Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - NANOTEC-EST (Intensive program for transfer of knowledge to eastern European reference pole for micro- and nanotechnologies)

According to the project objectives the main effort of the NANOTEC-EST transfer of knowledge (ToK) application was focussed on acquiring research expertise and experimental skills in the following priority topics:

1. New nanostructured materials and systems.
2. Obtaining and characterisation of new materials structured at nanosize scale and understanding their physicochemical properties in order to better control the macroscopic properties. In this topic the research team of the host institution, consisting of 10 undergraduate students involved in research activity, 30 master students, 16 PhD and 20 post doctoral researchers, was intensively trained by common research activity, particularly in new routes of synthesis of nanostructured materials based on soft nanotechnology techniques, such as sol-gel and microemulsification procedures.
3. New intelligent miniaturised systems for multi-detection devoted to manufacturing process control, food quality and traceability, smart systems for diagnostic and therapy, quality control of environment. The advanced expertise acquired in synthesis and characterisation of new nanostructured materials and systems opened to the host research team a wide pallet of potential applications. In this respect new research directions were developed to obtain smart, self-organised systems for diagnostic and therapy based on a novel approach to replace synthetic chemicals by natural extracts containing bioactive principles. As a result, a series of selective plant extracts from flavonoid class, with chromophore and fluorescent properties, were entrapped by bioencapsulation into hybrid organo-inorganic matrices and tested for the enhancement of their antioxidant, immunostimulative, anti-ultraviolet (UV) or fluorescent activities, thus being valuable candidates for cosmetics, nutraceutics, diagnostics or therapy.
4. Biophotonics and lasers, including nanostructured materials and systems activated by lasers for industrial and medical applications. Advanced concepts in biophotonics were developed, such as nonlinear optical properties of pure and functionalised deoxyribonucleic acid cetyltrimethylammonium (DNA-CTMA) complexes, molecular and plasmonic structures for nanophotonics, LNO properties of azo-azulene derivatives for nonlinear optical applications and, finally, two photon microscopy, ranging from optimisation of fluorescent DNA labels to local probe scanning second harmonic generation microscopy.

It could be concluded that the scientific and training objectives of the NANOTEC project were successfully achieved and, as the main result, a new research team was developed in the Politehnica University of Bucharest that gained an international scientific recognition, being a credible partner for future European projects and scientific networks. According to the quantitative and qualitative indicators of progress and success that were proposed to monitor the project, the following deliverables and milestones that met the European policies could be reported:

1. fostering collaboration among researchers. New collaborations were established among researchers of host and partner teams. This was reflected in the impressive number of 175 common papers presented in international workshops and conferences, particularly during the two last project years, along with the 29 papers that were jointly published in international ISI journals.
2. developing communication skills. The scientific contribution of the ToK team during the entire project could be summarised in 32 invited and key note communications, from a total of 175 that included 65 oral and 78 posters. Moreover, the project resulted in 29 jointly published papers in ISI journals with high scientific impact in the field of nanomaterials and nanosciences, such as Advanced Materials, Chemical Physics Letters, Spectroscopy Letters, Optical Materials, Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials, Journal of Hazardous Materials etc.

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