The course aims to provide: (1) an introduction to nanotechnology and to fabrication and characterization methods for nano and microstructured systems and (2) basic knowledge on the use of nano-scale aggregates of synthetic and natural polymers for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
Expected learning outcomes
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The module presents techniques for synthesis and characterization of nanostructures. It also advises some examples of applications. Introduction to Nanoscience: definition, properties of materials dependent on the size and shape at nanoscale and new techniques for the analysis / characterization of nanomaterials. Techniques of synthesis: top-down and bottom-up approaches. Vapor phase methods (PVD, CVD, PECVD), gas phase methods (flame pyrolysis, laser ablation, supersonic cluster beam deposition), chemical methods (sol-gel, electrodeposition, electrospinning), solid state methods (milling). Methods of characterization: Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS); scanning probe microscopy: Atomic Force Microscopy(AFM), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM); optical microscopy: Confocal Scanning Microscopy (CLSM), Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM); electronic microscopy: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM); optical spectroscopy (Raman, UV-Vis); photoemission spectroscopy (XPS, UPS, AES); X-ray diffraction (XRD). Examples of applications: miniaturized laboratories: Lab-On-Chip (PCR systems; electrochemical sensors); micro-fluidic platforms for cell biology: Cells-On-Chip systems (cell sorting); development of biomimetic materials for cell culturing and tissue engineering.
Introduction to Bio-nanotechnology. Use of nanoparticles in biomedical applications (sensors for the study of biological interactions; drug delivery systems, contrast media for diagnostic techniques); Materials employed for NPs fabrication, influence of physico-chemical properties of NPs (size, shape, surface charge, etc) in biological interactions; surface functionalization , passive and active targeting. Nanoparticle based on organic material in drug delivery and diagnostic applications: liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, polymeric micelles, polymersomes, dendrimers, polymer/lipid-DNA complexes ("polyplexes"/"lipoplexes") for genic therapy. Nanoparticle based on inorganic material: iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles, gold NPs, mesoporous silica NPs, graphene, etc. General characteristics, physico-chemical properties, methods of fabrication and functionalization are describe for each type of NPs. Examples of nano-system in clinical trials or in clinical use are presented.