Renewals - Graphene for Water in Life Sciences

Principal Investigator (PI): Maya Kiskinova

Investigation of processes occurring in liquid environments is a prerogative for understanding a vast class of phenomena in life and material sciences. RENEWALS project aims at overcoming the present limits in exploiting and understanding the “bio” phenomena at various levels by adding new capabilities to the characterization tools at CERIC-ERIC facilities for investigation of processes occurring in liquid environments. The research group will use the Austrian CERIC partner facility at the Technical University Graz to develop and fabricate environmental cells using photon and electron transparent graphene membranes.

These Graphene Liquid Cells (GLCs) will permit both transmission and reflection acquisition modes in order to meet the requirements for performing cross-talk characterization of specimens using transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM), infrared (IR) microscopy, deep-UV Raman, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microscopy and AFM at Italian CERIC partner facility at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) at the Romanian CERIC partner facility at the National Institute of Material Physics (NIMP) in Magurele, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at the Czech CERIC partner facility at the Charles University in Prague. The GLCs will be optimized for cutting-edge experiments with bio-cellular samples in aqueous media, while keeping the material complexity under control and meeting the stringent requirements of each particular system under investigation. The GLCs performance and potential will be demonstrated by exploring the correlations between cytotoxic effects and NPs’ interaction, uptake and localization in hydrated human lung cells. The planned research addresses the major challenge of the growing application of NPs: their potential adverse effects for living organisms that still lack standardized in vitro tests for nano-toxicity assessment. The new research opportunities and the expected outcomes of RENEWALS will confer to CERIC the international visibility in complementary micro-analysis of cellular and hydrated samples for understanding a vast class of phenomena relevant to potential health and environment hazards of nano materials.

Scientific field(s) and main challenges of the project

RENEWALS aims to maximize the cross-talk between different electron, photon and tip-based microscopies in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of biological samples. The main challenge of the project is to achieve this goal letting unaffected the biological complexity and natural aqueous environment by designing and fabricating graphene-based liquid cells.

Contacts

Lisa Vaccari, tel: +39 335 123 6228
Maya Kiskinova, tel: +39 335 127 2661

Research Group

Italian CERIC partner facility at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste:
Dr. Maya Kiskinova
Dr. Lisa Vaccari
Dr. Giovanni Birarda
Dr. Claudio Masciovecchio
Dr. Francesco D'Amico
Dr. Alessandra Gianoncelli
Dr. Loredana Casalis
Dr. Paola Storici

Romanian CERIC partner facility at the National Institute of Material Physics (NIMP) in Magurele:
Dr. Corneliu Ghica
Dr. Raluca Florentina Negrea
Dr. Valentin-Adrian Maraloiu

Czech facility Czech CERIC partner facility at the Charles University in Prague and in Trieste:
Dr. Iva Matolinova
Dr. Nataliya Tsud
Dr. Mykhailo Vorokhta

Austrian CERIC partner facility at the Technical University Graz and in Trieste:
Dr. Benedetta Marmiroli

Posters and Presentations

CERIC research projects' resources