The Department of Life Sciences of the E. Amaldi Foundation is active in the design, development and characterization of tools that have real potential in terms of technology transfer in the field of life sciences, obviously not neglecting innovative research as a fundamental engine to ensure the advancement of scientific skills. In this context, it promotes participation in research projects by responding to regional, national and international calls, aggregating both academic and industrial partners and coordinating the related consortium.
The Department of Life Sciences has also set up a Working Group at the Italian Space Agency on issues of spin in towards space, in concert with the Technology Transfer Unit of the same Agency.
The Department is currently engaged in the manufacture and characterization of bioabsorbable structures (scaffolds) for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and in the definition of innovative sensors for clinical diagnostics.
Tissue engineering represents a frontier research sector, since the scaffolds made according to the criteria of this interdisciplinary approach allow the regeneration of new functional tissue, following a trauma or pathology, by temporarily and faithfully reproducing the microenvironment natural. Doing so introduces the possibility of guiding the formation of the biological matrix to favor a complete physiological recovery. For this purpose, various methods are used at the Department of Life Sciences, such as electrospinning and 3D printing, to ensure that the final structure meets specific requirements to be evaluated within the network of collaborations, established and coordinated by the Department itself as an integral part of its activities.
Referring to the sensor industry, the synergistic combination of nanomaterials and biotechnology has allowed the development of highly selective and highly sensitive detection devices for oncology applications. Being able to measure extremely low concentrations of pathological markers means having an instrument that can provide a valuable contribution in terms of early diagnosis.
A similar result can be achieved by appropriately functionalizing the measuring substrate and analyzing it by means of Raman spectroscopy in SERS mode (Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy) which allows to amplify by several orders of magnitude signals related to the analyte of interest. Still in the field of sensors in the SERS approach, the Department has activated various collaborations aimed at creating specific measuring devices for applications in the pharmacological and agri-food fields.
The existing activities and those planned as next guidelines are made possible thanks to the integration of different professional profiles that draw on the fields of biomedical engineering, materials science and chemistry.