The study of biological processes occurring at the nanoscale is becoming a new discipline at the border between Physics and Biology with major scientific challenges and new technological applications. In fact, interactions at the nanoscale between cells/neurons and surfaces with specific nanopatterns appear to control several major biological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation. The aim of the present NanoScale proposal is therefore to explore interactions between stem cells, neurons, neuronal networks and surfaces with specific geometrical nanopatterns and nanoprints of specific proteins and molecules. In order to do so, we have formed an interdisciplinary consortium consisting of five major European research centres (SISSA, TASC-INFM, DTU, NMI and ENS) with two SMEs (MCS, Promoscience) gathering biological knowledge and expertise in the fabrication of nanostructures and of their manipulation. The NanoScale proposal will produce and develop a variety of nanodevices for growing, guiding, manipulating cells, neurons and neuronal cultures. It is composed of two major ingredients: i - the combination of a MicroElectrode Arrays (MEAs) with chemical and topographic micro/nanosubstrates controlling the network growth; ii – the coupling with external measuring and/or manipulating devices such as Electron Microscopes and Optical Tweezers. We expect to provide an answer to new scientific issues and therefore achieving major scientific breakthroughs. In addition, our proposal will produce new knowledge and know-how enabling the development of new marketable products that will be commercialised by MCS.
Call for proposal
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