The research line related to Nanoscopy deals with the development of novel technologies and instruments for advanced diagnostics at the nanometer scale integrated with focused applications. Within this framework Nikon industries launched the Nikon Imaging Centre NIC@IIT and a NIKON-IIT R&D center for the shared development of new optical technologies.
- The study and characterization of oncological and neurodegenerative diseases at cellular and molecular level (nuclear pore complex and membrane channels dynamics, chromatin-DNA organization and its dynamic changes as potential pre-neoplastic indicators, cellular molecular trafficking, protein accumulation pathways, miRNA traffic and dynamics, cell aggregation and growth),
- The study of tissue engineering processes (artificial retina, bone substitutes)
- The study of new materials (nanoparticle packing and functioning in nanocomposite materials).In the long term, a new paradigm for microscopy development can be envisaged, such as portable multimodal nanoscopes having the potential of being flexible, low power and tunable. Such a new generation of microscopes could integrate microscopy, spectroscopy and flow cytometry in the same instrument endowed of all the processing and visualization software on-board.The Nanoscopy research activities share with the Nikon Imaging Center a partner portfolio: Nikon, Coherent, JEOL, JPK, PicoQuant, Okolab, Physik Istrumente, Chroma, ISS, Hamamatsu. A long term partnership is also running with Abberior and Leica Microsystems companies.
The main goals linked with the EU projects Eurobioimaging, SMD, LANIR, RENVISION and the technical scientific collaborations with Nikon, Leica and Coherent focus mainly on:
- In-vivo imaging from micro- to nano- spatial resolution scale.
- Lab-on-a-chip developments for integration on diagnostic devices and virtual reality platforms.
- Optical nanoscopy modules competitive with current electron microscopes both in terms of spatial/temporal resolution and costs.
- Correlative nanoscopy including optical super resolution in the far/near field, scanning probe microscopy, pump-probe spectroscopy and electron microscopy.
- Computational methods in optical microscopy and imaging