Form the very beginning of my scientific career, I have always been fascinated by the cross-over research between biology, nanotechnology and materials chemistry. During my biotechnology studies at the University of L’Aquila (Italy), I had the opportunity to applied nanotechnology tools such as the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to probe biological systems. I explored the possibility to detect and measure levels of mRNA in eukaryotic cells using single-molecule AFM and, as a research assistant, to study dimers in DNA duplex. To expand my knowledge in materials science I moved to the chemistry department and worked on a research project aid to synthesized, by sol-gel chemistry, hybrid silica-biocomposites containing polysaccharides such as chitosan and alginate as solid support for the immobilization and industrial-scale recycling of the Chloroperoxidase (CPO) enzyme.
After my undergraduates studies my increased interest towards the larger question of how materials emerges from biology steered me to join Professor Alan Bassindale and Professor Peter Taylor at the The Open University (UK) as PhD student, to study the biolog...
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...r (BBB) using a Zinc-based infinite coordination polymer nanoparticles. My other research target was the development of biochemically flexible routes using short peptides, selected by phage display technology, that would recognize and help their synthesis, to address challenges in the preparation of MOF-based biocomposites. Key results from this particular work forms the basis of a successful £1.5 million EPSRC research grant funding (a major funding body in the UK), in joint venture with Professor Carole Perry at Nottingham Trent University (UK). During my time in Southampton, as part of my mentoring output towards the school of chemistry. I also developed and adapted the use of desktop ink-jet printing technology to enable facile high-throughput synthesis of MOFs and MOF films based on the concept of combinatorial colour-coding used in the colour printing process.
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