is exposed to an alternating magnetic field, said nanoparticle being bound covalently with at least one thermolabile molecule, said thermolabile molecule being covalently bound with at least one active molecule selected from a fluorophore molecule and a drug, characterised in that said thermolabile molecule comprises an azo -N=N- functional group.


A three-dimensional structure of an electromagnetic nanoresonator, comprising a stack of laterally confined layers that includes at least a first and a second layer of a respective conductive material between which a dielectric layer is interposed, which define a resonant equivalent electrical circuit having a nominal resonant frequency which is a function of the geometrical dimensions of the structure, wherein said layers of conductive material and said dielectric layer have at least a respective accessible surface area, adapted to be exposed in a liquid environment of immersion of said structure.


The present invention relates to anodic porous alumina (APA) in the form of microparticles, characterized in that it contains interconnected through nanopores, and to its use in the preparation of a new composite material, which is useful for example in the field of conservative dentistry. The invention further relates to a process for preparing the nanoporous alumina of the invention in microparticles.Thanks to the mechanical interlace that is established between the microparticles of nanoporous alumina and the polymer matrix, the composite material of the invention does not require the use of any coupling agent, further ensuring excellent properties in terms of resistance, elasticity, biocompatibility and stability over time. In fact, the particular microparticulate form of the nanoporous alumina and the presence of interconnected through holes in each microparticle makes it possible to achieve an almost complete penetration of the polymer matrix into the alumina nanopores. In this manner the two components of the composite material are physically interconnected without there being a need to use any type of chemical coupling agent.


A device is described for determining the dissolution kinetics of colloidal nanoparticles in respective derivation ions in a solution, which comprises a dissolution compartment containing the solution, and feedable with the colloidal nanoparticles; an analysis compartment separate from the dissolution compartment; a fixed filtering membrane which separates the dissolution compartment from the analysis compartment, is selectively permeable to the derivation ion and is adapted to filter the solution, compressing means to induce passage of the solution from the dissolution compartment to the analysis compartment through the filtering membrane; a determination device for determining the quantity of the derivation ion; the device furthermore comprises mixing means associated to the dissolution compartment and distinct from the compressing means and the filtering membrane has pores of size smaller than 10 nm. Relative determination methods for determining the dissolution kinetics and the toxicity of colloidal nanoparticles are also described.


A new method to obtain ultra-stable emulsions is described. The stability of an emulsion can be strongly improved by associating to a right formulation the right process or better sequences of processes. After coating the emulsion with a thin polymer shell it has to be re-dispersed one or more times to homogenize the formulation which allows stabilities at least higher than 9 months. The developed product is also perfectly biodegradable that is a fundamental requisite for applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical fields with sizes ranging between 50 and 200nm and with good Poly-Dispersion Indexes (PDI below 0.1) as required for these applications.


Iron oxide nanocubes over a wide range of sizes are synthesized by using a controlled colloidal method. The synthesis allows obtaining monodispersive magnetic and cubic nanocrystals in a wide range of dimensions.


The Nano Structures department at IIT has developed the SHEWOD (SuperHydrophobic EWOD) device, concerning the fabrication of a microfluidic EWOD (ElectroWetting On Dielectric) device for performing manipulation of aqueous solution droplets. The major advance of the system is the integration of a superhydrophobic surface which enhances the mobility of the droplets on the substrate by means of electrical fields. The development of SHEWOD device requires two separate phases of microfabrication. The first step is a process for the building the electrodes on a Si substrate, while the second one is a microfabrication process to coat the Si chip with a superhydrofobic, thickness-tunable, nano-structured PMMA surface.


In the field of micro-nano actuators we have developed a thin flexible nano-composite membrane, biocompatible, magnetically actuated and deflected by planar microcoils, integrated under the membrane on a conductive silicon substrate. The membrane is composed by a biocompatible plastic film with magnetic nano-particles inside the polymer matrix. The membrane is deflected by an array of micro-coils embedded in the substrate under the membrane itself.


A method of producing a lasing microsource of colloidal nanocrystals, comprising the steps of: • preparing a nanocrystal solution in a solvent, • depositing at least a drop of said nanocrystals solution with a drop volume below 1 nl on a flat substrate, evaporating the solvent to dryness thereby to obtain at the edge of the evaporated • drop a single annular stripe including at least a domain wherein said nanocrystals are arranged in an ordered array, wherein the ordered nanocrystals in said at least one domain constitute an active region capable of lasing and the radially inner and outer edges of said stripe define a resonant cavity in which said active region is inserted.


This patent describes a new technique to produce hollow nanostructures made of noble metal and dielectrics. The nanostructures stand on a thin silicon nitride membrane or other kind membrane, and their shape can be adjusted accordingly to the specific needs. They can be conical, pyramidal, cylindrical, and they can be arranged in arrays of the desired geometry. The width can span from few tenths of nm to few hundreds, whereas the height can be up to few microns. The aspect ratio (with/height) can be up to 40:1. Also coaxial structures made of more layers of different materials can be done. The fabrication technique is mainly based on focused ion beam milling.


The smart Materials workgroup has developed a simple and cost effective waterproofing method, impregnating bionanocomposites into nonwovens such as paper. The proposed technology uses a simple method to create polymer nanoparticle/cyanoacrylate monomer dispersions in solution. Prepared dispersions can be impregnated into wide variety nonwovens using a number of different techniques such as roll, dip or spray coating. The impregnated composites can be left in an ambient environment to allow the cyanoacrylate monomers to cross link in situ within the fibrillar matrix. It is also possible to use wax and/or cyclic olefin copolymer nanoparticles to render the nanocomposites completely biodegradable. The paper obtained with this process is of superior quality and, for example, can be fed into laser jet printers as ordinary paper with no difference whatsoever, in fact the bionancomposite which is impregnated into the paper matrix is unnoticeable. However, the treated paper immersed in water, remains intact preserving the printed information. The picture underlines the borderline between treated and untreated paper, when immersed in water.


Method to synthesize in aqueous solution branched gold nanoparticles by which it is possible to control the size and the degree of branching at the same time. The method does not use cytotoxic capping agents, such as CTAB, organic thiol molecules or others. A further coating can also be realized on the surface of branched nanoparticles. It also allows to control with extreme precision the optical properties of the nanoparticles in a broad region of UV-visible and near-ir spectrum. The nanoparticles can be used for application based on the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering phenomenon, or as Metal Enhanced Fluorescence or Metal Enhanced Chemiluminescence materials. Due to the finely optical absorption in certain region of spectrum, these nanoparticles can be applied also for the therapeutic treatment of neoplastic diseases through a photo-thermal effect.


This invention realizes free-standing conductive ultra-thin films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS), proposing a fabrication process based on a modified Supporting Layer technique, that provides for the easy production of conductive nanofilms having a very large surface area with typical thickness of tens of nanometres. The free-standing nanofilms can be manipulated, folded and unfolded in water many times without suffering from cracks, disaggregation or from loss of conductive properties. After collecting them onto rigid or soft substrates, they retain their functionality.Possible applications are foreseen in the field of sensing and actuation, as well as in the biomedical field, e.g. as smart substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.


The invention is related to the obtainment of free-standing nanofilms of conductive polymers. The method to obtain these films comprises four steps. In the first one there is the sequential deposition of, respectively, a sacrificial material, a layer of an electrolyte, a layer of the conductive polymer and, eventually, a further layer of polyelectrolyte. The second step is a thermal treatment of the multilayer structure; in the third step the sacrificial support is removed and in the last step the free-standing multilayer structure is transferred in solution. Due to their characteristics of flexibility, robustness, adhesion to different substrates and biocompatibility, are particularly useful in biomedical applications, e.g. as support for cell grow.


The Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences research group, has developed a new low voltage polymeric actuator that, in contrast with present day devices which are typically capable only of bending motion, can deliver linear, bending or simultaneous linear/bending motion. This actuator comprises three electrodes and a solid electrolyte. Two electrodes are made of active materials that contract or expand as result of charge injection (ex. carbon nanotubes) or conducting polymer (ex. polypyrrole, polyaniline, polyethylene dioxythiophene, poly 3-methylthiophene etc.). One electrode is passive and acts as counter electrode and is made of conductive flexible materials (ex. a metal spring, conductive fabric, carbon plastic composites) in order to allow the motion of the actuator device. The solid electrolyte is a ionic conductive and electrical insulator and is made of a salt embedded in a polymeric matrix (ex. an ionic liquid in a PVdF matrix or poly(methyl methacrylate), polyethylene oxide, polyacrylonitrile, etc.).


Nanoparticles assembly in polymeric nanocomposites is probably the last frontier to be removed to really enhance the properties of new hybrid materials. Here we present a technique based on UV pulsed laser irradiation of acrylate polymers-based solutions, that generates in a single step the separation of the initial clusters of colloidal TiO2 nanorods into clearly separated units, exploiting the intrinsic photosensitivity of the semiconductor nanoparticles. From the irradiated solutions, optically clear nanocomposite films are obtained that exhibit increased UV absorption, refractive index, antireflection properties, as well as tunable wettability; properties not possible otherwise that establish that the photocatalytic property of TiO2 nanocrystals together with the irradiation process solve the crucial dispersion enigma of their nanocomposites. The obtained good dispersion shows, as expected, that the larger active surface area of nanocrystals reacting with the incoming light increases the optical properties of the nanocomposites as never seen before. In summary, this is a simple but powerful tool to control the mixing between polymers and semiconductor nanocrystals, using their photocatalytic ability, without chemicals treatment.


From this research, a new family of nano probes have been developed. These probes can be put in contact directly with brain cells and, thanks to their piezoelectric effect, they can perform an electrical stimulation at a single-cell scale.This invention has the outstanding advantage of non-invasiveness, by which all the risks of infection, contamination, hemorrhage, tissue and organ damage, as well as the stress of surgery are avoided for the patient subjected to the electric stimulation treatment.


Compared to traditional oil-based hydraulics, water hydraulics is environment-friendly, clean, and safe. In addition water has faster dynamic response than oil. However, due to water properties such as low viscosity, high corrosiveness, and high vapor pressure the development of water-hydraulic components is very challenging. This patent introduces a novel 4-way rotary type electro-hydraulic servo-valve designed for water-hydraulic robotic applications and other dynamic applications. The valve has four ports: two of them are connected to the hydraulic power supply, and the other two to the hydraulic actuator. The flow direction is determined by the valve rotary spool position. The internal spool geometry was designed to avoid sudden changes in the flow direction and thus high-level turbulence, which could result in local cavitation phenomena; which is a common and more pronounced problem with water rather than oil as the operating fluid. The rectangular orifice provides a linear relationship between spool angular displacement and flow. This rotary geometry shows also advantages in terms of practical manufacturability.


This invention implements a new method of simultaneous detection and separation of biological entities like specific cells, based on magnetic nanobeads of strictly controlled size. The IIT Nano Chemistry research group, has developed nanobeads made of aggregates of iron oxide nanoparticles enwrapped within an amphiphillic polymer to which oligothiophene fluorescents are grafted; their size is selectable in the range 30 to 400 nm. The nanobeds can be designed to exploit both a fluorescent and a magnetic effect, and can be used to target cancer cells. Thanks to the magnetic effect, the can be used to interact with the target and, because of the fluorescent properties, they can be used as reactor in the investigation process.


The invention provides the active control of fluids in fluidic micro and nanostructures onto chip by using the surface acoustic streaming flow mechanism. The invention controls the fluid motion in micro and nanochannels by surface acoustic waves (SAWs) propagating in opposite direction to the desired direction we want the fluid move. The surface acoustic waves are generated by interdigital transducer electrodes on piezoelectric structure; the invention differs from already existing SAW microfluidic disposables and is able pump very efficiently the fluid; moreover, the obtainment of microfluidic systems with integrated micropumps devices and microvalve devices, with a variety of possibilities in terms of assembly and integration, is easily obtainable. The invention allows performing multiple analyses, both chemical and optical ones, in very short time and using very small quantities of analytes and chemicals; typical volumes used in these types of disposables are ranging between picoliters and nanoliters.


The invention relates to a system for the detection of nucleases which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with DNA /RNA oligonucleotides and a solution of lyophilized DNA/RNA oligonucleotides (linkers) and the respective method of detection. The method here proposed consists of two simple steps: first the adding of the sample solution to a solution containing the DNA/RNA linkers and finally the adding AuNPs functionalized with oligonucleotides 1 and 2, which are each complementary to half of the sequence of the linker to this solution. Given the low cost of the assay the invention can find application in low-cost instrument-free sensors for rapid quality control in scientific and clinical laboratories performing molecular biology experiments.


The invention relates to a system for the detection of metal ion which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with nucleic acid aptamers. The system combines a biological sensor element (nucleic acid aptamers) with an inorganic signal transduction element (nanoclusters of spherical gold nanoparticles), to generate a very sensitive and low-cost sensor for the instrument-free detection of heavy metal ions (i.e., lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.). The low-cost, time-saving, easy of fabrication, make it an ideal candidate for on-field monitoring applications.


The invention relates to nanoparticles which are composed by a hollow silica nanostructure in which negative charged gold seeds are embedded in its central cavity by positive-charged polymer. In this system, every component is synergistically associated to the other, resulting in a complex object able to reach the target in the organism, to produce the theranostics action, and finally to be biodegraded and cleared out. The nanoparticles can be used in in vivo analysis of the systems with theranostics features (photoacoustic and x-ray enhancement).


The invention relates to a plasmon detector that is characterized by a particular architecture allowing a simple all-electrical detection of plasmons in a plasmonic waveguide. The electrical plasmon detector is based on non-linear hydrodynamic equations of plasmon motion that describe transport in the waveguide at room temperature and in a wide range of carrier densities. These non-linearities yield a dc voltage in response to the oscillating field of a propagating plasmon. In particular the waveguide is more efficient if it is made of graphene. The proposed device paves the way for the integration of graphene plasmonic waveguides in electronic circuits.


The scope of the invention is to allow the access to the inside of living cells without any kind of perturbation to its state. This invention could be used for delivering objects inside the cell after a selectively plasmonic poration, for measuring quantities in the intracellular environment and for obtaining discrimination of intra and extra cellular information.


Last Updated on Monday, 25 January 2016 09:27


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