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Università di Torino

Università di Torino

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17 Projects, page 1 of 4
  • Funder: WT Project Code: 051094
    Funder Contribution: 913,985 GBP
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/L024195/2
    Funder Contribution: 74,166 GBP

    As human life expectancy continues to lengthen, there will be an increased number of implants in human bodies. The growing biomaterials field can already produce artificial teeth and skin, cochlear implants, artificial corneas, coronary stents and artificial hips, among others. As our need for implants grows, there is a continuing drive to improve the materials from which they are made. Magnesium-based metals and alloys are often used for orthopaedic implants, because they have similar mechanical properties to human bone, and they dissolve to components already present in the body. In the past, they have caused problems because they release hydrogen gas when placed in the body, which can be harmful and needs to be removed. Certain compositions of Mg-based metallic glass containing zinc and calcium, do not release hydrogen, and so, providing they retain the appropriate mechanical properties, they are much more suitable for use as biomedical implants than existing materials. The aim of this project is to use computer modelling to design and optimise these Mg-based metallic glasses for safe implantation into the human body. Advances in computer simulation mean that it is now possible to investigate the structure of complex materials such as these ternary metallic glasses. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulations we will use will reveal the atomic structure and the nature of the chemical bonds which exist in the glass. In the glass compositions which do not release hydrogen, a passivating layer is known to form on the surface of the glass when it is implanted in the body, but only for certain compositions of the glass. We will construct accurate models of the bulk and surface properties of these glasses, as well as those of related compositions. MD simulations will provide atomic-level resolution of the structure of the glass, and we will use this to identify the features which control the formation of the surface layer, and the release of hydrogen, and understand how these can be controlled. We will also model the interaction of the glass surface with the physiological environment, to gain a full understanding of the reactions which occur in the body. Through the simulation of a wide range of glass compositions, and full analysis of the compositional dependence of the surface layer, we will be able to deduce what reactions cause the formation of the passivating layer, and inhibit the release of hydrogen. Once we understand the features which control the formation of the surface layer, we will optimise Mg-based metallic glasses for use in biomedical implantation, by computational design of suitable glass compositions which have the appropriate mechanical properties but also do not release hydrogen. This will lead to the design of improved and safe implants for biomedicine, especially in orthopaedic applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/L024195/1
    Funder Contribution: 98,047 GBP

    As human life expectancy continues to lengthen, there will be an increased number of implants in human bodies. The growing biomaterials field can already produce artificial teeth and skin, cochlear implants, artificial corneas, coronary stents and artificial hips, among others. As our need for implants grows, there is a continuing drive to improve the materials from which they are made. Magnesium-based metals and alloys are often used for orthopaedic implants, because they have similar mechanical properties to human bone, and they dissolve to components already present in the body. In the past, they have caused problems because they release hydrogen gas when placed in the body, which can be harmful and needs to be removed. Certain compositions of Mg-based metallic glass containing zinc and calcium, do not release hydrogen, and so, providing they retain the appropriate mechanical properties, they are much more suitable for use as biomedical implants than existing materials. The aim of this project is to use computer modelling to design and optimise these Mg-based metallic glasses for safe implantation into the human body. Advances in computer simulation mean that it is now possible to investigate the structure of complex materials such as these ternary metallic glasses. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulations we will use will reveal the atomic structure and the nature of the chemical bonds which exist in the glass. In the glass compositions which do not release hydrogen, a passivating layer is known to form on the surface of the glass when it is implanted in the body, but only for certain compositions of the glass. We will construct accurate models of the bulk and surface properties of these glasses, as well as those of related compositions. MD simulations will provide atomic-level resolution of the structure of the glass, and we will use this to identify the features which control the formation of the surface layer, and the release of hydrogen, and understand how these can be controlled. We will also model the interaction of the glass surface with the physiological environment, to gain a full understanding of the reactions which occur in the body. Through the simulation of a wide range of glass compositions, and full analysis of the compositional dependence of the surface layer, we will be able to deduce what reactions cause the formation of the passivating layer, and inhibit the release of hydrogen. Once we understand the features which control the formation of the surface layer, we will optimise Mg-based metallic glasses for use in biomedical implantation, by computational design of suitable glass compositions which have the appropriate mechanical properties but also do not release hydrogen. This will lead to the design of improved and safe implants for biomedicine, especially in orthopaedic applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/X042308/1
    Funder Contribution: 265,251 GBP

    The FANTOM Doctoral Network (DN) composed of 8 beneficiaries and 12 associated partners in 6 EU countries, recruiting 10 researchers and will be embedded into an established international research programme: The European Research Initiative on Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-related malignancies (ERIA) as well as a clinical network: The European Intergroup for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (EICNHL). FANTOM will cosset and nurture the recruited researchers to become confident, competent, independent and well-connected European scientists with excellent career perspectives welcomed into these established networks. This will be achieved through a training programme conducted through research and complemented by a balanced programme of transferable skills designed with key input from both academic and industrial collaborators. The training of each fellow will be guided by an individual career development plan and supervised by a PhD committee with clearly allocated academic and industrial supervisors. The primary goal of the network is to train the recruited fellows by participation in an internationally competitive research programme and integrating them into the aforementioned networks. The research programme will address the clinical problems posed by Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) typified by aberrant ALK expression. Applying innovative model systems and multi-omics technologies, some performed to a single cell level, the biology of ALCL including the roles of the immune system and tumour stroma will be uncovered. These data will be applied to the development of (non-invasive) biomarkers and novel therapeutic approaches that will culminate in the design of clinical trials to address the issues of chemotherapy toxicity, over- treatment and drug resistance. The research and training activities will incorporate not only academic labs but also key research institutes, biotechnology companies, clinical trial bodies and Pharma to realise our research goals.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P019803/1
    Funder Contribution: 101,032 GBP

    How small can one shrink an electronic memory? The ultimate limit in storage can be reached by encoding information in a single particle, for example a single electron or a single atomic nucleus. There are several ways to encode a bit of information into an electron. For example, one could label "1" the presence of the particle, and "0" its absence. Or, one could use an intrinsic property of quantum objects called "spin", which makes the particle behave as a tiny magnet. In this case, "1" would be encoded, for example, as spin pointing to the North Pole and "0" as spin pointing to the South Pole of the single particle magnet. Using single particles to encode information can give advantages that go beyond miniaturization. Electron spins obeys the laws of quantum mechanics. In quantum physics, the spin of an electron is not required to point either "North" or "South", like a magnetic needle, but it can be "North" AND "South" at the same time. Or, while a bit in a computing device is either in the "0" or "1" state, a quantum bit can be both at the same time. This is much more than a bizarre curiosity: in the last few decades, we have learnt that the laws of quantum mechanics can be exploited to perform tasks impossible for classical physics, such as secure communication, faster computing or precise sensing. The goal of this project is to measure and control single spins in silicon carbide, a material consisting of a lattice of silicon and carbon atoms. A silicon atom missing in this lattice creates a defect which hosts a single electronic spin that can be measured and manipulated by laser and radiofrequency pulses. Basically, this system behaves as a single atom trapped in silicon carbide. Why silicon carbide? In addition to hosting spins with great properties, silicon carbide is a technological material routinely used by the semiconductor industry to manufacture transistors and other microelectronic components. The availability of established recipes for growth, doping and nano-fabrication can lead to practical quantum devices. Control of single spins in silicon carbide is still in its infancy. We learned only recently how electrons are arranged in these defects. Only in the past year, control of a single spin in silicon carbide was demonstrated. There is plenty of information missing, and we can improve the efficiency of our control tools by learning more about the structure of these defects. This project will characterize the electronic structure of these defects by studying how they absorb and emit light. By operating at very low temperatures, the noise related to atomic vibrations which would mask the optical signal will be frozen out. The knowledge about light emission and absorption, and its relation to the spin trapped in the defect, will enable us to realizing exciting schemes that use single spins to encode and decode information for future technologies.

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