MaGIC intends to explore the use of nano/micro objects, in particular zeolite L, as materials for imaging, and, when the zeolites are used as substrates, for analyzing and manipulating cells. In particular in vivo and in vitro imaging, cell growth on nano/micro patterned zeolite monolayers, and understanding some of the processes of cell-to-cell communication are the ambitious goals of this proposal. We intend to achieve these goals through 5 objectives:
1. Synthesis and characterization of zeolites and loading and trapping of dye molecules.
2. Patterned zeolite monolayers and microcontact printing for asymmetric functionalization and cells transfer.
3. Molecular imaging using nanoporous materials as multiresponsive probes.
4. Cell growth, proliferation and stimulation of processes in spatially confined areas.
5. Communication between cells and cell differentiation.
The project is extremely challenging and if successful will open new horizons in the use of nanomaterials in combination with living systems and will develop new technologies for handling delicate substrates and assemblies. The numerous ideas and problems that MaGIC addresses are of fundamental importance and collectively represent an interesting approach to simply mimicking nature, connecting biological components to abiotic materials in order to understand the mechanisms of the biological systems or to take advantage of the unique properties of the ‘non-biological’ components in a natural setting (in vivo and in vitro). The stepwise approach, starting from the use of the nanomaterials for observing the surrounding environment (cell imaging), and proceeding to their assembly in functional architectures, culminates in the realization of special interfaces with the ambition to realize and study cell-to-cell communication.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant