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IIT adopts the international model of public research that creates innovation and influences  the economy - production.  Research, both basic, " curiosity-driven " and applied, focusses on the development of technologies for the market. This approach has led the Institute to file several patents in different study areas defined by the 11 research programs . In-depth information on promising technologies and patents developed by IIT can be found below.


Patents cumulative
*Updated: May 2017
 

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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Nano-carrier loaded with an exocytosis inhibitor and an active ingredient

The invention relates to a new drugs carrier system of based on a nano-capsule containing a lysosomal exocytosis inhibitor and a drug. The inhibitor is used to stop the cellular lysosomal exocytosis process resulting in an intracellular entertainment of nanoparticles and in an extended release of the carried drug.
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Cooperative primers PCR (coop. PCR)

The invention relates to a method for the simultaneous identification and amplification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This method, called COOperative Primers PCR (CooP PCR), is based on the use of short PCR primers that cooperatively hybridize on the SNP site on the template DNA, highly enhancing the SNP discrimination efficiency. This allows highly specific PCR amplification only of the SNP variant searched for. The assay is low-cost, as it is based on standard PCR primers, and universal, as it can be applied to any SNPs, irrespective of its genomic context.
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Gold core hollow nanostructures

Metal nanoparticles for health applications have not translated into market because they accumulate in organism after the designed action. In order to overcome this issue the invention discloses an innovative kind of multifunctional nanoparticles that maintain the features of metal nanoparticles, and biodegrade to renal clearable building blocks in few days.
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Tumor treatment

The present invention shows that the pyrimidine analog, Azaribine, can be used as a single agent to induce p53-dependent death in tumor cells. Furthermore, in the invention we propose that combined treatment with Azaribine and the MDM2 antagonist, Nutlin-3A (the chemical precursor of RG7112) induces synergistic death in cancer cells expressing wild type p53. This is supported by experimental data.
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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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Bi-stable scalable actuation mechanism based on electromagnetic adhesion

The invention describe a method based on a “miRNA Pool” to generate neurons from adult neural stem cells, while preventing generation of glia. The present invention could be applied to prevent age-dependent loss of neurogenesis, or to avoid the pathological generation of undesirable cells such as activated glia upon trauma, epilepsy or cell transplantation. Finally, another application of the present invention is related to the treatment of glioblastoma.
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Method for the synthesis of carbon nano-onions

The invention relates to a method to obtain carbon nanostructures which a structure of onion. The carbon nano-onions here presented show graphitic multilayer morphology which allows to be used to different bio application as in vivo imaging, catalysis, gas storage electromagnetic shielding. The method object of the invention is inexpensive, easy to control and adeguate to be scalable
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4-amino-2-pyrido bicyclic pyrimidines as type ii topoisomerase inhibitors and their use as medicaments

The invention relates to compounds (i.e. 4-amino-pyrido[4,3-d]pyrimidine and 4-amino-quinazoline derivatives, collectively termed 4-amino-2-Pyrido bicyclic pyrimidines)that inhibit human type II topoisomerase (topoII) enzyme. Pharmacological inhibition of topoII can be used to treat a variety of pathophysiological conditions, especially cancer. The here proposed 4-amino-2-Pyrido bicyclic pyrimidines are potent inhibitors towards topoII and, at the same time, these compounds show promising results in blocking the proliferation of cancer cells. Moreover, the 4-amino-2-Pyrido bicyclic pyrimidine scaffold is very drug-like and allows great chemical diversity, for this reason theseseries of compounds could constitute a highly promising foundation for further drug development.
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Notch inhibitors

The invention relates to the identification of the natural molecule 3,4,2′,4′-Tetrahydroxychalcone and to the generation of one related sintetic derivative. Both molecules present an inhibitory activity of the Notch signaling
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Piperazinyl Methanone NAAA Inhibitors

Piperazinyl Methanone NAAA Inhibitors
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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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Method for dynamical configurational sampling of molecular interactions

The invention relates to a method to facilitate the acceleration of the configurationally sampling of molecular interaction in molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. This method makes use of an auxiliary (Yukawa-like) screened electrostatic interaction potential acting between the subsets of a molecular system the interaction of which one wants to sample. This potential can be easily implemented in MD plugins and smears the interaction over all the atoms of the two subsets, leading to a concerted global movement.
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Modulation of cognitive disfunctions with dopaminergic drugs

The invention relates to a substance selected from the group consisting of agonists and antagonists of the dopamine D2 receptors, for use in modulating cognitive dysfunctions in a subject who bears a functional genetic variation in the DTNBP1 gene capable of lowering the levels of the dysbindin-1 protein.
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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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Compounds for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders

The invention relates to Compounds and pharmaceutical compositions containing the same. It further relates to their use in the prevention or treatment of central nervous system diseases or disorders, in particular, cognitive, neurodegenerative or neuronal diseases or disorders.
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Kinetics of protein-ligand unbinding

A computational methodology to estimate the unbinding kinetics inherent in biomolecular interaction, also tested in the case of protein-ligand binding, is provided. This method couples smoothed potential molecular dynamics simulations with a statistical treatment. A method is further provided for use on systems of pharmacological interest, including those for which kinetic experimental data are available, including heat shock proteins (HSP70 and HSP90) that bind two distinct classes of ligands and the Adenosine A2A G-Protein Coupled Receptor in complex with congeneric inhibitors. The method provides the ability to rank ligands in consistent agreement with experimental kinetic data and to provide residence time estimates that correlate well with corresponding experimental measurements obtained from surface plasmon resonance experiments.
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Linearly actuated two degree-of-freedom spherical orienting device for optical elements

The invention relates to a new device for the motorized control of the aiming and scanning motions of a laser beam. The particular conformation of the presented device permits to increase the overall performances in terms of speed and precision of the laser orientation in comparison to the existing devices. Its first potential application is laser microsurgery, similar devices present in prior art are called laser micromanipulator. Therefore, the system could be termed as “Linear actuated Laser Micromanipulator.
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Acid Ceramidase inhibitors, and their use as anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory agents

Anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory agents
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Novel Acid Ceramidase inhibitors, and their use as anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory agents

Novel anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory agents
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Method for producing a totally endogenous skin

The present invention relates to a method for producing a totally endogenous bioengineered tissue including a first layer of connective tissue and a second layer of epithelial tissue, to a tissue equivalent obtained thereby and to a method for determining the effect of a chemical substance or an agent on skin employing the tissue equivalent.
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Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Inhibitors based on bicyclic systems

Medicaments
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Modulators for treating an intellectual disability

The present invention relates to a composition for treating an intellectual disability in a subject in need thereof, wherein said composition comprises an effective amount of a modulator of a chloride transporter.
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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; · 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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Diarylalkylamine rev-erb antagonists and their use as medicaments

Medicaments
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Dual Inhibitors Of The Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Enzyme And Modulators Of The D3 Dopamine Receptor

Medicaments
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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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O-alkyl triazolyl carbamates as inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)

FAAH inhibitors
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Biodegradable nanocarrier for drug delivery

The invention relates to a block-made copolymer consisting of two blocks S1 and S2, where S1 is constituted by m(PEG)n where n is an integer between 4 and 50, and S2 is a random copolymer consisting of the monomeric units R1 and R2 where R1 is the monomer unit corresponding to the monomer gvalerolattone and R2 the monomer unit corresponding to the monomer selected from the group consisting e-caprolattone, δ-valerolattone, β-butirrolattone, ε-caprolattame, δ-valerolattame. Is also provided a method for its preparation, its use and a pharmaceutical composition comprising the same.
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Adhesive composition comprising a cyanoacrylate compound with a silyl isocyanate treated silica gel

The present invention relates to an instantaneous adhesive composition which is satisfactorily made thixotropic or gelled and has a rapid setting time and an excellent adhesive strength, said composition being obtained by adding to an α-cyanoacrilate a silica gel treated with a silyl isocyanate.
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Carbamate Derivatives Of Lactam Based N-Acylethanolamine Acid Amidase (NAAA) Inhibitors

NAAA inhibitors
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Amide Derivatives Of Lactam Based N-Acylethanolamine Acid Amidase (NAAA) Inhibitors

NAAA inhibitors
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Heat-Sensitive Nanoparticle System

Heat-sensitive system comprising at least one nanoparticle ableto convert an electromagnetic radiation into thermal energy when said nanoparticle is exposed to an alternating magnetic field, said nanoparticle being bound covalently with at least one thermolabile molecule, said thermolabile molecule being covalently bound with at least one active molecule selected from a fluorophore molecule and a drug, characterised in that said thermolabile molecule comprises an azo -N=N- functional group.
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Probe Kit For Detecting A Single Strand Target Nucleotide Sequence

A system for detecting a single strand target nucleotide sequence comprising: •at least one first nucleic acid probe from 10 to 14 bases, to the 5’ end of which at least one fluorophore is bound; •at least one second nucleic acid probe from 35 to 50 bases, comprising, from the 5’ to the 3’ end •a first segment having a nucleotide sequence complementary to the first nucleic acid probe, •at least one quencher, •a second segment having a nucleotide sequence complementary to at least part of the target nucleotide sequence.
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Combined material including anodic porous alumina and a polymer matrix, and its use for the dental recondition

The present invention relates to anodic porous alumina (APA) in the form of microparticles, characterized in that it contains interconnected through nanopores, and to its use in the preparation of a new composite material, which is useful for example in the field of conservative dentistry. The invention further relates to a process for preparing the nanoporous alumina of the invention in microparticles.Thanks to the mechanical interlace that is established between the microparticles of nanoporous alumina and the polymer matrix, the composite material of the invention does not require the use of any coupling agent, further ensuring excellent properties in terms of resistance, elasticity, biocompatibility and stability over time. In fact, the particular microparticulate form of the nanoporous alumina and the presence of interconnected through holes in each microparticle makes it possible to achieve an almost complete penetration of the polymer matrix into the alumina nanopores. In this manner the two components of the composite material are physically interconnected without there being a need to use any type of chemical coupling agent.
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Method for obtaining ultrastable nano‐emulsions

A new method to obtain ultra-stable emulsions is described. The stability of an emulsion can be strongly improved by associating to a right formulation the right process or better sequences of processes. After coating the emulsion with a thin polymer shell it has to be re-dispersed one or more times to homogenize the formulation which allows stabilities at least higher than 9 months. The developed product is also perfectly biodegradable that is a fundamental requisite for applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical fields with sizes ranging between 50 and 200nm and with good Poly-Dispersion Indexes (PDI below 0.1) as required for these applications.
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Acid ceramidase inhibitors and their use as medicaments

The present invention concerns, in a first aspect, compounds of Formula I, pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof and pharmaceutical compositions containing such compounds. The present invention also relates to compounds of Formula I for use as acid ceramidase inhibitors, and in the treatment of cancer and other disorders in which modulation of the levels of ceramide is clinically relevant.
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Acid ceramidase inhibitors and their use as medicaments

The present invention relates to compounds of Formula I, its pharmaceutically acceptable salts and it's pharmaceutical compositions containing such compounds. The present invention also relates to compounds of Formula I for use in the treatment of cancer and other disorders in which modulation of the levels of ceramide is clinically relevant.
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Multitarget FAAH And COX Inhibitors And Therapeutical Uses Thereof

The invention features compounds that inhibit the fatty acide amide hydrolase (FAAH), and/or cyclooxygenase 1 (COX1) and/or cyclooxygenase 2(COX2). Certain of the inhibitors are selective for FAAH relative to COXs. Others are selective for COXs relative to FAAH. Some are inhibitors of both FAAH and COXs. Pharmacological inhibition of FAAH and/or COXs can be used to treat a variety of pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation and pain treatment, as well as anxiety, eating disorders, and cardiovascular disorders.
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Novel Lantipeptide

The present invention concerns novel lantipeptide (lanthionine-containing peptide) compounds having general formula (I), a process for their preparation, the key intermediates in said processes, their pharmaceutical acceptable salts and pharmaceutical compositions containing them, as well as their use in the treatment of pain.
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Dual Target Compounds For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Compounds of formula (I) wherein the groups are as defined in the description, are used as medicaments, in particular for the treatment of a disease selected from the group consisting of: cognitive impairment, memory dysfunction, neurodegenerative disorders and related dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, neuropsychiatric behavior associated with Alzheimer’s disease, pain, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and for pharmacological addictive substance or intoxicant therapy; and for the neuroprotection from NMDA toxicity.
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Polymeric composite materials with antimicrobial and biodegradable properties

Povidone Iodine (PVPI) is a well known broad spectrum anticeptic for wound treatment and irrigation. PVPI, however, is a very hydrophilic substrance having poor resistance against water. Wound treatments with PVPI are, therefore, short lived. We have developed a simple and inexpensive method to directly incorporate PVPI in alginic (sodium & calcium) polymer matrices to enable its slow and controlled release into infected areas. The process also prolongs antiseptic effects of PVPI considerably. Aqueous PVPI solutions are blended with sodium alginate solutions at any proportion from which films can be cast. Droplets or continuous liquid streams of the blend solutions can be cross-linked in calcium salt solutions to form PVPI encapsulated beads and fibers.
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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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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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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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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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Star‐shaped gold nanoparticles

Method to synthesize in aqueous solution branched gold nanoparticles by which it is possible to control the size and the degree of branching at the same time. The method does not use cytotoxic capping agents, such as CTAB, organic thiol molecules or others. A further coating can also be realized on the surface of branched nanoparticles. It also allows to control with extreme precision the optical properties of the nanoparticles in a broad region of UV-visible and near-ir spectrum. The nanoparticles can be used for application based on the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering phenomenon, or as Metal Enhanced Fluorescence or Metal Enhanced Chemiluminescence materials. Due to the finely optical absorption in certain region of spectrum, these nanoparticles can be applied also for the therapeutic treatment of neoplastic diseases through a photo-thermal effect.
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Conductive polymer free‐standing nanosheets

This invention realizes free-standing conductive ultra-thin films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS), proposing a fabrication process based on a modified Supporting Layer technique, that provides for the easy production of conductive nanofilms having a very large surface area with typical thickness of tens of nanometres. The free-standing nanofilms can be manipulated, folded and unfolded in water many times without suffering from cracks, disaggregation or from loss of conductive properties. After collecting them onto rigid or soft substrates, they retain their functionality.Possible applications are foreseen in the field of sensing and actuation, as well as in the biomedical field, e.g. as smart substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.
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Biocompatible, Free‐Standing Nanofilms Of Conductive Polymers

The invention is related to the obtainment of free-standing nanofilms of conductive polymers. The method to obtain these films comprises four steps. In the first one there is the sequential deposition of, respectively, a sacrificial material, a layer of an electrolyte, a layer of the conductive polymer and, eventually, a further layer of polyelectrolyte. The second step is a thermal treatment of the multilayer structure; in the third step the sacrificial support is removed and in the last step the free-standing multilayer structure is transferred in solution. Due to their characteristics of flexibility, robustness, adhesion to different substrates and biocompatibility, are particularly useful in biomedical applications, e.g. as support for cell grow.
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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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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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Nano‐probes for the electric brain stimulation

From this research, a new family of nano probes have been developed. These probes can be put in contact directly with brain cells and, thanks to their piezoelectric effect, they can perform an electrical stimulation at a single-cell scale.This invention has the outstanding advantage of non-invasiveness, by which all the risks of infection, contamination, hemorrhage, tissue and organ damage, as well as the stress of surgery are avoided for the patient subjected to the electric stimulation treatment.
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Magnetic-Fluorescent Nanobeads

This invention implements a new method of simultaneous detection and separation of biological entities like specific cells, based on magnetic nanobeads of strictly controlled size. The IIT Nano Chemistry research group, has developed nanobeads made of aggregates of iron oxide nanoparticles enwrapped within an amphiphillic polymer to which oligothiophene fluorescents are grafted; their size is selectable in the range 30 to 400 nm. The nanobeds can be designed to exploit both a fluorescent and a magnetic effect, and can be used to target cancer cells. Thanks to the magnetic effect, the can be used to interact with the target and, because of the fluorescent properties, they can be used as reactor in the investigation process.
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Ankle Rehabilitation Platform

The Advanced Robotics department is involved in an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental activity, oriented to human rehabilitation. With this perspective, researchers of the Italian Institute of Technology have developed this Ankle Rehabilitation Platform, a medical device able to accelerate and significantly improve the functional recovery of patients with ankle impairments. The simplicity and compactness of the device together with its redundant characteristic, which allows simultaneous control of position and stiffness, improves the quality of and increase the productivity of ankle physiotherapy delivered by the clinicians. The actuator, core of this rehabilitation device, presents unmatched technical features: • High speed and force output •Backdrivability •Very high power to size ratio •Good power to weight ratio •Long stroke and high position resolution •The actuator is equipped with full state sensing, namely an encoder for position and velocity measurements and an axial load cell mounted on the tip of the moving piston. This allows to control the actuator in either position/velocity or force
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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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Polymer Microelectrode Array

TMicroelectrode electrophysiology has become a widespread technique for the extracellular recording of bioelectrical signals. To date, electrodes are made of metals or inorganic semiconductors, or hybrids thereof. We demonstrate that these traditional conductors can be completely substituted by highly flexible electroconductive polymers. The bendable, somewhat stretchable, non-cytotoxic and biostable all-polymer microelectrode arrays (polyMEAs) with a thickness below 500 mm and up to 60 electrodes reliably capture action potentials (APs) and local field potentials (LFPs) from acute preparations of heart muscle cells and retinal whole mounts, in vivo epicortical and epidural recordings as well as during long-term in vitro recordings from cortico-hippocampal co- cultures.
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Actuator device for a robotic lower limb and trunk/core rehabilitation machine

A robust and compact actuator device applied in a preferred embodiment to a robotic machine for ankle physiotherapy exercises, rehabilitation in the upright position in monopodalic or bipodalic conditions, spine rehabilitation and core-stability exercises in a sitting position.
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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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Antimicrobial cellulose acetate – Essential oil natural nanocapsules and uses thereof

The present invention relates to antimicrobial biocompatible nanocapsules constituted of cellulose acetate and lemongrass oil, which maintain its antimicrobial action, for biomedical applications. Said nanocapsules are suitable for safer drug delivering because of their high stability in water due to the lemongrass encapsulation in cellulose acetate nanoparticles by a hemiacetal bond between the aldehydes contained in the essential oil and the OH groups of the polymer. The method for obtaining the antimicrobial nanocapsules comprises a first step where cellulose acetate and lemongrass are dissolved in appropriate amounts of acetone and a second step where they are subsequently mixed with an appropriate amount of water; during this last step the in-situ nanoprecipitation of the product occurs and the size of the nanocapsules can be optimized tuning the acetone/water ratio. Finally the acetone is removed by evaporation in air under stirring and the obtained aqueous nanocapsules can be employed as prepared or as powder which is provided using spray dry technique.
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Method for plasmonic cell poration

The scope of the invention is to allow the access to the inside of living cells without any kind of perturbation to its state. This invention could be used for delivering objects inside the cell after a selectively plasmonic poration, for measuring quantities in the intracellular environment and for obtaining discrimination of intra and extra cellular information.
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Method for producing or treating alginate-based structures by trifluoroacetic acid and its derivatives

This invention describes a method to produce alginate-based micro- and nanostructures, conferring them controlled stability over time in aqueous media and adjustable biodegradability. To this end, trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and its derivatives are used.
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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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Steerable probe based on interlaced continuum devices based on follow the leader approach

The invention relates to a continuously steerable robotic probe composed of two interlaced continuum robots that advance over a chosen smooth trajectory by a follow-the-leader strategy. Physical track-building is achieved by an alternating method: each continuum robot is alternatively actively stiffened to guide the other, and loosened to be guided on the other.
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GBSA-Gd NPs for MRI in cancer diagnostic applications

The present invention provides a method to produce controllable sizes of protein nanoparticles (NPs), including gadolinium, in a sub-100 nm size range. The method uses a desolvation process by which bovin serum albumin (BSA) molecules self-assembly into NPs, during the addition of desolvation agents (i.e., ethanol or acetone). The method includes preparing of an aqueous solution, which contains amounts of protein molecules in a precise ratio with gadolinium molecules. After the desolvation and cross-linking processes, hybrid NPs containing both BSA and Gd3+ ions are formed in a controlled size range of 35-200 nm. The NPs are made to entrap magnetic resonance contrast agents (e.g., gadolinium chloride, GdCl3 or Gd-DTPA) and can be used as novel drug formulation for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Moreover, the formulation can be applied for enhancing the MRI signal of tumours in mammals.
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Macrophage-based targeted delivery system of ferritin bound compounds

The invention relates to a macrophage-based targeted delivery system of ferritin bound active ingredients that is used for directing the desired active ingredients directly to the tumor mass or other hypoxic areas within the patient’s body, i.e. the area targeted by macrophages. This system is also useful for delivery of a contrast agent to enable imaging of macrophage targeted area or for delivery of active ingredients (drugs or prodrugs) to the tumor mass or hypoxic area for treatment purposes.
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A polyester from tomato fruit processing residues obtained by non-catalyzed melt-polycondensation in air

The present invention is related to a method for obtaining a long-chain polyester from tomato fruit processing residues. The method consists in conditioning the tomato fruit residues, hydrolyzing the conditioned material in basic conditions the cutin fraction and precipitating, by neutralization to pH 3, the hydroxyacids molecules. Thereafter, the obtained hydroxyacids precursors are melted and heated in air at temperature between 150°C and 225°C without any solvent or catalyst, for a period ranged from 2 h to 16h. The final product obtained by this process is a long chain polyester mimicking natural cutin, suitable to be applied as food packaging material.
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Reusable system for the in-situ remediation of oil spills

The main scope of the invention is to find a simple, versatile, low cost and industrial scalable approach for the in-situ remediation of oil spills, presenting not only the ability to remove the oil from the contaminated waters but also to recover this oil for further uses.
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Ionic liquid polymer and carbon nanotubes based actuator

The invention relates to a material formed by carbon nanotubes and polymerized ionic liquid and the method for producing such material. This material is used for the production of the active part of a soft actuator and it has improved conductibility and mechanical characteristics compared to the existing ones.
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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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Method for producing a totally endogenous skin

The present invention relates to a method for producing a totally endogenous bioengineered tissue including a first layer of connective tissue and a second layer of epithelial tissue, to a tissue equivalent obtained thereby and to a method for determining the effect of a chemical substance or an agent on skin employing the tissue equivalent.
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Packaging material with barrier properties

Packaging material comprising cellulosic fibers, particularly recycling material, having barrier properties against the migration of mineral oils and / or their volatile components possibly included in the material, characterized in that it comprises at least a first surface coating, in contact with said acrylic polymer fibers and at least a second coating, applied to said first coating, of cyclic olefin copolymer.
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Method for the fabrication of one-dimensional porous photonic crystals

The present invention relates to methods for the preparation of one-dimensional photonic crystals using pulsed laser deposition technique or using assisted supersonic jet plasma deposition technique.
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Process for the production of biodegradable plastic material from cellulosic vegetable waste

The invention relates to a method for the production of biodegradable plastic material, obtained from vegetable waste materials, comprising the operations of: · Dissolution with tri-fluoroacetic acid of a powder at least partially dehydrated of said vegetable waste material, in order to bring in solution a cellulosic fraction of said material; · Removal of the tri-fluoroacetic acid solvent . At the aforementioned solution of vegetable waste in trifluoroacetic acid could be added with additive like microcrystalline solutions of cellulose, biodegradable or biocompatible polymers or waste of fibers in tri- fluoroacetic acid. Films, leaves, shaped articles or fibers could be obtained with mold casting, extrusion or electro-spinning
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A Method to Produce Hydrophobic Starch based Bio-elastomer Composites under Ambient Conditions

The invention relates to a process for the production of a hydrophobic composite bioelastomer comprising a cross-linked bioleastomer matrix in which an organic phase is dispersed, comprising moisture catalysed cross-linking of a hydroxyterminated polysiloxane with a silane coupling agent comprising an acetoxy silane, thereby to produce a cross-linked polysiloxane with acetic acid release, characterised in that the moisture catalysed cross-linking reaction is carried out in the presence of starch, thereby to cause at least partial in situ acetylation, by the released acetic acid, of said starch which is embedded in the cross-linked bioelastomer matrix.
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Method for the preparation of polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composites

The invention relates to a method for the preparation of polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composites comprising the steps of: · dispersing the graphene oxide in an acid aqueous solution containing an anionic emulsifying agent to obtain a graphene oxide dispersion; · dissolving one or more oligomers of the aniline, optionally substituted, in an organic solvent to obtain an oligomer solution; · mixing said oligomer solution with said dispersion of graphene oxide to obtain a polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composite.
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Process for the production of poly(cyanoacrylate) fibers

The present invention relates to an instantaneous adhesive composition which is satisfactorily made thixotropic or gelled and has a rapid setting time and an excellent adhesive strength, said composition being obtained by adding to an α-cyanoacrilate a silica gel treated with a silyl isocyanate.
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Composite nanocrystalline / amorphous coating for the protection of metal components in nuclear plants cooled with liquid metal or molten salt

Cladding tube for nuclear fuel usable in a reactor cooled with liquid metal or molten salt. Said tube comprises a tubular body of metallic material and a protective coating applied on an outer surface of the tubular body, intended in use to come into contact with the refrigerant. The coating includes at least one layer of ceramic material, comprising a matrix composed of the ceramic material in the amorphous phase, within which are dispersed nano-domains composed by the ceramic material in the crystalline phase.
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Heat-Sensitive Nanoparticle System

Heat-sensitive system comprising at least one nanoparticle able to convert an electromagnetic radiation into thermal energy when said nanoparticle is exposed to an alternating magnetic field, said nanoparticle being bound covalently with at least one thermolabile molecule, said thermolabile molecule being covalently bound with at least one active molecule selected from a fluorophore molecule and a drug, characterised in that thermolabile molecule comprises an azo -N=N- functional group.
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Multilayer microparticle comprising fluorophores

A multilayer microparticle comprising: • at least one first layer comprising a first fluorophore, • at least one second layer in contact with the first layer, • at least one third layer in contact with the second layer,and comprising a second fluorophore, where: • the first fluorophore and the second fluorophore are different, • the first layer and the third layer are not in contact one with the other.
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Process For Producing Polymer Foams

Process for the production of a polymeric foam with use of hydrogel pearls as porosity generating template, comprising the steps of: • providing a matrix of polymer or prepolymer in viscous state including, as a dispersed phase, hydrogel pearls, where said pearls are dispersed in said matrix so as to generate intercommunicating cells, • causing the solidification of the matrix of polymer or prepolymer to obtain said polymeric foam including said hydrogel pearls, characterised in that it comprises the operation of subjecting the thus obtained foam to conditions which cause the dehydration of said hydrogel pearls so as to obtain a reduction of volume of said pearls, • removing the dehydrated pearls by immersion in water of the polymeric foam or by exposure of the foam to a flow of pressurised gas.
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Combined material including anodic porous alumina and a polymer matrix, and its use for the dental recondition

The present invention relates to anodic porous alumina (APA) in the form of microparticles, characterized in that it contains interconnected through nanopores, and to its use in the preparation of a new composite material, which is useful for example in the field of conservative dentistry. The invention further relates to a process for preparing the nanoporous alumina of the invention in microparticles.Thanks to the mechanical interlace that is established between the microparticles of nanoporous alumina and the polymer matrix, the composite material of the invention does not require the use of any coupling agent, further ensuring excellent properties in terms of resistance, elasticity, biocompatibility and stability over time. In fact, the particular microparticulate form of the nanoporous alumina and the presence of interconnected through holes in each microparticle makes it possible to achieve an almost complete penetration of the polymer matrix into the alumina nanopores. In this manner the two components of the composite material are physically interconnected without there being a need to use any type of chemical coupling agent.
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Process for the colloidal synthesis of lithium iron phosphate

Lithium Iron Phosphate nanocrystals are synthesized by a colloidal method; this synthesis permits to control very efficiently the shape and the size of the crystals. The size of the nanoparticles is below 100 nm. These nanocrystals can be used as a cathode in Li-ion battery. The process of lithiation and de-lithiation could be easier respect to the past due to the small size of the crystals that lead to high surface/volume ratio. LiFePO4 is not a conductive material and it needs a carbon coating. Working with LiFePO4 NCs this step is no more necessary because the electrical conductivity is increased in the nanosized material.
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Polymeric composite materials with antimicrobial and biodegradable properties

Povidone Iodine (PVPI) is a well known broad spectrum anticeptic for wound treatment and irrigation. PVPI, however, is a very hydrophilic substrance having poor resistance against water. Wound treatments with PVPI are, therefore, short lived. We have developed a simple and inexpensive method to directly incorporate PVPI in alginic (sodium & calcium) polymer matrices to enable its slow and controlled release into infected areas. The process also prolongs antiseptic effects of PVPI considerably. Aqueous PVPI solutions are blended with sodium alginate solutions at any proportion from which films can be cast. Droplets or continuous liquid streams of the blend solutions can be cross-linked in calcium salt solutions to form PVPI encapsulated beads and fibers.
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A film forming fluorous protein

The CNST center in Milan, has developed a fluorous protein showing excellent film-forming properties at the water/fluorous interphase. This protein combines the outstanding surface activity of fluorosurfactants with the unique film-forming properties of hydrophobins, which have been reported to be the only proteins able to form elastic films, and therefore specially effective in stabilizing both foams and emulsions.
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Water-resistant paper

The smart Materials workgroup has developed a simple and cost effective waterproofing method, impregnating bionanocomposites into nonwovens such as paper. The proposed technology uses a simple method to create polymer nanoparticle/cyanoacrylate monomer dispersions in solution. Prepared dispersions can be impregnated into wide variety nonwovens using a number of different techniques such as roll, dip or spray coating. The impregnated composites can be left in an ambient environment to allow the cyanoacrylate monomers to cross link in situ within the fibrillar matrix. It is also possible to use wax and/or cyclic olefin copolymer nanoparticles to render the nanocomposites completely biodegradable. The paper obtained with this process is of superior quality and, for example, can be fed into laser jet printers as ordinary paper with no difference whatsoever, in fact the bionancomposite which is impregnated into the paper matrix is unnoticeable. However, the treated paper immersed in water, remains intact preserving the printed information. The picture underlines the borderline between treated and untreated paper, when immersed in water.
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Polymer based TiO2 Nanorods colloidal solution

Nanoparticles assembly in polymeric nanocomposites is probably the last frontier to be removed to really enhance the properties of new hybrid materials. Here we present a technique based on UV pulsed laser irradiation of acrylate polymers-based solutions, that generates in a single step the separation of the initial clusters of colloidal TiO2 nanorods into clearly separated units, exploiting the intrinsic photosensitivity of the semiconductor nanoparticles. From the irradiated solutions, optically clear nanocomposite films are obtained that exhibit increased UV absorption, refractive index, antireflection properties, as well as tunable wettability; properties not possible otherwise that establish that the photocatalytic property of TiO2 nanocrystals together with the irradiation process solve the crucial dispersion enigma of their nanocomposites. The obtained good dispersion shows, as expected, that the larger active surface area of nanocrystals reacting with the incoming light increases the optical properties of the nanocomposites as never seen before. In summary, this is a simple but powerful tool to control the mixing between polymers and semiconductor nanocrystals, using their photocatalytic ability, without chemicals treatment.
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Method for producing or treating alginate-based structures by trifluoroacetic acid and its derivatives

This invention describes a method to produce alginate-based micro- and nanostructures, conferring them controlled stability over time in aqueous media and adjustable biodegradability. To this end, trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and its derivatives are used.
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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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Electro-optical Modulator based on a layered semiconductor crystal structure

The invention discloses an electro-absorption modulator based on an ultrathin (sub-nm to few nm) film of a layered two-dimensional semiconductor material. Layered crystals are those that form strong chemical bonds in-plane but display weak out-of-plane bonding. A transverse electric field is applied by at least one electrode on each side of the film, with the electrodes being either transparent or containing suitable openings for the transmission of light.
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Exoskeleton actuator

This invention is in the area of human robot interaction within the field of wearable robotics and is on the development of actuation solutions for exoskeletal systems. Typical robotic actuation units have a motor and its transmission system aligned with the axis of the joint they actuate, resulting in large lateral encumbrance of the whole system. This solution aims at solving this problem and allows to locate the last transmission stage at an arbitrary distance from the axis of the screw. This increases the degrees of freedom in the design of a proper layout of the system, optimizing designs in which lateral encumbrance has to be minimized.
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Neuronal cell culture substrate

The present invention relates to a neuronal cell culture substrate and to an in vitro method of promoting adhesion, survival and/or proliferation of neuronal cells in culture as well as to an in vitro method of promoting neuronal network growth and/or maturation. The method implies the use of particular polycationic organic substance as poly-D-lysine-ornithine (PDLO) at desired properties, molecular weight, and concentration to obtain optimal attachment and growth of various neuronal types on various surfaces.
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Bidirectional underactuated hand exoskeleton

The device consists in a wearable, lightweight and bidirectional underactuated hand exoskeleton, conceived for empowerment of healthy subjects or rehabilitation for impaired ones. The underactuated structure makes the exoskeleton, and consequently the hand of the assisted user, adapt to the grasped object. Therefore, as said before, the device is eligible for assistance; moreover, it is suitable for rehabilitation, as it is actuated in both directions.
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Artificial hand

The invention exploits the frequency content of EMG in an innovative and natural way. Rather than using the sort of frequency modulation that commercial EMG decoders adopt, the device aims at shaping the posture of a poly-articular prostheses by using the velocity reference itself, associating different speeds with different movements. A passive damping component is introduced in a robotic hand to achieve this idea. The damper acts only on one finger or on one phalanx. It acts on the joint by a viscose torque and therefore proportional respect to the velocity of the closure movement. This is itself proportional to the velocity of the control input.
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Display including a plurality of light sources and light guides

The system comprises an red-green-blue (RGB) light emitting diode (LED) matrix combined with a matrix of light guides of different lengths. The light guides are held in place thanks to a supporting structure that fixes them with respect to the emitting LEDs. The length of each individual light guide can be tuned to obtain an image projected on a surface with arbitrary shape.
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Parallel kinematics moving system with three degrees of freedom

The invention solves the technical problem of providing a structure with 3 degrees of freedom with parallel kinematics that at the same time is compact and possesses a very large workspace. The device is represented by a new very compact parallel structure with 3 degrees of freedom formed by a base connected to a platform by means of three mechanisms. Each kinematic mechanism is composed of a linear actuator, a ball joint and a prismatic guide.
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Bi-stable scalable actuation mechanism based on electromagnetic adhesion

A tactile display for the visually impaired comprising a plurality of tactile pins (taxels) that may be individually actuated to produce graphic figures or Braille lines of characters. The taxels consist of a multi-magnet arrangement connected to the stimulating pin that exhibits two stable positions: either raised or flat. The application of a short duration electric pulse to a printed circuit underlying a taxel brings it to the raised position, after which pulse the taxel remains in said position indefinitely, without the need of further energy delivery. The taxels can be brought collectively to the non-raised position by mechanical action.
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Lower limbs exoskeleton

The invention disclose a 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF) self-aligning knee exoskeleton module with under-actuated kinematics, able to deliver a pure, assistive torque to the flexion/extension motion of the knee. The implemented kinematics with 1 active and 5 passive DoFs constitutes a self-aligning torque transmission mechanism, which addresses the problem of alignment between the exoskeleton joints and the human knee joint.
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Flexible shaft transmission for articulated robots

The invention relates to an for articulated robots with multiple degrees of freedom with a transmission based on flexible shafts. These shafts and the specially designed joints permits to re-position the actuators in order to reduce the moving mass of the robot.
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Brushless electrical motor control

The invention relates to a closed loop control scheme for brushless motors. This scheme is capable of suppressing the phenomenon of "chatter" in reduction systems that are affected by high static friction and mechanical play.
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Variable Stiffness Device and Method of Manufacturing the Same

The solution describes a variable stiffness thread (VST) with self-healing capability (nearly 100% healing efficiency) that transitions from silicone-like to metallic-like mechanical properties and vice versa. Transition from soft to rigid state is controlled by electrical current. In its soft state the VST shows additional abilities of shape recovery. Being a thread, it can be knitted or easily embedded in different structures for enriching them with variable stiffness capability forenhanced adaptability, safety and controllability.
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Ionic liquid polymer and carbon nanotubes based actuator

The invention relates to a material formed by carbon nanotubes and polymerized ionic liquid and the method for producing such material. This material is used for the production of the active part of a soft actuator and it has improved conductibility and mechanical characteristics compared to the existing ones.
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Haptic computer mouse

A haptic interface system comprising a shell which may be manipulated by a user, an actuator mechanically coupled to the shell and configured to provide a haptic stimulus upon a finger tip of the user and a motor assembly configured to move the actuator according to three degrees of freedom.
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Linearly actuated two degree-of-freedom spherical orienting device for optical elements

The invention relates to a new device for the motorized control of the aiming and scanning motions of a laser beam. The particular conformation of the presented device permits to increase the overall performances in terms of speed and precision of the laser orientation in comparison to the existing devices. Its first potential application is laser microsurgery, similar devices present in prior art are called laser micromanipulator. Therefore, the system could be termed as “Linear actuated Laser Micromanipulator”.
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Reading circuit for POSFET tactile sensors

The invention relates to a reading circuit of an electric signal produced by a POSFET device comprising a transconductance amplifier connected at its inverting input to the output of the POSFET device. Said transconductance amplifier being arranged to receive a signal coming from the POSFET device representative of a force or pressure applied on it, and produce in output at least one current signal representative of said force or pressure. The device is applied to neurons being arranged to receive said current signal and to produce as output a pulse train having a frequency proportional at least one current signal produced by the transconductance amplifier.
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Artificial muscle

The device relates to a deformable actuator with an axial configuration comprising a structure composed by concentric layers formed by an overlap of at least two electro-active layers and at least three conductive layers. The device comprising a control system able to supply each layer with a distinct value of voltage/current.
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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; • 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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Attractor-based Whole-Body Motion Control (WBMC) System for an Articulated Robot

A Model-Based, Whole-Body Motion-Control (WBMC) system for an articulated robot required to perform simultaneous tasks is described, the system comprising: • one or more attractors each of which is an operationally independent closed-loop, model-based torque/force-control module associated with a corresponding robot’s controlled task, and is designed to receive a quantity computed based on one or more representing the state of the robot, and to output robot’s joint torques which are to be applied to robot’s active joints to attract the robot’s current state to a robot’s target state; • a torque and/or linear force command generator designed to receive the robot’s joint torques and/or linear forces from the one or more attractors and to generate a torque and/or linear force command for the robot based on the received robot’s joint torques to cause the robot’s current state to converge to the robot’s target state.
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System for non‐disruptive penetration of a substrate

The invention relates to a new robotic device able to grow, crawl, and dig. The main concept of this robotic device is the inspiration to the capability of plant roots to penetrate in the soil while they grow and elongate by cells addition from the tip. This system, which has a cylindrical shape, can develop its own body by adding artificial material and, consequently, can elongate and mimic the root behavior in penetrating and exploring the soil in an efficient way. The concept of a mechanical system that can grow leads to a new generation of robots which can create some parts of their body and adapt more safely to surrounding environments.
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Improved agonist - antagonist actuated joint

The invention relates to an actuated joint comprising a first element mobile over a second element, a first actuator and a second actuator linked at said first and second elements in order to contol in agonist-agonist manner the movement of the joint, in which the first actuator has a maximum or nominal power higher respect the second actuator. The second actuator comprises at least a first extensible elastic element in order to accumulate a maximum amount of elastic energy greater than the first actuator.
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Device for autonomous and non-disruptive penetration of environments

The invention relates to the sector of robotic devices for the autonomous and non-disruptive penetration and the movement inside structured and primarily non-structured environments like for example: the ground, rubbles or organic tissues. More particularly the invention relates to a device with a continuous three-dimensional track suitable for exploration, monitoring or diagnostic objectives.
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Three dimensional structure of a dispersible nanoresonator and method to manufacture such nanoresonator

A three-dimensional structure of an electromagnetic nanoresonator, comprising a stack of laterally confined layers that includes at least a first and a second layer of a respective conductive material between which a dielectric layer is interposed, which define a resonant equivalent electrical circuit having a nominal resonant frequency which is a function of the geometrical dimensions of the structure, wherein said layers of conductive material and said dielectric layer have at least a respective accessible surface area, adapted to be exposed in a liquid environment of immersion of said structure.
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Probe Kit For Detecting A Single Strand Target Nucleotide Sequence

A system for detecting a single strand target nucleotide sequence comprising: • at least one first nucleic acid probe from 10 to 14 bases, to the 5’ end of which at least one fluorophore is bound; • at least one second nucleic acid probe from 35 to 50 bases, comprising, from the 5’ to the 3’ end • a first segment having a nucleotide sequence complementary to the first nucleic acid probe, • at least one quencher, • a second segment having a nucleotide sequence complementary to at least part of the target nucleotide sequence.
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Exoskeleton articular joint

Articular joint for exoskeleton of an articulation interposed between at least two bone ends characterised in that it comprises at least one first yoke axially put on along at least a first said bone end, at least one second yoke axially put on along at least one second said bone end and at least one articulating means interposed between said first yoke and said second yoke and having a rotation axis substantially coaxial with a rotation axis of said articulation, at least one joint component of said articulating means being constituted by at least one ring-like element and a correspondent other joint component of said articulating means being constituted by at least one circular sector wounding together with relative sliding around an external perimeter of said ring-like element.
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Polymorphous Device For Force Measurement

An electronic measurement unit for a polymorphous device, comprising a number of lateral structures, each lateral structure including: a support structure; at least one sensor constrained to the support structure and generating an electrical signal indicative of a deformation of the support structure; and a coupling structure that constrains a corresponding external covering element to the support structure in a releasable manner, so that when the external covering element is constrained to the support structure and an external force acts on the external covering element, the electrical signal is indicative of the external force.
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Variable‐stiffness actuator with passive disturbance rejection

This patent concerns the design of a novel type of passive variable impedance actuator aimed at replicating a specific property of human co-contraction, related to the ability to cope with uncertainties affecting any physical/biological system. The designed actuator is well-suited to mimic the main features of human co-contraction. In particular, the dynamical model of this actuator is such that the variance of the state vector in response to noisy disturbances can be reduced by tuning the passive stiffness of the system. A practical example of such an actuation system is based upon non-linear springs (to regulate the stiffness) with the critical feature of attaching some elastic elements to a fixed reference/ground (to reject disturbances to a desired extent). The antagonist actuator structure is actually analog to Hill's model of the human muscle/tendon system, emphasizing its biological relevance.
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Tactile control arrangement for electrical or electronic devices integrated in a textile support

The invention aims to provide a solution for the realization of a highly effective, practical, and at the same time robust arrangement; this arrangement can be totally integrated with any type of support, such as textiles and others flexible materials, and in particular wearable clothing, accessories and equipments. The tactile control arrangement allows obtaining a flexible device with low thickness and substantially flat surface, without buttons, reliefs or three-dimensional elements, and arranged to be touched with one or more fingers in order to issue commands to electronic devices connected to it via cable or wireless network.
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Superhydrofobic multielectrode EWOD (ElectroWetting On Dielectric)

The Nano Structures department at IIT has developed the SHEWOD (SuperHydrophobic EWOD) device, concerning the fabrication of a microfluidic EWOD (ElectroWetting On Dielectric) device for performing manipulation of aqueous solution droplets. The major advance of the system is the integration of a superhydrophobic surface which enhances the mobility of the droplets on the substrate by means of electrical fields. The development of SHEWOD device requires two separate phases of microfabrication. The first step is a process for the building the electrodes on a Si substrate, while the second one is a microfabrication process to coat the Si chip with a superhydrofobic, thickness-tunable, nano-structured PMMA surface.
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Autonomous Variable Buoyancy Device

The present invention refers to a device, that is autonomous or that can be associated with another structure, for the passive and the cyclical variation of the buoyancy configuration, which can be used in particular, but not exclusively, in the field of equipment for monitoring the environment.
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Nonlinear Elastic Actuator for Highly Dynamic Motions

A novel revolute actuator transmission designed for force control applications. The actuator uses a hypocycloid mechanism to stretch a linear spring in a nonlinear way; it has extremely low mechanical impedance, low friction, excellent mechanical efficiency, and high energy storage capabilities relative to its size. The accurate, compact torque control actuation systems and the power-to-weight ratio make this actuator unmatched on the market.
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Nanocomposite active membrane

In the field of micro-nano actuators we have developed a thin flexible nano-composite membrane, biocompatible, magnetically actuated and deflected by planar microcoils, integrated under the membrane on a conductive silicon substrate. The membrane is composed by a biocompatible plastic film with magnetic nano-particles inside the polymer matrix. The membrane is deflected by an array of micro-coils embedded in the substrate under the membrane itself.
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Modular Variable Stiffness Actuator

The novelty of the proposed variable stiffness actuation unit is the use of specially cam shaped lever arm mechanism with a variable pivot axis (instead of regulating the effective arm length or the point where the force is applied). This permits the compact implementation of the variable stiffness module through the use of: reduced length lever arm, smaller springs and a rack and pinion mechanism to regulate the lever arm pivot position.
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Conductive polymer free‐standing nanosheets

This invention realizes free-standing conductive ultra-thin films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS), proposing a fabrication process based on a modified Supporting Layer technique, that provides for the easy production of conductive nanofilms having a very large surface area with typical thickness of tens of nanometres. The free-standing nanofilms can be manipulated, folded and unfolded in water many times without suffering from cracks, disaggregation or from loss of conductive properties. After collecting them onto rigid or soft substrates, they retain their functionality.Possible applications are foreseen in the field of sensing and actuation, as well as in the biomedical field, e.g. as smart substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.
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Stiffness Adjustable Rotary Joint

The invention relates to a compact and light stiffness-adjustable rotary joint with a low energy consumption and which allows to adjust the stiffness in an even wider range than the prior art.
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Electro-active micro electro-mechanical system and related detection procedure

Bioengineered Micro Electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) make it possible to fabricate sensors and actuators in microscopic dimensions mimicking already naturally developed sensing solutions, like natural Hair Cells, equipping commercial and high-tech electronics with devices for augmented reality. This invention describes a simple and original design and fabrication processing of a stress-driven out-of-plane bent Artificial Hair Cell exploiting the piezo- electricity and piezo- resistivity properties of material both as read-out and actuation. This device presents a four or six electrodes configuration able to sense a fluid flow or shear forces in direction parallel to the device substrate. The interplay of both piezo- resistance and piezo- electric allows tuning the best sensitivity and dynamic working range for any single experimental situation, during a flow or inertial force measurement.
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Linear bending polymeric actuator

The Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences research group, has developed a new low voltage polymeric actuator that, in contrast with present day devices which are typically capable only of bending motion, can deliver linear, bending or simultaneous linear/bending motion. This actuator comprises three electrodes and a solid electrolyte. Two electrodes are made of active materials that contract or expand as result of charge injection (ex. carbon nanotubes) or conducting polymer (ex. polypyrrole, polyaniline, polyethylene dioxythiophene, poly 3-methylthiophene etc.). One electrode is passive and acts as counter electrode and is made of conductive flexible materials (ex. a metal spring, conductive fabric, carbon plastic composites) in order to allow the motion of the actuator device. The solid electrolyte is a ionic conductive and electrical insulator and is made of a salt embedded in a polymeric matrix (ex. an ionic liquid in a PVdF matrix or poly(methyl methacrylate), polyethylene oxide, polyacrylonitrile, etc.).
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Elastic rotary actuator, particularly for robotic applications, provided with semi‐active damping device

These rotary actuators embed a flexible transmission system which allows the actuator to be safe (towards human and environment) and robust during interaction. Differently from existing compliant actuation solutions, these actuators incorporate a variable physical damping system which is in fact a semi active damper which is used to regulate oscillations, achieve high close loop bandwidth and fast and precise motions.
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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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Environment‐friendly servo-valve

Compared to traditional oil-based hydraulics, water hydraulics is environment-friendly, clean, and safe. In addition water has faster dynamic response than oil. However, due to water properties such as low viscosity, high corrosiveness, and high vapor pressure the development of water-hydraulic components is very challenging. This patent introduces a novel 4-way rotary type electro-hydraulic servo-valve designed for water-hydraulic robotic applications and other dynamic applications. The valve has four ports: two of them are connected to the hydraulic power supply, and the other two to the hydraulic actuator. The flow direction is determined by the valve rotary spool position. The internal spool geometry was designed to avoid sudden changes in the flow direction and thus high-level turbulence, which could result in local cavitation phenomena; which is a common and more pronounced problem with water rather than oil as the operating fluid. The rectangular orifice provides a linear relationship between spool angular displacement and flow. This rotary geometry shows also advantages in terms of practical manufacturability.
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Tactile sensor device

The invention relates to tactile sensor devices, in particular sensor devices using polymers as piezoelectric transducers of force/pressure; the transducers are directly coupled to a transistor device for a local signal conditioning. The invention allows obtaining a device touch sensor having a linear response over a large range of dynamic forces acting on it. As an alternative to the higher concentration and detection sensitivity, for a given size and separation of sensor devices, the configuration allows to save space and to integrate accessory devices.
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Elastic rotary actuator, particularly for robotic applications, and method for its control

This rotary actuator embeds a flexible transmission system which allows the actuator to be safe (towards human and environment) and robust during interaction. The key features of this actuator are its high power density, and small size which allows the integration of this actuation approach within small scale systems.
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Ankle Rehabilitation Platform

The Advanced Robotics department is involved in an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental activity, oriented to human rehabilitation. With this perspective, researchers of the Italian Institute of Technology have developed this Ankle Rehabilitation Platform, a medical device able to accelerate and significantly improve the functional recovery of patients with ankle impairments. The simplicity and compactness of the device together with its redundant characteristic, which allows simultaneous control of position and stiffness, improves the quality of and increase the productivity of ankle physiotherapy delivered by the clinicians. The actuator, core of this rehabilitation device, presents unmatched technical features: • High speed and force output • Backdrivability • Very high power to size ratio • Good power to weight ratio • Long stroke and high position resolution • The actuator is equipped with full state sensing, namely an encoder for position and velocity measurements and an axial load cell mounted on the tip of the moving piston. This allows to control the actuator in either position/velocity or force
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Polymer actuators adapted to implement an artificial muscle

A fast, semi-automatic process for the manufacture of modular units of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA), each of them consisting of many layers of rolled thin dielectric film, is disclosed. The fabrication process of the actuator is divided into two different steps. The first one is the fabrication of the multilayer stack using the semi-automatic machine, while the second step is the fabrication of the lateral contacts and the packaging of the stack into the final actuator. All the manufactured units are independent and take their power from a lateral, compliant supply rail that contacts the sides the electroded layers. This design is very suitable for industrial production: each module can be independently tested and then assembled in a complete macroscopic actuator composed by an unlimited number of these modules. The simple assembly methodology and the semi-automatic manufacture process allow the fabrication of multilayer stacked devices, that can be used both as contractile or expanding actuators
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Artificial skin

The Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences research group, in the scope of the iCub project has developed a soft, flexible, sensitive and high spatial resolution tactile sensor, suitable as a “sensitive skin” for humanoid robots or, for instance, in automotive, entertainment, sportswear and nautical applications. The solution is based on arrays of small size, high dynamic range capacitive sensors, fabricated on a flexible substrate and connected through an innovative serial topology to a signal acquisition chip integrated in the same substrate.
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Device for controlling fluid motion into micro/nano channels

The invention provides the active control of fluids in fluidic micro and nanostructures onto chip by using the surface acoustic streaming flow mechanism. The invention controls the fluid motion in micro and nanochannels by surface acoustic waves (SAWs) propagating in opposite direction to the desired direction we want the fluid move. The surface acoustic waves are generated by interdigital transducer electrodes on piezoelectric structure; the invention differs from already existing SAW microfluidic disposables and is able pump very efficiently the fluid; moreover, the obtainment of microfluidic systems with integrated micropumps devices and microvalve devices, with a variety of possibilities in terms of assembly and integration, is easily obtainable. The invention allows performing multiple analyses, both chemical and optical ones, in very short time and using very small quantities of analytes and chemicals; typical volumes used in these types of disposables are ranging between picoliters and nanoliters.
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Systems And Methods For Assessing And Training Wrist Joint Proprioceptive Function

This invention concerns a comprehensive, integrated system for the rehabilitation of sensory or motor dysfunction at the wrist due to neurological or orthopedic disease. Integration refers first of all to the system’s ability to perform assessment of proprioceptive status and to a wrist proprioceptive training in a single device. It comprises a hardware device (from here on referred to as wristbot) to allow for controlled movements of the wrist the active or set of specialized software modules that allow for the objective assessment of sensory dysfunction in patients, and provide specialized training modules designed to improve motor function of the wrist. This technology can be used in rehabilitation clinical settings. It can also be utilized in research settings. The integrated system would mean that only one device is needed, and if it can be networked a therapist could provide periodic assessments while the patient is at home (fewer visits to the clinic would be needed). Expanding to other joints is another option, along with separating the software from the hardware (produce assessment and training software that is compatible with other devices on the market).
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Modular And energy efficient Soft Wearable Exosuit

The invention consist in an actuator applied to a soft wearable exosuit for the upper body. The scope of the entire device is to act like an external muscular system able to empower targeted upper limb joints. It comprises two main components: the actuation elements with an electromechanical clutch applied on a soft wearable frame by tendons and springs
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BSA-Gd NPs for MRI in cancer diagnostic applications

The present invention provides a method to produce controllable sizes of protein nanoparticles (NPs), including gadolinium, in a sub-100 nm size range. The method uses a desolvation process by which bovin serum albumin (BSA) molecules self-assembly into NPs, during the addition of desolvation agents (i.e., ethanol or acetone). The method includes preparing of an aqueous solution, which contains amounts of protein molecules in a precise ratio with gadolinium molecules. After the desolvation and cross-linking processes, hybrid NPs containing both BSA and Gd3+ ions are formed in a controlled size range of 35-200 nm. The NPs are made to entrap magnetic resonance contrast agents (e.g., gadolinium chloride, GdCl3 or Gd-DTPA) and can be used as novel drug formulation for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Moreover, the formulation can be applied for enhancing the MRI signal of tumours in mammals.
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Gold nanoparticle-based sensors for detection of metal ions

The invention relates to a system for the detection of metal ion which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with nucleic acid aptamers. The system combines a biological sensor element (nucleic acid aptamers) with an inorganic signal transduction element (nanoclusters of spherical gold nanoparticles), to generate a very sensitive and low-cost sensor for the instrument-free detection of heavy metal ions (i.e., lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.). The low-cost, time-saving, easy of fabrication, make it an ideal candidate for on-field monitoring applications.
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Steerable probe based on interlaced continuum devices based on follow the leader approach

The invention relates to a continuously steerable robotic probe composed of two interlaced continuum robots that advance over a chosen smooth trajectory by a follow-the-leader strategy. Physical track-building is achieved by an alternating method: each continuum robot is alternatively actively stiffened to guide the other, and loosened to be guided on the other.
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A roll-to-roll process for preparing biocompatible, ultra-conformable free-standing nanofilms of conductive polymers

The invention concerns a roll-to-roll (R2R) process for the preparation of nanofilms of conductive polymers, through their deposition on flexible polymer films (rolls) acting as temporary substrates. The present R2R process has advantageous properties such as continuous, high throughput printing on large rolls, large area patterning/processing, cost-effectiveness, speed of execution and use of industry-ready/mass-scale manufacturing technology. The present nanofilms have several advantageous characteristics, such as strength, flexibility, ability to adhere to different substrates, and high biocompatibility, which make them suitable for numerous different technological applications. In particular they can be applied in the biomedical field, as in the development of sensors and other skin-contact electronic devices and in large area flexible electronics manufacturing.
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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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Sensorized foot for robotic/exoskeleton applications

The invention consists in a flexible sensorised footsole for lower limb orthotic/prosthetic devices or humanoid robots. Its purpose is to exploit its flexibility to replicate a more human-like gait, absorb the shock at the impact during the landing phase or deflect during toe-off, or yet deform accordingly with any interaction with the environment or the wearer in case of a wearable robot. The sole is also sensorised to measure the interaction force.
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Rotational speed reducer

The invention relates to a rotational speed reducer, the device produces an high speed variation thanks to the usage of a configuration based on satellite cogs and a belt connection system. An actuator acts on a planet carrier which put into rotation the first couple of satellite cogs thanks to their belt mechanical coupling. Subsequently, thanks to the rigid connection between the first couple of satellite cogs and the second one, the motion is transferred, again with belts, from the second couple of satellites to the output sun gear.
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Pneumatic actuating device

The invention relates to an linear fluidic actuator, in particular in the field of the well-known bi-directional artificial muscles. The device is able to contract, extend and also self-stiffen.
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Ring Screw Mechanism with Perfect Rolling Contact

The invention consists of a screw rod and a nut, the latter containing a number of rings that make perfect rolling contact with the rod when it is inside the nut. In particular, the nut contains a number of ball bearings, the outer races of which are fixed in the nut housing, while the inner races hold the rings. The bearings are positioned so that their rotation axes are both tilted and offset relative to the central axis of the rod when it is inside the nut. The inner surface of each ring and the profile of the screw thread on the rod are designed so as to achieve theoretically perfect rolling contact along a line fixed in the nut (a different line for each ring). The net effect is that the rod can make a nearly frictionless screwing motion relative to the nut, thereby providing a highly efficient conversion of mechanical power between rotational and translational motion. Furthermore, the device can operate at higher speeds than other similar components, such as ball screws.
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Actuator device for a robotic lower limb and trunk/core rehabilitation machine

A robust and compact actuator device applied in a preferred embodiment to a robotic machine for ankle physiotherapy exercises, rehabilitation in the upright position in monopodalic or bipodalic conditions, spine rehabilitation and core-stability exercises in a sitting position.
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Electro-optical Modulator based on a layered semiconductor crystal structure

The invention discloses an electro-absorption modulator based on an ultrathin (sub-nm to few nm) film of a layered two-dimensional semiconductor material. Layered crystals are those that form strong chemical bonds in-plane but display weak out-of-plane bonding. A transverse electric field is applied by at least one electrode on each side of the film, with the electrodes being either transparent or containing suitable openings for the transmission of light.
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Bi-stable scalable actuation mechanism based on electromagnetic adhesion

A tactile display for the visually impaired comprising a plurality of tactile pins (taxels) that may be individually actuated to produce graphic figures or Braille lines of characters. The taxels consist of a multi-magnet arrangement connected to the stimulating pin that exhibits two stable positions: either raised or flat. The application of a short duration electric pulse to a printed circuit underlying a taxel brings it to the raised position, after which pulse the taxel remains in said position indefinitely, without the need of further energy delivery. The taxels can be brought collectively to the non-raised position by mechanical action.
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A plasmonic multi-tip nano-rectenna cell

The invention relates to a NIR-visible radiation rectification device. The base element of the device consists of: a conical nano-sized metallic structure coated with a plasmon layer, which acts both as antenna and as part of a Metal-Insulator-Metal rectifier system; a thin insulating layer; a layer of conductive metal. The top-down fabrication process allows to construct arrays of precisely aligned nano-cones and to easily customize their aspect ratio for broadband rectification purposes, allowing operation up to hundreds of THz and efficiency values up to 10 times the current state of the art.
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Liquid Engineered Systems For Planetary Exploration

The invention relates to a Smart Fluid System (SFS) defined as a device based on organic or inorganic liquid, contained inside a volume by surface tension or by a confining membrane that protects them from harsh planetary environment. Such 2smart fluid as a robotic system” has the potential of offering innovative solutions to mobility, sensing, energy-harvesting, and as energy barrier
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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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Method for the preparation of polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composites

A device for harvesting energy from a fluidic flow, comprising a flexible structure including a base layer, a first conductive layer formed by a first conductive material and arranged on top of the base layer, a first piezoelectric layer formed by a first piezoelectric material and arranged on top of the first conductive layer. The base layer, the first conductive layer and the first piezoelectric layer form a crystalline structure including a plurality of pseudomorph portions.
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Triboelectric device for energy harvesting

A cost‐effective three‐dimensional soft material composed of at least one conductive material, one non‐conductive material and air gap between them for energy harvesting and sensing purposes, based on the triboelectric and electrostatic effects.
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Triboelectric device for energy harvesting

The invention relates to a method for the preparation of polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composites comprising the steps of: • dispersing the graphene oxide in an acid aqueous solution containing an anionic emulsifying agent to obtain a graphene oxide dispersion; • dissolving one or more oligomers of the aniline, optionally substituted, in an organic solvent to obtain an oligomer solution; • mixing said oligomer solution with said dispersion of graphene oxide to obtain a polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide composite.
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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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Process for the colloidal synthesis of lithium iron phosphate

The disclosed nanocrystals can be used as a cathode in Li-ion battery.Lithium Iron Phosphate nanocrystals are synthesized by a colloidal method; this synthesis permits to control very efficiently the shape and the size of the crystals. The size of the nanoparticles is below 100 nm. The process of lithiation and de-lithiation could be easier respect to the past due to the small size of the crystals that lead to high surface/volume ratio. LiFePO4 is not a conductive material and it needs a carbon coating. Working with LiFePO4 NCs this step is no more necessary because the electrical conductivity is increased in the nanosized material.
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Photovoltachromic device with interdigitated electrodes

The invention refer to an optoelectronic device that can act at the same time as a photovoltaic device, by producing energy by using solar radiation, and as a photochromic disposable, varying color and transparency in response to a luminous and/or electric stimulus.
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Energy harvesting microturbine

Energy harvesting is a focal point for autonomous robots. For this reason the department of Advanced Robotics have developed a revolutionary microturbine, able to harvest energy exploiting airflow to produce electric energy. The innovative design uses a reduced number of parts, coupling the turbine and generator into a single component. The hi-tech design microturbine gives unmatched performance in terms of power vs. airflow, reaching regimes in the order of ten-thousand rpm.
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Masked Cation Exchange Lithography

The present invention relates to a method for patterning of colloidal nanocrystals films that combines a high energy beam treatment with a step of cation exchange. The high energy irradiation causes cross-linking of the ligand molecules present at the nanocrystal surface, and the cross-linked molecules act as a mask for the subsequent cation exchange reaction. Consequently, in the following step of cation exchange, the regions that have not been exposed to beam irradiation are chemically transformed, while the exposed ones remain unchanged. This selective protection allows the design of patterns that are formed by chemically different nanocrystals, yet in a homogeneous nanocrystal film.
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Photovoltaic battery charger for low light illumination conditions

The invention consists of a voltage converter architecture allowing the powering of electronic circuits through photovoltaic devices together with batteries. The invention allows extracting power from the photovoltaic device even in such conditions, making possible for the photovoltaic device to partially contribute to the powering of the load and consequently reducing the energy drained by the battery.
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Self-powered Active Glowing Label for Plastic Packaging

The invention relates to a system constituting an active glowing label that is compatible with recycling, can be printed with high-throughput printing processes either on plastic or paper labels or directly on plastic containers (e.g. PET), is compatible with current packaging industry standards and integrates a suitable energy source, enabling energy independence.
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A polyester from tomato fruit processing residues obtained by non-catalyzed melt-polycondensation in air

The present invention is related to a method for obtaining a long-chain polyester from tomato fruit processing residues. The method consists in conditioning the tomato fruit residues, hydrolyzing the conditioned material in basic conditions the cutin fraction and precipitating, by neutralization to pH 3, the hydroxyacids molecules. Thereafter, the obtained hydroxyacids precursors are melted and heated in air at temperature between 150°C and 225°C without any solvent or catalyst, for a period ranged from 2 h to 16h. The final product obtained by this process is a long chain polyester mimicking natural cutin, suitable to be applied as food packaging material.
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Nano-carrier loaded with an exocytosis inhibitor and an active ingredient

The invention relates to a new drugs carrier system of based on a nano-capsule containing a lysosomal exocytosis inhibitor and a drug. The inhibitor is used to stop the cellular lysosomal exocytosis process resulting in an intracellular entertainment of nanoparticles and in an extended release of the carried drug.
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Reusable system for the in-situ remediation of oil spills

The main scope of the invention is to find a simple, versatile, low cost and industrial scalable approach for the in-situ remediation of oil spills, presenting not only the ability to remove the oil from the contaminated waters but also to recover this oil for further uses.
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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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Corporal protective device particularly a protective helmet

The present invention relates to a method of preparing graphene-based filler that can confer high mechanical resistance and thermal dissipation to the substrate it is deposited on. The proposed invention relies on the addition of graphene flakes in form of ink or powder to paint, varnish and or diluent components to make a mixture that can be deposited on a substrate with conventional and industrially relevant methods such as spray coating amongst others.
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Method for the synthesis of carbon nano-onions

The invention relates to a method to obtain carbon nanostructures which a structure of onion. The carbon nano-onions here presented show graphitic multilayer morphology which allows to be used to different bio application as in vivo imaging, catalysis, gas storage electromagnetic shielding. The method object of the invention is inexpensive, easy to control and adeguate to be scalable
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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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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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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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Ionic liquid polymer and carbon nanotubes based actuator

The invention relates to a material formed by carbon nanotubes and polymerized ionic liquid and the method for producing such material. This material is used for the production of the active part of a soft actuator and it has improved conductibility and mechanical characteristics compared to the existing ones.
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Method for making an array of micro-needles

There is described a method for making an array of biodegradable micro-needles , 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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Heat-Sensitive Nanoparticle System

Heat-sensitive system comprising at least one nanoparticle able to convert an electromagnetic radiation into thermal energy when said nanoparticle is exposed to an alternating magnetic field, said nanoparticle being bound covalently with at least one thermolabile molecule, said thermolabile molecule being covalently bound with at least one active molecule selected from a fluorophore molecule and a drug, characterised in that said thermolabile molecule comprises an azo -N=N- functional group.
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Three dimensional structure of a dispersible nanoresonator and method to manufacture such nanoresonator

A three-dimensional structure of an electromagnetic nanoresonator, comprising a stack of laterally confined layers that includes at least a first and a second layer of a respective conductive material between which a dielectric layer is interposed, which define a resonant equivalent electrical circuit having a nominal resonant frequency which is a function of the geometrical dimensions of the structure, wherein said layers of conductive material and said dielectric layer have at least a respective accessible surface area, adapted to be exposed in a liquid environment of immersion of said structure.
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Combined material including anodic porous alumina and a polymer matrix, and its use for the dental recondition

The present invention relates to anodic porous alumina (APA) in the form of microparticles, characterized in that it contains interconnected through nanopores, and to its use in the preparation of a new composite material, which is useful for example in the field of conservative dentistry. The invention further relates to a process for preparing the nanoporous alumina of the invention in microparticles.Thanks to the mechanical interlace that is established between the microparticles of nanoporous alumina and the polymer matrix, the composite material of the invention does not require the use of any coupling agent, further ensuring excellent properties in terms of resistance, elasticity, biocompatibility and stability over time. In fact, the particular microparticulate form of the nanoporous alumina and the presence of interconnected through holes in each microparticle makes it possible to achieve an almost complete penetration of the polymer matrix into the alumina nanopores. In this manner the two components of the composite material are physically interconnected without there being a need to use any type of chemical coupling agent.
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Device and method for determining the dissolution kinetics of colloidal nanoparticles

A device is described 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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Method for obtaining ultrastable nano‐emulsions

A new method to obtain ultra-stable emulsions is described. The stability of an emulsion can be strongly improved by associating to a right formulation the right process or better sequences of processes. After coating the emulsion with a thin polymer shell it has to be re-dispersed one or more times to homogenize the formulation which allows stabilities at least higher than 9 months. The developed product is also perfectly biodegradable that is a fundamental requisite for applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical fields with sizes ranging between 50 and 200nm and with good Poly-Dispersion Indexes (PDI below 0.1) as required for these applications.
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A process for preparing ferrite nanocrystals

Iron oxide nanocubes over a wide range of sizes are synthesized by using a controlled colloidal method. The synthesis allows obtaining monodispersive magnetic and cubic nanocrystals in a wide range of dimensions.
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Superhydrofobic multielectrode EWOD (ElectroWetting On Dielectric)

The Nano Structures department at IIT has developed the SHEWOD (SuperHydrophobic EWOD) device, concerning the fabrication of a microfluidic EWOD (ElectroWetting On Dielectric) device for performing manipulation of aqueous solution droplets. The major advance of the system is the integration of a superhydrophobic surface which enhances the mobility of the droplets on the substrate by means of electrical fields. The development of SHEWOD device requires two separate phases of microfabrication. The first step is a process for the building the electrodes on a Si substrate, while the second one is a microfabrication process to coat the Si chip with a superhydrofobic, thickness-tunable, nano-structured PMMA surface.
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Nanocomposite active membrane

In the field of micro-nano actuators we have developed a thin flexible nano-composite membrane, biocompatible, magnetically actuated and deflected by planar microcoils, integrated under the membrane on a conductive silicon substrate. The membrane is composed by a biocompatible plastic film with magnetic nano-particles inside the polymer matrix. The membrane is deflected by an array of micro-coils embedded in the substrate under the membrane itself.
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Fabrication of lasing microcavities consisting of highly luminescent colloidal nanocrystals

A method of producing a lasing microsource of colloidal nanocrystals, comprising the steps of: • preparing a nanocrystal solution in a solvent, • depositing at least a drop of said nanocrystals solution with a drop volume below 1 nl on a flat substrate, evaporating the solvent to dryness thereby to obtain at the edge of the evaporated • drop a single annular stripe including at least a domain wherein said nanocrystals are arranged in an ordered array, wherein the ordered nanocrystals in said at least one domain constitute an active region capable of lasing and the radially inner and outer edges of said stripe define a resonant cavity in which said active region is inserted.
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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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Water-resistant paper

The smart Materials workgroup has developed a simple and cost effective waterproofing method, impregnating bionanocomposites into nonwovens such as paper. The proposed technology uses a simple method to create polymer nanoparticle/cyanoacrylate monomer dispersions in solution. Prepared dispersions can be impregnated into wide variety nonwovens using a number of different techniques such as roll, dip or spray coating. The impregnated composites can be left in an ambient environment to allow the cyanoacrylate monomers to cross link in situ within the fibrillar matrix. It is also possible to use wax and/or cyclic olefin copolymer nanoparticles to render the nanocomposites completely biodegradable. The paper obtained with this process is of superior quality and, for example, can be fed into laser jet printers as ordinary paper with no difference whatsoever, in fact the bionancomposite which is impregnated into the paper matrix is unnoticeable. However, the treated paper immersed in water, remains intact preserving the printed information. The picture underlines the borderline between treated and untreated paper, when immersed in water.
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Star‐shaped gold nanoparticles

Method to synthesize in aqueous solution branched gold nanoparticles by which it is possible to control the size and the degree of branching at the same time. The method does not use cytotoxic capping agents, such as CTAB, organic thiol molecules or others. A further coating can also be realized on the surface of branched nanoparticles. It also allows to control with extreme precision the optical properties of the nanoparticles in a broad region of UV-visible and near-ir spectrum. The nanoparticles can be used for application based on the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering phenomenon, or as Metal Enhanced Fluorescence or Metal Enhanced Chemiluminescence materials. Due to the finely optical absorption in certain region of spectrum, these nanoparticles can be applied also for the therapeutic treatment of neoplastic diseases through a photo-thermal effect.
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Conductive polymer free‐standing nanosheets

This invention realizes free-standing conductive ultra-thin films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS), proposing a fabrication process based on a modified Supporting Layer technique, that provides for the easy production of conductive nanofilms having a very large surface area with typical thickness of tens of nanometres. The free-standing nanofilms can be manipulated, folded and unfolded in water many times without suffering from cracks, disaggregation or from loss of conductive properties. After collecting them onto rigid or soft substrates, they retain their functionality.Possible applications are foreseen in the field of sensing and actuation, as well as in the biomedical field, e.g. as smart substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.
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Biocompatible, Free‐Standing Nanofilms Of Conductive Polymers

The invention is related to the obtainment of free-standing nanofilms of conductive polymers. The method to obtain these films comprises four steps. In the first one there is the sequential deposition of, respectively, a sacrificial material, a layer of an electrolyte, a layer of the conductive polymer and, eventually, a further layer of polyelectrolyte. The second step is a thermal treatment of the multilayer structure; in the third step the sacrificial support is removed and in the last step the free-standing multilayer structure is transferred in solution. Due to their characteristics of flexibility, robustness, adhesion to different substrates and biocompatibility, are particularly useful in biomedical applications, e.g. as support for cell grow.
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Linear bending polymeric actuator

The Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences research group, has developed a new low voltage polymeric actuator that, in contrast with present day devices which are typically capable only of bending motion, can deliver linear, bending or simultaneous linear/bending motion. This actuator comprises three electrodes and a solid electrolyte. Two electrodes are made of active materials that contract or expand as result of charge injection (ex. carbon nanotubes) or conducting polymer (ex. polypyrrole, polyaniline, polyethylene dioxythiophene, poly 3-methylthiophene etc.). One electrode is passive and acts as counter electrode and is made of conductive flexible materials (ex. a metal spring, conductive fabric, carbon plastic composites) in order to allow the motion of the actuator device. The solid electrolyte is a ionic conductive and electrical insulator and is made of a salt embedded in a polymeric matrix (ex. an ionic liquid in a PVdF matrix or poly(methyl methacrylate), polyethylene oxide, polyacrylonitrile, etc.).
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Polymer based TiO2 Nanorods colloidal solution

Nanoparticles assembly in polymeric nanocomposites is probably the last frontier to be removed to really enhance the properties of new hybrid materials. Here we present a technique based on UV pulsed laser irradiation of acrylate polymers-based solutions, that generates in a single step the separation of the initial clusters of colloidal TiO2 nanorods into clearly separated units, exploiting the intrinsic photosensitivity of the semiconductor nanoparticles. From the irradiated solutions, optically clear nanocomposite films are obtained that exhibit increased UV absorption, refractive index, antireflection properties, as well as tunable wettability; properties not possible otherwise that establish that the photocatalytic property of TiO2 nanocrystals together with the irradiation process solve the crucial dispersion enigma of their nanocomposites. The obtained good dispersion shows, as expected, that the larger active surface area of nanocrystals reacting with the incoming light increases the optical properties of the nanocomposites as never seen before. In summary, this is a simple but powerful tool to control the mixing between polymers and semiconductor nanocrystals, using their photocatalytic ability, without chemicals treatment.
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Nano‐probes for the electric brain stimulation

From this research, a new family of nano probes have been developed. These probes can be put in contact directly with brain cells and, thanks to their piezoelectric effect, they can perform an electrical stimulation at a single-cell scale.This invention has the outstanding advantage of non-invasiveness, by which all the risks of infection, contamination, hemorrhage, tissue and organ damage, as well as the stress of surgery are avoided for the patient subjected to the electric stimulation treatment.
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Environment‐friendly servo-valve

Compared to traditional oil-based hydraulics, water hydraulics is environment-friendly, clean, and safe. In addition water has faster dynamic response than oil. However, due to water properties such as low viscosity, high corrosiveness, and high vapor pressure the development of water-hydraulic components is very challenging. This patent introduces a novel 4-way rotary type electro-hydraulic servo-valve designed for water-hydraulic robotic applications and other dynamic applications. The valve has four ports: two of them are connected to the hydraulic power supply, and the other two to the hydraulic actuator. The flow direction is determined by the valve rotary spool position. The internal spool geometry was designed to avoid sudden changes in the flow direction and thus high-level turbulence, which could result in local cavitation phenomena; which is a common and more pronounced problem with water rather than oil as the operating fluid. The rectangular orifice provides a linear relationship between spool angular displacement and flow. This rotary geometry shows also advantages in terms of practical manufacturability.
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Magnetic-Fluorescent Nanobeads

This invention implements a new method of simultaneous detection and separation of biological entities like specific cells, based on magnetic nanobeads of strictly controlled size. The IIT Nano Chemistry research group, has developed nanobeads made of aggregates of iron oxide nanoparticles enwrapped within an amphiphillic polymer to which oligothiophene fluorescents are grafted; their size is selectable in the range 30 to 400 nm. The nanobeds can be designed to exploit both a fluorescent and a magnetic effect, and can be used to target cancer cells. Thanks to the magnetic effect, the can be used to interact with the target and, because of the fluorescent properties, they can be used as reactor in the investigation process.
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Device for controlling fluid motion into micro/nano channels

The invention provides the active control of fluids in fluidic micro and nanostructures onto chip by using the surface acoustic streaming flow mechanism. The invention controls the fluid motion in micro and nanochannels by surface acoustic waves (SAWs) propagating in opposite direction to the desired direction we want the fluid move. The surface acoustic waves are generated by interdigital transducer electrodes on piezoelectric structure; the invention differs from already existing SAW microfluidic disposables and is able pump very efficiently the fluid; moreover, the obtainment of microfluidic systems with integrated micropumps devices and microvalve devices, with a variety of possibilities in terms of assembly and integration, is easily obtainable. The invention allows performing multiple analyses, both chemical and optical ones, in very short time and using very small quantities of analytes and chemicals; typical volumes used in these types of disposables are ranging between picoliters and nanoliters.
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Method of detection of nucleases

The invention relates to a system for the detection of nucleases which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with DNA /RNA oligonucleotides and a solution of lyophilized DNA/RNA oligonucleotides (linkers) and the respective method of detection. The method here proposed consists of two simple steps: first the adding of the sample solution to a solution containing the DNA/RNA linkers and finally the adding AuNPs functionalized with oligonucleotides 1 and 2, which are each complementary to half of the sequence of the linker to this solution. Given the low cost of the assay the invention can find application in low-cost instrument-free sensors for rapid quality control in scientific and clinical laboratories performing molecular biology experiments.
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Gold nanoparticle-based sensors for detection of metal ions

The invention relates to a system for the detection of metal ion which is based on gold nanoparticles (AuNP) functionalized with nucleic acid aptamers. The system combines a biological sensor element (nucleic acid aptamers) with an inorganic signal transduction element (nanoclusters of spherical gold nanoparticles), to generate a very sensitive and low-cost sensor for the instrument-free detection of heavy metal ions (i.e., lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.). The low-cost, time-saving, easy of fabrication, make it an ideal candidate for on-field monitoring applications.
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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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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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Method for plasmonic cell poration

The scope of the invention is to allow the access to the inside of living cells without any kind of perturbation to its state. This invention could be used for delivering objects inside the cell after a selectively plasmonic poration, for measuring quantities in the intracellular environment and for obtaining discrimination of intra and extra cellular information.
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