System of correlative light electron microscopy /immunogold probes for bioimaging

The invention deals with a probe constituted of platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) inherently fluorescent (quantum dots) or functionalized with several biological molecules and fluorescent markers, among which fluorophores, proteins, peptides or antibodies. The probe is based on the inherent activity horseradish peroxidase-like of the PtNPs in presence of H2O2 and a substrate. The oxidation of a 3,3'-Diaminobenzidine (DAB) substrate leads to its polymerization, in proximity of the nanomaterial, which results in an osmiophilic precipitate. This precipitate significantly amplifies the electron-dense signal of the nanoparticles, thus making them highly visible in electron microscopy analysis. Hence, the PtNPs of the invention, if properly functionalized, can be employed as CLEM probes to follow with a nanometric resolution the sub-cellular locationing of the biological molecules of interest.

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Uranyl acetate alternative staining solution

The present invention relates to an improved staining solution for biological samples, its use in the preparation of samples for ultra-characterization and a staining procedure comprising the use of said staining solution. The here disclosed staining solution comprises a heteropolyacid, such as phosphotungstic or phosphomolibdic acid, and a lanthanide (III) salt, such as YbCl3. The solution of the invention not only provides a valid alternative to uranyl acetate staining solution, but also shows improved staining performance when compared to other staining solutions commonly employed in the field.

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A smart hand-held device for precise needle tip positioning inside non-homogeneous materials

The invention is based on a Hand-held device featuring a mechanical connection to a needle whose tip is able to measure the physical property of the material, such as electrical impedance, it is in contact with. The insertion operation is performed directly by the operator, who holds the device handle and controls the position, direction and angle of the needle for the insertion. The operator also provides the necessary force to insert the needle, and can adjust manually the course of the needle during the operation; when the target location is reached, the needle insertion motion is automatically stopped and device mechanism is actively changed to keep the needle static or to retract it. This feature is based on a trans-motion mechanism, which allows the needle motion to be physically decoupled from the motion of the device handle.

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Self-calibrating digital high frequency low power pulse generator

The invention relates to an asynchronous logic high data rate IR-UWB transmitter operating with a single 31.25MHz reference that robustly synthesizes 1 GHz rate pulses. It operates with a master-slave PLL cascade and a simple static CMOS logic, the master PLL consumes a simulated 1mW power, and it is based on three non-overlapping feedback loops whose switching is controlled by a duty cycling window and a shift register. The transmitter core enables OOK data transmission with a ∼3.1 pJ/pulse energy.

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Colorimetric test for mercury detection

The invention deals with an analytical method for the in situ determination of mercury in water, wherein the colorimetric determination step of the analyte is preceded by a pretreatment of the sample with a mild reducing agent in presence of a buffer solution at acidic pH. The colorimetric determination as such is instead based on a redox reaction, involving a cromogenic agent, catalyzed by nanoenzymes, which is inhibited in case of presence of the analyte in the sample. Indeed, the presence of mercury in a sample leads to the formation of an amalgam with the nanoenzymes and, therefore, the redox reaction above does not occur and its associated color variation cannot be observed. Furthermore, the invention deals with a kit for carrying out the above method.

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Portable colorimetric method for quick naked-eye determination of the antioxidant ability of biological fluids and food

The method of the invention essentially consists in placing the sample in contact with an aqueous solution of platinum nanoparticles, an antioxidant agent and a cromogenic substrate of the peroxidase and thereafter determining the final color of the as obtained solution. The color intensity of the solution is related to the antioxidant ability of the investigated sample. Furthermore, the invention deals with a kit for carrying out the above-described method. The kit and method of the present invention are preferably applied to biologic samples, such as saliva, urine, sweat, blood or food, such as oils and fruit juices.

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Process for the preparation of core-shell particles by the coacervation method encapsulating contrast agents for multimodal imaging

The process comprises the following steps: a. Providing a water in oil emulsion of a biocompatible polyelectrolyte polymer; b. Providing an aqueous solution of a biocompatible polyelectrolyte polymer having opposite charges of the polyelectrolyte of step a); c. Adding two crosslinking agents independently to the primary emulsion or the secondary aqueous solution; d. Adding at least a contrast agent independently to the primary emulsion or the secondary solution or emulsion; e. Adding the secondary aqueous solution to the primary emulsion and occurring of the complex coacervation leading to the separation of the coacervate particles. f. Optionally absorb a further contrast agent into the nanoparticles.

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Three-dimensional optical localization of nanometric objects with tunable axial range and localization precision

An optical microscopy method that enables the 3D location of species within a sample with high precision and over wide and tunable axial ranges is provided. The present method is based on splitting the detection arm of a microscope into 2 different pathways in combination with a high-speed varifocal lens. The 2 pathways pass through the varifocal lens at different positions, one perfectly aligned (AP) and one slightly decentered with respect to the lens optical axis (DP), and the corresponding images are collected using 2 different cameras or 2 regions within a single camera. From the AP pathway, an extended DOF image is obtained that is used to determine the x-y position of the species. By comparing the AP versus the DP images corresponding to the same species, a quantification of the z position of the different species can also be carried out.

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All organic polyimide thin film sensor for ammonia vapors

The invention is based on the development of a polyimide sensor, sensing vapors from ammonia solution. The problem solved is a reliable detection of low molarity of ammonia from aqueous solutions.

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Process For The Preparation Of Graphene Dispersions

The invention relates to the field of foldable conductive biomaterials suitable to be employed in several flexible electronic devices. In particular, the aim of the invention is to provide a fast, green and easy scalable method to produce a versatile, flexible, robust, low cost and easily disposable fibrous bio-composite which can be employed for different applications, from electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding to electrodes for electromyography (EMG) and finally to foldable and wearable electronics.

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Method for the analysis of spatial and temporal information of samples using light microscopy

The invention relates to a method for a specific architecture of optical microscope, which provide an inertia-free axial scanning of the sample, which could be used to acquire a z-stack of the sample or to extend the depth of field of the microscope. The extension of the depth of field can be arbitrarily chosen by controlling the extension of the fast axial scanning of the sample.

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A method of view frustum detection, corresponding system and computer program product

The proposed method consists mainly of three steps: (a) build the view frustum mask for each pedestrian in the current frame, (b) generate an attention mask as the accumulation of the frustums over time, and (c) minimize a cost function to predict the next location for a particular pedestrian.

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A method of identifying light sources, corresponding system and computer program product

This invention disclose a system that analyses the light pattern in indoor environments and provide information about which lights are activated using only images obtained from a camera. The light sources can be both natural (e.g. sunlight from a window) and artificial so providing a solution that can self-adapt to different environments. The system first records a series of images with prominent light variations and then decomposes such sequence into a set of basis images, depicting each light source alone. These basis images are further used to identify which light source is active in each new image acquired by system.

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Graphene biosensor for the recognition of exosomes from human fluids

The invention relates to a device able to recognize, purify, and analyze exosomes from biological fluids. It is composed by a surface-modified graphene that can be supported on different substrates, including SiC or glass. The surface is modified with antibodies or aptamers which allow to bind the target. Thanks to this modification, exosomes are recognized with a high degree of specificity. After/during the recognizing step, the device can be analyzed by optical or electrical methods such as microscopy or electrical conductivity measurements, respectively.

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Audio tracking in noisy environments by acoustic maps and spectral signatures

The invention allows to better solve the problem of localizing and tracking an audio source given a set of acoustic signals acquired by a microphone array. This task has gained increasing importance in the last years. Speaker tracking in teleconferencing, vehicle tracking in traffic monitoring systems, generic target localization and tracking in surveillance and military applications, can be cited among the applications in which the acoustic medium may play a fundamental role either complementing video devices or substituting them in cases in which a reliable visual counterpart is not available e.g. during night-time, bad weather conditions, occluded views, crowded scenes or camouflage.

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Poly-aniline/reduced graphene oxide nano-composites for supercapacitors

The invention relates to a method to produce chemically enhanced polyaniline / reduced graphene oxide nanocompisites starting from a previous patented material is developed. The produced nanocomposite is readily dispersible in some organic solvents and it can be used as ink. This ink can be easily processed by the inkjet direct printing technique and produce devices on flexible substrates. The devices has resonance frequency that can be tuned simply by the number of printing passes thanks to electronic resonance with extremely long transfer rates between reduced graphene oxide and polyaniline. This resonance introduces a discontinuity in the capacitance producing asymptotic divergences to infinity having sign dependent on the frequency sweep direction. Hence devices may be geometrically tuned to operate with desired capacitance (either positive or negative) at the desired frequency

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Multi-channel modular neural stimulator

The invention relates to a stimulation unit for a neuromuscular system comprising a plurality of terminals configured to be electrically coupled to a corresponding plurality of electrodes of a stimulation matrix configured to stimulate a portion of neuromuscular system, a signal generator programmable in order to generate a stimulation currents on each terminal and to detect signals. The device could control whatever number of the said electrodes which could be of any shape. The device could also control the stimulation time of each electrodes forming complex stimulation patterns.

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Continuous-wave pumped colloidal nanocrystal laser

Laser device comprising, as the active medium, a nanocrystals colloidal film of semiconductor material, wherein said nanocrystals are two-dimensional adapted to constitute nanocrystals quantum wells for the confinement of the charge carriers in the nanocrystals, and having a mechanism of bi-exciton gain.

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Substrate regenerative process for SERS detection without masks

The present invention arises in the field of devices comprising metallic nanostructures functionalized with organic analytes or biomolecules It can be used in spectroscopy as sensors. In particular, the invention relates to a process which allows the reuse of these devices using a maskless approach based on adequate structuring the three-dimensional (3D) with undercut of the substrate departure. This approach allows a complete and absolute removal of the analytes.

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Method for calculating the volume of an object using digital holographic microscopy

A digital optical microscopy method for 3D reconstruction of an object comprising the generation of a digital hologram for each interference figure, a phase‐contrast reconstruction, a segmentation of the phase-contrast images, a reconstruction of a 3D projection obtaining a plurality of volume elements associated with a respective plurality of rotation angles and the reconstruction of a visual hull of the 3D surface of the object.

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Integrated optic system for a micro-endoscopy device

The integrated optical system includes a distal micro-endoscopic probe having a mainly longitudinal extension, able to penetrate into a tissue to be observed, and through the which are able to pass light radiation directed to the tissue and / or coming from it; and a proximal element substantially flat, integrated with the probe and extending transversely with respect to this probe. The element is adapted to couple with a frame of an apparatus for microscopic investigation, it is optically transparent at least in a region of the optical input interface to which the optically useful area of the output sensor is facing. Among the optically useful area and the input interface region is directly interposed an optically transparent adhesive which stably binds the probe with the coupled element.

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Liquid encapsulation process

Globular microstructures comprising a liquid core and a solid shell that envelops the core comprising the micro-or nanofiber polymer, preferably obtained by electro-spinning, comprising a hydrophobic polymer or a mixture of polymer with hydrophobic polymers derived from cellulose or polyacrylates; microstructures may have an additional coating of nanoparticles or polymer. The microstructures have applications similar to those of the "liquid marbles" with improved mechanical properties.

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Distal scanning module for the pointing and the displacement of an optical or a medical device

The invention relates to a device that includes: an elongated structure; an optical apparatus associated with the elongated structure and adapted to be exposed to a portion located within a body cavity of a patient and an actuating apparatus arranged to control the position of the elongated structure in such a way as to orient the optical device into the body cavity. The elongated structure has a proximal portion and a portion with a deformable extremity that has the tendency to remain and elastically return in default state in which it is normally flexed. The drive apparatus comprises a guided mobile pusher arranged to insist against the said extremity in order to angularly move it from the folded state to a substantially straightened state.

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System for manufacturing a scaffold for a cell culture including a pneumatic device for transferring microparticles, and related scaffold

The invention relates to a system for manufacturing a scaffold for a cell culture including a transferring device that picks a particle from a plurality of particles arranged in a container and places singularly the picked particle in contact with a scaffold support matrix.

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Stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), with temporal gating of the excitement beam and synchronous detection of the fluorescence emission

The invention relates to a system for manufacturing a scaffold for a cell culture including a transferring device that picks a particle from a plurality of particles arranged in a container and places singularly the picked particle in contact with a scaffold support matrix.

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Organic device for the photoinhibition of excitable cells

The invention relates to a device for the inhibition of the electric activity of an excitable cell through the application of a light pulse, comprising a substrate and a photoreactive film, both made with a non‐conductive material and directly disposed laminated on each other, in which the photoreactive film includes a semi‐conductive polymeric layer and has an interface surface able to be put in contact with an excitable cell and an electrolytic solution. The photoreactive film, when placed in contact with the excitable cell and with an electrolytic solution, it produces as a result of light absorption a potential difference across the interface surface, able to conduct a membrane hyperpolarization of the excitable cell.

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Method for the preparation of a substrate for a plasmonic device

Method for the preparation of a substrate for a plasmonic device comprising the steps of providing a substrate chosen in the group consisting of silicon oxide or diamond having a first surface, treating said first surface with a light beam so as to obtain a plurality of substantially conical microstructures and depositing on said plurality of microstructures a layer of metal nanoparticles characterized in that said metal nanoparticles are produced by laser irradiation of a metal sheet in aqueous solution.

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Optogenetic tool for multiple and independently addressing of patterned optical windows

The invention relates to a multi‐point light‐delivering device, comprising a waveguide carrying light along a longitudinal axis and including multiple optical windows, through which the carried light is out‐coupled from the waveguide. The waveguide comprises a tapered region along which the optical windows are distributed, wherein each optical window out‐couples a specific subset of propagating modes of the carried light, to which the optical window is matched

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Improved method for the manufacture of three-dimensional hollow nanostructures

The invention relates to a process for the manufacture of threedimensional hollow nanostructures , comprising the deposition of a layering of support of a sacrificial layer of resist adapted to vary its default feature solubility for exposure to a radiation accident, the erosion of at least a region of volume predetermined sacrificial layer to form a corresponding cavity of controlled nanometer size extended in depth along a predetermined direction of erosion, in which the erosion of the predetermined volume region of the sacrificial layer is carried out for etching through an adapted ion beam to generate locally , by effect of collision with a sacrificial layer in an area of the inner surface of the cavity, a dose of secondary electrons such as to cause a confined exposure of the resist and consequently determine a greater insolubility than the default feature solubility in the wall region of the cavity to a depth equal to the free mean path of secondary electrons and the removal of the sacrificial layer of the resist with the default characteristic of solubility , for which the wall region of the exposed cavity form a quarry residual nanostructure

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Method For Producing Shaped Polymeric

Procedures for the production of non-spherical shaped polymeric microparticles comprising the operations of disposition of one or more microparticles of substantially spherical shape in a respective microcavities of a mold having the desired non-spherical shape, the softening of said microparticles by exposure to a solvent or mixture of solvent / non-solvent, at the liquid or steam state , suitable to plasticize the polymeric material constituting said microparticles, possibly assisting the process by a heat treatment Extract said microparticles from mold cavity.

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Random access stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy

Optical scanning system, comprising an optical system for guiding a first and a second light beam, and deflector devices for deflecting first and second light beams in a directionally variable manner. The deflector devices comprise at least one acoustooptic deflector, and the optical system is arranged in such a way that the first and second light beams are counter-propagating through the acousto-optic deflector, which is controllable for deflecting the first and second light beams simultaneously or in pulse sequence. STED microscopy apparatus comprising an optical scanning system based on acousto-optic deflectors.

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Method for making an array of micro-needles

The invention relates to a method for making an array of microneedles, comprising the steps of: · depositing a plurality of drops of a liquid substance comprising a polymer on a surface of a starting substrate; · positioning a pyroelectric substrate at a certain distance from the starting substrate in such a way that the drops deposited are positioned between said surface of the starting substrate and a surface of the pyroelectric substrate; · varying the temperature of the pyroelectric substrate or a part thereof to induce on said surface of the pyroelectric substrate a charge density such that starting from the drops deposited, under the effect of an electrodynamic force, respective cones are formed having a tip facing towards the pyroelectric substrate ; · determining a consolidation of the cones, to form said micro-needles, preventing the tip of said cones from contacting said surfaces of the pyroelectric substrate.

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A Method Of Configuring Planar Transducer Arrays For Broadband Signal Processing By 3D Beamforming In Particular for an Acoustic Camera

A method of configuring planar transducer arrays for broadband signal processing by 3D beamforming, wherein a superdirective beamforming technique for low-frequency signal components is combined with a sparse and aperiodic array pattern for highfrequency components in a predetermined frequency range, and wherein the positions of the individual transducers at the aperture of the array and the FIR filter coefficients are further optimized in parallel, by a hybrid iterative process including an analytical calculus for determining the FIR filter coefficients and a stochastic calculus for determining the transducer positions at the aperture of the planar transducer arrays, by minimization of a cost function wherein: the cost function expresses the beam pattern as a function of the FIR filter coefficients and the position of the transducers at the aperture of the planar transducer array and consists of a triple integral over the frequency range and over the range of values of two variables, i.e. the linear combination of each of the two components of the vectors that define the beam-steering direction, and the direction of an incident wavefront vector, which is perpendicular to the wavefront and is generated at the point coinciding with the wavefront source; parallel minimization of the cost function with respect to the transducer positions and the FIR filter coefficients; said minimization being carried out in parallel and iteratively, using a stochastic method for transducer positions and an analytical method for FIR filter coefficients; said cost function being expressed by transformation and replacement of variables with two functions independent of the individual transducer positions, said functions having values that are determined on a predetermined grid of points with a given density of nodes before the minimization step, are stored in a table and are read from said table for computation of the cost function during the minimization process.

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Optical microscope system based on reversible saturable optical transitions frequency modulation

An optical microscopy system based on reversible saturable optical transitions (RESOLFT), wherein a sample to be examined contains a chemical species having at least two distinct states into which said chemical species is alternatively and reversibly switchable, at least one transition between said at least two states being optically driven, and wherein said at least two states comprise an on-­‐state that can generate an optical signal (OS) to be detected, and an off-‐state that cannot generate said signal, said system comprising: • first generating means for providing an activation beam for inducing a transition of the chemical species into said on­‐state, • second generating means for providing a deactivation beam for inducing a transition of the chemical species into said off­‐state, • an optical system for focusing the activation beam and the deactivation beam on respective, partially overlapping areas of said sample, and • a detector for detecting said optical signal emitted by the sample and providing a corresponding electrical detection signal, characterized in that said first generating means are configured for frequency modulating said activation beam, modulation filtering means being provided for filtering said electrical detection signal in such a way as to separate a main component generated by interaction between the activation beam and the sample, from a spurious component generated by interaction between the deactivation beam and the sample.

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Methods and a mold assembly for fabricating polymer structures by imprint techniques

The present disclosure relates to mold components and imprint lithography techniques applied on the basis of organic mold materials in order to form polymer microstructure elements. It has been recognized that adapting surface characteristics of at least one mold component may significantly enhance performance of the lithography process, in particular with respect to suppressing residual polymer material, which in conventional strategies may have to be removed on the basis of an additional etch process. This technique may be used for fabricating polymer-­‐based microstructures, wherein an appropriate adaptation of the surface characteristics of at least one mold part may result in the avoidance or at least significant reduction of a residual polymer layer upon performing an imprint lithography process, i.e., upon performing a process for forming a polymer microstructure by using an elastomeric mold assembly. Due to the ability to tune the surface energy of the mold assembly, in this disclosure the patterning of a large number of polymer materials is made possible as compared to other known alternatives, which are limited to the bulk properties of the mold material.

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A self‐assembling molecular photo-detecting device

Photo­‐detector device including an active layer adapted to absorb an optical radiation and to generate in a corresponding way pairs of electrical charge carriers, comprised between a first and a second electrode layer including a respective electrically conductive material, at least one of which is a layer of optically transparent material, arranged to be connected to an external electrical signal processing circuit, characterized in that the said active layer includes a self-­‐assembling monolayer of molecules comprising a donor group facing the first electrode layer and an acceptor group facing the second electrode layer, the said molecules being adapted to assume a charge transfer state resulting from the absorption of the optical radiation whereby the charge carriers generated reside separately on the donor group and on the acceptor group and are transferred therefrom to the adjacent electrode layers, in such a manner as to determine a flow of a detection electrical current in the signal processing circuit.

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Micro‐interferometer for harmonic interference microscopy

Device for optically measuring a medium, comprising a light source which provides a fundamental beam (FB) with a first wavelength; a first harmonic generator which generates from the fundamental beam (FB) a first harmonic beam (HBl) with a second wavelength; an optical system, which couples light of the fundamental beam (FB) and the first harmonic beam (HB I) along a single, common light path; a second harmonic generator positioned after the target area; and a detector which detects light from the medium to measure a change in phase of the light interacting with the medium. The optical system comprises an achromatic focusing system and an achromatic collimating system positioned before and after the target area so as to have respective focal points substantially coincident at the target area. The first and second harmonic generators are positioned before the achromatic focusing system and after the achromatic collimating system, respectively.

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Device and method for determining the dissolution kinetics of colloidal nanoparticles

Device for determining the dissolution kinetics of colloidal nanoparticles in respective derivation ions in a solution, which comprises a dissolution compartment containing the solution, and feedable with the colloidal nanoparticles; an analysis compartment separate from the dissolution compartment; a fixed filtering membrane which separates the dissolution compartment from the analysis compartment, is selectively permeable to the derivation ion and is adapted to filter the solution, compressing means to induce passage of the solution from the dissolution compartment to the analysis compartment through the filtering membrane; a determination device for determining the quantity of the derivation ion; the device furthermore comprises mixing means associated to the dissolution compartment and distinct from the compressing means and the filtering membrane has pores of size smaller than 10 nm. Relative determination methods for determining the dissolution kinetics and the toxicity of colloidal nanoparticles are also described.

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Touch-sensitive device and detection method

Tactile sensor system able to detect contact, pressure distribution and the deformation profile at occurred contact. It consists of an infrared (IR) based optical sensing layer comprising: a detection area having at least two sides, light emitters (LE) and light detectors (LD) embedded in a transparent layer and located at its periphery, and a backprojection reconstruction algorithm. The tactile system working principle is based on a transparent layer that acts as an optical waveguide, where light travels and undergoes losses due to concurrent effects of frustrated total internal reflection and mechanical deformations of the waveguide. LEs are activated one at a time and the read-out is performed through all LDs. Then the information is processed via an ad hoc software and finally the pressure distribution map is obtained. Great advantages of this solution are its speed, electromagnetic immunity, and low power consumption. When the transparent layer is made of a flexible material, the sensor has some additional features and benefits: in this case its total flexibility and extensibility make it suitable for flexible, bendable, lightweight devices and for a smart sensor skin.

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Device for obtaining three‐dimensional cell coltures, method for its manufacturing and use of such device

A novel method of 3D neuronal cell culture using a specific protocols and a superhydrophobic and nanostructured substrate is reported. Super-hydrophobic nanopatterned surfaces are realized with a texture given by a periodic hexagonal lattice of cylindrical silicon nano-patterned pillars. This particular type of superhydrophobic nanopatterned device allows the growth of neuronal cells in a 3D microenvironment. The device provides three-dimensional environments in which cells are able to mimic their in vivo counterparts; promotes cell growth and migration and is able to guide and promote neurite outgrowth during nerve regeneration.

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Process and device for the determination of alterations in neuronal connectivity and/or morphology

The present invention relates to a method and a device to assess/quantify the capability to extend neurites of cultured neurons which express neuropathological symptoms or which are subjected to rescue treatments. Neurons are cultured on substrates providing a series of adhesion spot arrays which are characterized by different and gradually increased inter-spot distances. These two dimensional culture substrates drive the neuronal physical connections in a given direction, according to the interspot distance that is set up appropriately during the substrate fabrication steps. This method can be used to compare physical connections of neurons from different sources, such as from wild-type animals and from transgenic animal models of neuropathologies to detect anomalies in neuronal behavior.

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Method for estimating a model on multi‐core and many-core MIMD architectures

The invention concerns a method for estimating a model on multi-core and many-core MIMD (Multiple Instruction, Multiple Data) architectures including processors and a global memory using RANSAC (RANdom Sample Consensus) algorithm, particularly in connection with image processing applications for homography model estimation. The invention presents a novel variant of the RANSAC by incorporating the concept of backtracking strategy and also its variant as a Cooperative Search algorithm with excellent features for highly parallel implementation. The parallel implementation results in an asynchronous algorithm with a very limited communication requirement. For certain cases, the invented Cooperative Search Algorithm achieves super-linear speedup, i.e. an algorithm speedup greater than the number of cores involved in computation.

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Innovative endoscopic system

In the field of Smart Materials, IIT has developed an innovative tip integrating an optical fiber endoscope system based on nanocomposite materials. The nanocomposite tip enhances the optical light coming from an optical fiber source and couples the light backscattered by a generic 3D detected target. The integration of fiber optics and nanocomposite materials in a polymeric matrix is fully biocompatible and makes this device suitable, in particular, for medical endoscopic equipment.

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Automatic passive liquid positioning in microfluidic chips

A complete Lab-On-Chip (LOC), based on a microfluidic piezoelectric chip able to steer surface acoustic waves (SAWs) passively and with minimal losses depending on the position of the fluid microdroplets on the chip. LOCs are one of the most promising technologies in the biomedical field. Miniaturized, portable diagnostic and analysis system are expected to constitute the next-generation tool for medicine and other fields. The liquid handling system is at the base of every LOC. It must enable loading, actuation and precise positioning of very small liquid volumes. LOC technologies are attracting the biomedical market thanks to the new capabilities introduced by the microfluidic chips and by optimized performances in terms of liquid consumption, waste production, scalability and high-throughput analysis.

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Drug release vector

A structure based on 30 nm gold nanospheres conjugated to (bio)molecules by a triazole ring formed through click-chemistry is developed. 30 nm gold nanospheres (AuNs) offer a number of attractive properties such as maximum efficiency in terms of cellular uptake, and an extinction band peaked at 530 nm. The AuNs are coated with an alkyne-modified peptide (CLPFF-Propargylglycine; G), in order to obtain stable bifunctionalized gold colloids with both carboxylic acid and alkyne groups on the metallic surface (AuNsG), so that the system can be easily conjugated with multiple molecular species. The alkyne groups can be readily coupled to azide-probes, such as azide-fluorescein (Fn), by click-chemistry reactions, obtaining the 1,2,3-triazole ring linkage between the metallic nanostructures and the probe. Owing to the field enhancement effect occurring in proximity of the metallic nanostructure for the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) stimulation, this system can effectively release the probe through a 3-photons effect by irradiation with 561-nm laser light. In this way it is possible to control both spatially and temporally the release of a probe internalized in living cells by the use of visible light close to the red part of the spectrum.

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Human‐machine interface system

Leading the latest development in the Virtual Reality research field, IIT has developed HIRIS (Human Interactive Reliable Integrated System), a revolution in the human-computer interface, bringing endless possibility of interaction with machines due to its unique characteristics. In principle, the system can be associated to every electronic device to deploy a new way of communicating with them, thus providing a new experience on control by reducing the gap between humans and electronics. The HIRIS system is a complete modular actuator/sensor network composed by several interconnectable units to provide a feedback (e.g. contact, vibration or thermal) over the user’s skin and measure a desired parameter such as acceleration and position in space. Each unit can be directly attached over the user’s skin via custom placeholders, thus letting the user configure the network of units according to his needs. The units can communicate with Desktop PC applications, Tablet, Console, Virtual reality ambient such as Desktop PC, Tablet, Console, Virtual reality ambient for specific applications. The HIRIS framework is highly competitive in the interaction field due to his several unique characteristics that can be summarized as follow: •Modular feedbacks framework, •Actuator/Sensor Network, •Reconfigurable by user needs, •Reconfigurable to be adapted to different markets (gaming, sports, garments, etc.)

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A dynamic brain pressure control for single unit in vivo neural recordings

In the research field of the Cognitive Sciences, the RBCS department has developed compact multi-channel single and multi-unit in vivo neural recording system. This device permits both a very precise electrode positioning with respect of the brain tissue and the application of a finely, dinamically controlled pressure in the recording site. This device allows the surgeon to monitor the pressure exerted by the recording device on the brain tissue while a separate control adjust gradually this pressure, dynamically following and limiting the brain tissue bulging and pulsation. In this way dangerous interruptions of brain blood supply in the recording site due to excessive pressure produced by the recording device are avoided while brain pulsations are reduced.

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Material stiffness measurement instrument

Material characterization has always been a challenging task. In this field this novel instrument allows measuring multidimensional stiffness in two or three dimensions; the value of the stiffness is mainly associated for a mono-dimensional displacement. The present invention allows scanning the stiffness value of whatever material evaluating the stiffness in multiple directions.

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Method for auto‐calibrating a set of acoustic signal sensors, in particular microphones, and corresponding system

This technology is a breakthrough in the auto calibrating techniques for multiple acoustic sensors. Given a set of sources of acoustic events in a spatial region, flight times between each source of acoustic events and each sensor is measured. Then, emission times of said acoustic events are acquired, and flight times are obtained as a function of the respective emission times. Distances between sources and sensors are calculated from the flight times. Finally, the estimated positions of both sensors and sources of events are calculated by a maximum likelihood estimation procedure, which includes performing a least square optimization minimizing a cost function between Euclidean distances of the positions of the sensors and of the sources and the calculated distances.

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Three‐Electrode electroporation device

In vivo electroporation makes it possible to render cell membranes temporarily permeable to substances that otherwise would not be able to effectively enter the cell interior. This invention describes a simple and yet very effective redesign of the existing electroporation devices, using three electrodes instead of two. This device presents a new electrode configuration for in vivo electroporation in the nervous system of embryonic mice. The new configuration entails a common bipolar electrode connected to only one polarity and a third new electrode connected to the other polarity.

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Open three‐sided magnet for MRI

In the field of the study of the human being, in particular of the brain activities, MRI provides excellent structural and functional images of the soft tissues, organs and vasculature in any desired spatial plane. This is achieved when the patient is placed inside a powerful magnetic field. The open three-sided magnet, described in this invention, overcomes most of the limitations due to the traditional solenoid design of MRI machines.

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Low Power, Real Time, Stereoscopic Vision System

Stereo Vision is a part of computer vision system that uses two slightly different images taken by two cameras to detect the depth of the scene in front of the cameras. Usually a depth map image is obtained as gray level image: the objects close to the camera appear whites, while the objects far from the camera are completely blacks. The objectives of this invention are to provide both real time depth map computation and low power consumption to achieve a portable stereo vision system suitable for autonomous mobile robots and wearable self powered stereo vision systems for blind people.

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Hollow nanostructures

This patent describes a new technique to produce hollow nanostructures made of noble metal and dielectrics. The nanostructures stand on a thin silicon nitride membrane or other kind membrane, and their shape can be adjusted accordingly to the specific needs. They can be conical, pyramidal, cylindrical, and they can be arranged in arrays of the desired geometry. The width can span from few tenths of nm to few hundreds, whereas the height can be up to few microns. The aspect ratio (with/height) can be up to 40:1. Also coaxial structures made of more layers of different materials can be done. The fabrication technique is mainly based on focused ion beam milling.

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Robust Scalable Video CoDec

This invention provides a novel scalable video coder for video streaming over wireless networks consisting in a multi layer scalable source coding, able to meet the multi-user requirements in heterogeneous networks. The encoder system presents a high degree of scalability able to meet dynamically the requirements of width bandwidth and it has better performance compared to known scalable video coders generating a robust embedded bitstream compared to packet loss. Beyond the scalability, the proposed algorithm is characterized by the robustness to packet loss. It is remarkable how, when a non zero packet loss is considered, the proposed method achieves a quality of even 7 dB higher than the MPEG-4 FGS code.

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Sensing moisture measuring device

A human skin moisture measuring device comprising an interdigitated resistive sensor on a transparent support, an image sensing device, such as a video camera, a CCD device or a C-MOS device, and a lighting device. The device allows evaluating at the same time the moisture of skin and the real surface of skin in contact with the sensor; this last feature can be also used for studies on tactile perception.

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Method for generating a minimum set of analytical redundancy relations for the diagnosis of systems

A novel concept of Minimal Set of Analytical Redundancy Relation (ARRs) and an efficient method for its calculation for application to system diagnosis is developed. Starting with the complete set of ARRs for a system and the resulting Fault Signature Matrix for any number of considered faults, there can be smaller sets of ARRs which achieve the same level of detection and isolation as the complete set of ARRs. The derivation of minimal set of ARRs can be formulated as a 0-1 integer programming problem and consequently, an efficient branch-and-bound method for its solution is presented. Instead of simple measure of the cardinality of the subset of ARRs, the concept of minimality can be extended to the real computational cost of evaluating ARRs for diagnosis. In fact, many practical systems might involve some components with nonlinear functions which are more costly and/or less precise for computation than other components of the system with simpler function. For such cases, once the ARRs of the system are derived, a careful analysis can reveal those ARRs which involve such costly and/or less precise components. The calculation of minimal set of ARRs can then be performed by assigning a computation and/or precision cost to each ARR and the result will be a set of ARRs with minimal cost.

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Algorithm for the revelation of disparities between image signals

The invention relates to a method for processing disparity maps from signals representing image data (L, R) originated from two image sensor devices, arranged horizontally at a respective predetermined distance, said image data regarding respectively a first image (L) and a second image (R), said processing including computing a matching cost between pixels coming respectively from data of said first image (L) and of said second image (R), wherein said operation of computing a matching cost includes comparing each pixel (Li) of said first image (L) to a set of pixels (MD) of the second image (R), by a specialized cost function (BSAD, costfunction) which is monodimensional and scaled by computing a value of offset as intensity difference between reference pixels (Lx, Ry) of the first and second image, the set of pixels (MD) of the second image (R) belonging to the same line of a comparison pixel (Lx) of said first image (L).

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Open‐Structure Magnetic Assembly For Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The invention is related to the generation of magnetic fields, particularly for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI requires a high strength and uniformity magnetic field over a range of interest and in the case of human subjects it is also necessary that the shape of the magnet be suitable for easy positioning of the subject under examination; the volume occupied by the subject has to be located in a region of homogeneous field, i.e. in a region where the magnetic field exhibits equal intensity and is unidirectional. The invention is able to produce an open structure magnetic assembly characterized by producing a homogeneous magnetic field in an easily accessible region. The principle is to obtain homogeneous magnetic fields by adding magnetic fields originating by different structures.

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Electric Neurostimulator

The invention relates to an electric neurostimulator, whose electric circuit is located on a single integrated circuit, comprising: an electric stimuli generator; a reader of the signals received from said patient; at least one electrode applied to said patient; said at least one electrode receives said electric stimuli and sends them to said patient; said at least one electrode receives at least a signal from said patient and sends it to said signal reader; switching means for selectively connect said at least one electrode to said electric stimuli generator or said signal reader

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Electrical transduction device for the detection of biorecognition events

The invention is a method and a device for the revelation of biorecognition events; it allows to perform quantitatively analyses in the presence of low levels of analyte and potentially also in the case of a single event of biorecognition. The disposable can be used for point-of-care applications, eventually disposable applications. The revelation process is based on interaction processes based on electrical transduction of the events.

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Fiducial marker for stereotassic radiosurgery and production process

Composition in the form of shaped device, for use as a fiducial marker in tissues in the animal body, in radiotherapy and/or radiosurgery comprising a core consisting of a colloidal dispersion of metal nanoparticles and/or oxides or metal salts having X-ray-contrast properties, where said nanoparticles are stabilized with surfactants, polymers or capping agents in a liquid vehicle, and a casing that encapsulates the core polymer, said device having a minimum size of not less than 500 microns and a maximum size not greater than 3000 microns.

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Lens structure associable with an image acquisition device, in particular for microscopy

Lens structure associable with an image acquisition device, in particular for microscopic observation, comprising a dorsal portion having a curved or convex surface, and a ventral portion having an adhesive bottom surface that can be connected to the image acquisition device. The structure being characterized in that said dorsal portion is substantially semirigid or rigid and is made from a non-adhesive polymeric resin; and in that said ventral portion comprises a transparent and substantially flat support layer having said bottom surface on one side and, on the opposite side, an intermediate surface connected to said dorsal portion.

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Automatic 3D Mouse position and shape tracking for behavior analysis

The invention is a combination of hardware and software that is able to automatically track the 3D shape and position of a mouse for behavior analysis. In particular, the hardware setup is composed by a set of at least two or 3 video cameras, normal or infrared, that are able to capture temporal synchronized images of the mouse. By integrating the information extracted from the cameras, the 3D shape and position of the mouse is automatically estimated and then passed to a module that classifies the mouse behavior.

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All-electrical plasmon detector

The invention relates to a plasmon detector that is characterized by a particular architecture allowing a simple all-electrical detection of plasmons in a plasmonic waveguide. The electrical plasmon detector is based on non-linear hydrodynamic equations of plasmon motion that describe transport in the waveguide at room temperature and in a wide range of carrier densities. These non-linearities yield a dc voltage in response to the oscillating field of a propagating plasmon. In particular the waveguide is more efficient if it is made of graphene. The proposed device paves the way for the integration of graphene plasmonic waveguides in electronic circuits.

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Gold Seeds Embedded in Hollow Silica Nanoparticles

The invention relates to nanoparticles which are composed by a hollow silica nanostructure in which negative charged gold seeds are embedded in its central cavity by positive-charged polymer. In this system, every component is synergistically associated to the other, resulting in a complex object able to reach the target in the organism, to produce the theranostics action, and finally to be biodegraded and cleared out. The nanoparticles can be used in in vivo analysis of the systems with theranostics features (photoacoustic and x-ray enhancement).

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Process for the rivelation of the colorimetric amplification of a target nucleic acid sequence

The invention relates to a system for the detection of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) products which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with DNA oligonucleotides. Unlike currently used technologies, does not require instrumentations, nor processing steps, being, on the contrary, a rapid one-step assay only requiring the addition of pre-mixed reagents to the PCR reaction products, which returns a visual readout in few minutes. This rapid test will have relevance in molecular biology applications both in scientific research and in clinical laboratories, and it will be particularly useful in those situations where simplifying large scale genetic screening (for instance, for searching infectious diseases nucleic acids) may be relevant. Other advantages, including low-cost, time-saving, easy of fabrication, and the employment of universal detection probes, make it an ideal candidate for the parallel detection of several different PCR products.

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