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The Center for Materials Interfaces – CMI@SSSA is an interdisciplinary R&D center dedicated to the investigation, development, characterization, and exploitation of materials at the nanoscale, with particular attention to the biomedical and technological sectors, and with a special focus on interface effects. The Center is highly multidisciplinary, and materials science, physics, chemistry, life science and engineering merge to find how innovative materials and interfacial processes can be developed and exploited for specific applications. The activities are organized into two main research areas:

  • Bio-Interfaces, focused on the development and exploitation of physically-active nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, able to provide appropriate instructive cues to cells and tissues. Smart nanomaterials are investigated as both intracellular "nanotransducers" and as innovative platforms for theranostics.
  • Functional Material Interfaces, investigating materials science and technologies to create smart and/or bio-inspired surfaces and interfaces, with advanced functionalities for a broad range of applications. Two approaches are considered: creation of functional surface via micro-nano-structuring of polymeric active materials, and exploitation of ultra-thin conformable functional systems to be coupled with arbitrary surfaces; functionalization of biological surfaces and related interfaces are also matter of study.

Laboratories

Our facilities comprise:

  • Clean rooms (class 1000 and class 10000)
  • Fully equipped chemical laboratories
  • BSL1 and BSL2 biological laboratories
  • Microscopy equipment (dual beam electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, Raman microscopy)
  • Altered gravity simulators (random positioning machine)

Research Lines

The Smart Bio-Interfaces group focuses on the development and exploitation of physically-active nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, able to provide appropriate instructive cues to cells and tissues. The remote control of cellular functions through smart nanomaterials represents a bio-manipulation approach with unprecedented potential applications in many fields of medicine, ranging from cancer therapy to tissue engineering.

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