Marco Rolandi Nominated One of Top 12 Italian Innovators under 35

Prof. Marco Rolandi has been nominated as one of the top 12 Italian Innovators under 35 (TR35-GI) by the Technology Review Italia.  He presented his research at the University of Padua ON March 29, 2012.  TR35 – YOUNG INNOVATORS is a competition jointly promoted by the Research Innovation Entrepreneurship Forum, University of Padua and Technology Review Italia.  Its aim is to collect and support best innovative ideas and projects of applied research developed in Italy, with relevant potential for the creation of technology based companies.  The main aims of TR35-YI are:  1) Highlighting the importance of scientific research for economic and social development;  2) Presenting best innovative ideas and projects developed in Italy;  3) Finding financial resources in order to support research and innovation projects;  4) Promoting the entrepreneurial culture based on innovation.


The following summary of Prof. Rolandi’s project appears in the April 2012 online issue of Technology Review Italia


Nanofibers of biocompatible polysaccharides for equipment
Marco Rolandi | Assistant professor of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Advances in nanomaterials research may help develop devices to interface with living systems. These devices include electronic circuits is able to monitor and regulate biological functions, and nanostructured materials for engineering and tissue repair. This development could contribute to the development of minimally invasive diagnostics and personalized therapies. In this project they developed new nanomaterials and devices based on biocompatible polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are in the form of nanofibers and chitin derivatives. The chitin nanofibers, biocompatible, biodegradable and hemostatic properties, are derived from the shells of crabs, shrimps, lobsters and squid pens. As these materials are recycled, sustainable and environmentally friendly. These nanofibers have allowed to realize the first bio-effect transistor of the field, which controls the current of the protons H + as the charge carriers. The protons H + are important in many natural phenomena, such as the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate in the mitochondria, the antibiotic gramicidin and the membrane protein HVCN1. These devices may provide non-invasive diagnostic means to communicate directly with ion channels in living systems. Furthermore, with these nanofibers has been developed a new method for the micro-and nanofabrication of chitin nanofibers self-assembled, coupling strategies lithography for biomaterials with the self-assembly of nanofibers of chitin to create nanostructures biocompatible. These nanostructures are used for a biodegradable hemostatic patch for the repair of damaged heart tissue after infarction and to vaccinate populations in underdeveloped countries.

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