The course is focused on methods, technologies and operating principles that enable the manipulation and control of biological entities at the micro- and nano-scale. Topics include microdevices for the control of the environment at the scale level of cells (lab-on-chips, bioMEMS, organs-on-chips) and molecular-level nanostructures (quantum wires, quantum dots, graphene or carbon nanotubes, biological nanostructures obtained e.g. from DNA).
Systems at the micro- and nano-scale are ubiquitous in a wide range of technological innovations; they nowadays represent enabling tools for the advancement of fundamental research and it is believed that, in the near future, they will invade the biotechnological/biomedical market.
STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE:
The course is organized in lessons which focus on different theoretical aspects at the micro- and nano -scale levels. Within the course an integrated perspective of the design of bioartificial devices will be provided, deriving from the interaction of bioengineering approaches acting at these scale levels. Practicals will regard the design of systems at the nanoscale such as hyerarchical structures of biomolecules for scaffolding and self-assembling molecular sturctures.
Regarding the second part of the course that will regard sytems at the nanoscale:
- the course will start discussing the technological impact of nanoscale systems and considering the top down and bottom up approaches for the architecture of nanoscale systems.
- In particular key techniques used extensively in the fabrication of structures at the nanoscale will be described (electron beam lithography, nanoimprint technologies).
In this second part the course will cover quantum aspects in the biological fields such as:
quantum dots and wires;
DNA-based artificial structures (DNA origami);
nanoscale devices for drug discovery or delivery, and carbon nanostructures (nanotubes and graphene layers).