Institute for Biological Systems (ISB)

Research activities

The consolidated multidisciplinary culture allows the IMC to deal appropriately and effectively with strategic research themes outlined by the National Research Programme and by Horizon 2020. IMC research facilities have an excellent operational capability and can converge with critical mass either on research projects aimed at generating knowledge, or on applied oriented projects within the three areas: Food and Agriculture, Health, Environment and Cultural Heritage.

The Food and Agriculture area includes two RLs:
-Technologies to improve quality and food safety, where competences in separation science, NMR spectroscopy, analytical chemistry, and statistical data treatment participate to the development of technologies to detect specific molecular markers and outline the metabolic profile of complex food matrices.
-Technologies of soil amendment, where expertise in chemistry of minerals and rocks and NMR spectroscopy contribute to develop new materials to convert desert soils into fertile ones and to study of the effect of hydro-stress on plants.

Two RLs are included in the Health area:
- Clinical diagnostics, drugs and drug delivery, where competences such as separation science, organic chemistry and colloid chemistry, NMR spectroscopy contribute to develop drugs, new technologies for clinical diagnostics, and nanoparticles as drug delivery systems.
- Environmental diagnostics and technologies for pollutant and pathogen abatement, in which skills in chemistry of pollutants (Volatile Organic Compounds - VOC, heavy metals, particulates), in organic and colloid chemistry, and analytical chemistry have the purpose to develop new technologies to detect the presence of bacteria in water and indoor environments and to reduce the level of VOC, particulates and bacteria in certain environments.

Three RLs are included in the Environment and Cultural Heritage area:
-Technologies for the development of new cements at low CO2 impact, in which skills in chemistry of minerals and rocks and NMR spectroscopy contribute to the development of a new mechanical and chemical process for the production of cements with low CO2 emissions, starting from natural stones or waste materials.
-Monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of buildings and objects of cultural interest, in which competences in humanities and expertise in NMR spectroscopy, organic and colloids chemistry, inorganic chemistry, contribute to the characterization of artifacts and monuments of cultural heritage interest and to the development of new sustainable materials for the restoration and safeguard of artifacts and monuments.
- Green chemistry, in which skills in metal organic chemistry, separation science and mass spectrometry contribute to the development of sustainable chemical processes and the exploitation of vegetal sources, which do not belong to the food chain, to obtain molecules of interest.