current projects

Human Frontiers Science Program Grant

nFlare: an innovative light approach to study and modulate neuronal activity in vitro and in vivo.

Graphene Flagship Core2

This proposal describes the third stage of the EC-funded part of the Graphene Flagship. It builds upon the results achieved in the ramp-up phase (2013 - 2016) and the first core project (2016 - 2018), and covers the period April 2018 - March 2020. The progress of the flagship follows the general plans set out in the Framework Partnership Agreement, and the second core project represents an additional step towards higher technology and manufacturing readiness levels. The Flagship is built upon the concept of value chains, one of which is along the axis of materials-components-systems; the ramp-up phase placed substantial resources on the development of materials production technologies, the first core project moved to emphasise components, and the second core project will move further towards integrating components in larger systems. This evolution is manifested, e.g., in the introduction of six market-motivated spearhead projects during the Core 2 project.

In Vitro locomotor patterns - Innovative protocols of electrical stimulation to activate the in vitro locomotor pattern

In these last years, growing attention has been drawn upon the use of epidural electrical stimulation applied to the dorsal spinal cord to counteract a wide range of neurological disturbances. Among the different therapeutical purposes, should be mentioned the recovery of standing posture and locomotion after a spinal cord injury. Currently, these applications exploit the same stimulating protocol that has been used for decades, which is composed of a train of stereotyped impulses, square or sinusoidal, with frequencies that vary within a limited range.

past projects

ByAxon - Towards an active bypass for neural reconnection

ByAxon is devoted to the development of a new generation of sensors and electrodes based on nanotechnology materials for neural interfacing.


This proposed flagship aims to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries – from flexible, wearable and transparent electronics, to high performance computing and spintronics. We will do so by bringing together a large European consortium of world-leading academics and key industries, working closely to create a new disruptive technology.

Neuroscaffolds - Rapid prototyping scaffolds for the nervous system

Advanced tissue engineering requires scaffolds fabricated at different scales to facilitate cellular repair. Neurons respond to micro and nanopatterns over which are grown and it is possible to control - to some extent – neurite protrusion and the formation of neuronal network by using only nanopatterns.

Focus - Single Molecule Activation and Computing

The main objective of this project was the development of new MDs. This major objective was based on the realization of supporting technological advancements and computational progress. It was based also on suggestions obtained from a biological analysis.

Application of Advanced Nanotechnology in the Development of Innovative Cancer Diagnostics Tools

The proposal aims at generating an innovative nanotechnology-based intrinsically high throughput platform to carry out real-time, highly sensitive, and inexpensive quantification of biomarkers for cancer risk assessment.

Nanotechnological approaches toward tumor theragnostic

The project is focused on the development of innovative devices and therapeutic protocols based on the nanomechanical response of biomolecular nanostructures.

CARBONANOBRIDGE - Neuron networking with nano bridges via the synthesis and integration of functionalized carbon nanotubes

We propose the development of novel nanodevices, such as nanoscale bridges and nanovectors, based on functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNT) for manipulating neurons and neuronal network activity in vitro. The main aim is to put forward innovative solutions that have the potential to circumvent the problems currently faced by spinal cord lesions or by neurodegenerative diseases.

Integrated analysis of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying signal processing by sensory systems in health and disease

Sensory systems allow all organisms to receive information from the external world and play an essential role in species survival and reproduction, as well as in well-being. It is therefore very important to be able to treat diseases that affect sensory signaling, such those associated with disorders in vision, balance, hearing, taste and smell. This goal requires a precise understanding of how sensory signaling occurs at a molecular and cellular level both in health and in disease conditions.

Neurodegeneration in motor disorders - Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in motor disorders

This project is focused on the mechanisms of early processes of cell death in experimental models of spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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