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European projects

Projects founded by EU or other european bodies

Smart and highly phosphorescent asterisks for (bio)sensors, antennae and molecular imaging

Funded by Vinci Programme
Prof. Paola Ceroni (IT partner) with Prof. Marc Gingras (University of Marseille, France)
Years: 2015-2018
The research is focused on new classes of smart luminescent compounds, whose phosphorescence is strongly enhanced in a rigid matrix, like nanoaggregates and crystals. They are potentially interesting in the fields of organic materials for optics (OLED), chemical biology (imaging), chemical sensors and nanoscience (organic nanodots). With this approach no toxic or rare element, like lanthanides, is used. The working principle of the present project is that phosphorescence can be switched on by conformational restriction due to media rigidification. Dendrtic light-harvesting antenna will be coupled to this new class of organic phosphorescent materials to enhance the brightness of the system


IRRESISTIBLE Project: Responsible Research and Innovation in Science Education

Funded by EC FP7
Prof. Margherita Venturi (UNIBO Coordinator)
Project Coordinator: Prof. Jan Apotheker (Groningen University, The Netherlands)
Years: 2014-2016
In the frame of the project partners work together to make young people more aware about Responsible Research and Innovation issues. Universities and science centres will cooperate in the project using the expertise they have in linking formal and informal learning. For a long term effect the project focuses on teacher training. Each partner will form a Community of Learners in which teachers work together with formal education experts and informal education experts. The topics they will work on are derived from cutting edge research taking place at the partners’ university. Researchers and people from industry will complement the Community of Learners.
The Community of Learners will develop material to be used both in the classroom as well as in the science centres. During the first part content knowledge about the research will be introduced using the well established IBSE methodology. In the second part students will discuss and work on Responsible Research and Innovation issues regarding the research they have studied. In the second round of the project the teachers from the first Community of Learners will work in a new Community with 4 to 5 new teachers. They will help these teachers introduce the developed modules in their own classroom. In this way the number of teachers involved grows.


STRATUS: STRucture and dynAmics of biomolecules by Two-dimensional Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Funded by: ERC Advanced Grant 2011
Dr. Marco Garavelli
Years: 2012-2017
Partners: Prof. Giulio Cerullo (Politecnico di Milano)
Two-dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance is a diagnostic technique that has revolutionized structural biology. A wealth of spectroscopic information can be obtained by extrapolating 2D techniques to the optical frequency domain, using ultrashort light pulses. 2D electronic spectroscopy (2DES) allows fundamentally new insights into the structure and dynamics of multi-chromophore systems, by measuring how the electronic states of chromophores interact with one another and transfer electronic excitations. This project aims at extending 2DES to the challenging and still uncharted UV-domain and applying it to study of structural and dynamic problems in biomolecules such as genomic systems and proteins. Thus, 2DES will unravel the molecular mechanisms of the photoinduced electronic intra/inter-chromophore events in DNA that are responsible for its photoprotection or photodemaging. 2DES will be also established as a new diagnostic tool for structural studies of polypeptides and proteins, providing sensitive information on the misfolding/aggregation processes responsible for a wide class of diseases. To realize the full power of 2DES, experiments will be combined with simulations and electronic calculations that are necessary to correlate the data with molecular states and structures.



Funded by ERA - EC FP7
Prof. Luca Valgimigli (UNIBO participant)
Chair of the Action: Dr. Cryssostomos Chatgilialoglu (Isof - CNR)
Years: 2012-2016
Knowledge of chemical reactivity is essential for understanding at a molecular level the mechanistic steps that drive processes in life sciences. This COST Action aims to enhance the role of chemistry as a central discipline for understanding free radical biological events. This goal will be achieved through the implementation of biomimetic chemical models. Four working groups will focus on: enzymatic activities via free radical species; the formation and fate of free radicals involving nucleic acids; membrane lipids in stress and ageing; and synthetic methodologies inspired by natural free radical processes. The research groups participating in the Action will create an interdisciplinary framework linking 23 European countries, in which a younger generation of investigators can broaden their expertise by studying the diversity of free radical interactions in biological systems for metabolic, synthetic and catalytic activities through biomimetic models.


COST Action MP1206 - Electrospun nanofibres for bio inspired composite materials and innovative industrial applications

Funded by: EC-FP7
Prof. Maria Letizia Focarete
(UNIBO participant)
Years: 2013-2017
Chair of the Action: Dr. Erich Kny (AT)
Electrospinning, an electro-hydrodynamic process is a versatile and promising platform technology for the production of electrospun nanofibrous materials consisting of diverse polymers and polymer composites. This platform process can provide bio- or oil based polymer nanofibrous materials for the fabrication of innovative biomedical devices and for the fabrication of new technical applications. By forming an interdisciplinary knowledge platform, the Action will strengthen the European R&TD on electrospun nanofibrous materials and nanofibrous composites and will generate fast progress in the state of the art. The Action will cover scientific breakthroughs and innovations in the electrospinning process itself, nanofibrous materials and nanofibrous composite advancements and the post treatment processing of electrospun materials. Applications in the biomedical and technical fields as well as health, societal and environmental issues are considered. The main outcome of the Action will be: (i) New integrated methodologies for designing and producing electrospinning nanofibres; (ii) Databases of application-relevant electrospun nanofibre properties; (iii) An up to date knowledge base on electrospun nanofibres and its applications; (iv) Tutorial material for training young researchers entering the field.


HYSENS - Hybrid Molecule/Nanocrystal Assemblies for Photonic and Electronic Sensing Applications

Prof. Alberto Credi
Years: 2011-2014
Partners: Dr. D. Iacopino (coordinator), Prof. E. Constable and Prof. C. Schoenenberger, Prof. J. Preece, Dr. H. Bolink, Prof. A. Holleitner, Dr. M. Cavallini, Dr. V. Williams, Dr. H. Becker
Smart hybrid nano-materials with higher knowledge-content, tailored properties and predictable performance can have a potential enormous impact in on chemical and bio-sensing areas.
The main objective of the HYSENS project is to harness the complementary properties of organic functional materials and inorganic nanocrystals to fabricate novel hybrid materials with the following features:
- Inbuilt high-knowledge content arising from controlled synthetic methodologies.
- Engineered functionalities leading to low false sensing outputs therefore leading to enhanced selectivity and sensitivity
- Integrable into large area platforms towards development of smart optical and electronic sensing technologies.
 Detection of group I and II ions and anions.


PhotoSi - Silicon nanocrystals coated by photoactive molecules: a new class of organic-inorganic hybrid materials for solar energy conversion

Prof. Paola Ceroni
Years: 2012-2016
Web: photosi
Silicon nanocrystals have gained much attention in the last few years because of their remarkable optical and electronic properties, compared to bulk silicon. These unique properties are due to quantum confinement effects and are thus strongly dependent on the nanocrystal size, shape, surface functionalization and presence of defects. The aim of the present project is the coupling of Silicon nanocrystals with photo- and electroactive molecules or multicomponent systems, like dendrons, to build up a new class of hybrid materials to be employed in the field of light-to-electrical energy conversion (solar cells)


I-ONE - Implantable Organic Nano-Electronics

Prof. Francesco Zerbetto
Years: 2012-2015
The project I-One-FP7 exploits flexible organic electronics for the development and testing of Active Multifunctional Implantable Devices (AMIDs) to treat Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).
The project will lead to device(s): (a) having long-term stability associated to high biocompatibility and safety, (b) having reduced risk of a host versus graft immune response, (c) mimicking the local microenvironment for stem/precursor cell recruitment and differentiation, (d) monitoring locally the functionality of the regenerated nerve cells to intervene with loco-regional therapies, (e) performing local stimulation with tunable electric fields, (f) delivering locally growth factors, neurotransmitters, and drugs. I-One involves 11 partners (academic, medical and industrial groups) from 8 European countries.


BIOCLEAN - New BIOtechnologiCaL approaches for biodegrading and promoting the environmEntal biotrAnsformation of syNthetic polymeric materials

Prof. Mariastella Scandola
Years: 2012-2015
In BIOCLEAN project, that is coordinated by UNIBO and includes 19 partners from 9 different countries, novel and robust microorganisms (aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and fungi) able to extensively degrade polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) polymers and plastics will be isolated from actual-site aged plastic wastes obtained from several European marine and terrestrial sites, composting facilities and landfills, and obtained via tailored screenings from existing European collections of microbes. Robust enzymes able to fragment the target plastics with the production of valuable chemicals and building blocks will be obtained from the selected microbes and enzyme collections. The most promising microbial cultures and enzymes will be exploited in the development of pilot scale, slurry or solid-phase bioprocesses for the bioremediation and controlled depolymerization, respectively, of target pre-treated plastics.