The aim of MultiSens is to develop a revolutionary quality indicator platform for the food industry. This innovative intelligent packaging platform will alert the customer of the meat quality adding value and benefits across the food packaging supply chain, reducing waste, providing valuable end user feedback and help Europe maintain a market competitive advantage. In the EU alone, food waste along the supply chain has been estimated at approximately 89 million tonnes or 180 kg per capita per year, and is expected to rise to 126 million tonnes a year by 2020, unless action is taken. Currently households produce the largest share of EU food waste (42%) and experts estimate that reducing food waste at consumer level in developed countries by 30% could save roughly 400,000 sq/km2 of cropland by 2030. Normally, food products are packed in a Modified Atmosphere (MA), which consists of a mixture of gases optimised for the food being packaged. Tracking the composition inside the packages can be checked if this MA has been consistent or if the produce has already started to deteriorate. However, a non-destructive method for determining this MA has not, as yet, been reported. This project proposes to exploit the development and integration of a multi-membrane sensor in meat packages using imaging and communication capabilities of smart devices for freshness detection while employing innovative packaging methods for sensor integration. If the sensor is placed within / or on the package in such a way that it is in intimate contact with the packaged meat headspace, it will allow the monitoring of key gases within its surroundings and relay information about the quality of the meat. The economic and social impact of such a platform, even if reducing food produce waste by 10%, would be significant. The novelty of this project lies in high-quality sensor preparation, the innovative methods for sensors immobilisation and the easy, non-destructive method for detection.
Approximately 40–60% of the European population is at risk of developing hearing loss due to exposure to unsafe noise levels. The EDHI fellowship will develop a novel toolkit sensitive to the first signs of hearing loss – appropriate for use as an early diagnostic. This objective will be achieved by (1) ideating innovative behavioural and neurophysiological tests that will provide novel biomarkers of hearing performance, and (2) developing an automatic classifier that estimates the degree of hearing damage based on these biomarkers. The encouraging pilot data obtained to date, along with the background experience of the applicant and supervisor in developing advanced signal-processing methods and conducting hearing research situate them in an optimal position to conduct the planned research. This fellowship has the potential to transform current clinical practice by providing clinicians with the necessary tools to diagnose hearing disorders that are currently undetected in approximately 1 out of 10 patients. The early diagnosis of hearing difficulties will enable the provision of individualised recommendations to ameliorate a person’s hearing difficulties and prevent any further deterioration, thus reducing the risk of social isolation, anxiety, depression and dementia. Further, a ‘hearing-pathology demonstrator’ will be developed for use in outreach activities to increase awareness amongst the general population of the adverse impacts of hearing loss, and to assist policy makers in the design of effective prevention strategies. In addition, this fellowship lays the groundwork for a substantial bidirectional transfer of knowledge with the host institution and provides the opportunity to engage with top hearing-related industry partners who have an interest in the commercial exploitation of this technology.
Many things that are now part of our daily lives were inconceivable just few years ago. This is mostly due to great and rapid developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) and in particular micro- and nanoelectronics. This has been possible thanks to the Silicon semiconductor technology that has done marvels for the advancement of our Society, who has benefited tremendously from its versatile use and amazing capabilities. However, the miniaturization of circuits seems to have reached a possible halt, since transistors can only be shrunk down to a certain size and not further beyond. To ensure the continued progress of electronic technology and fulfill the future demands of Society, a rapidly expanding research effort is focused on finding transformative technologies by employing alternative materials for the next-generation of nanoelectronic devices. Particularly, the fascinating two-dimensional materials have attracted a world-wide attention in the recent years due to its extraordinary properties that suit for future flexible and low-power consumption electronics devices. Although there are thousands of candidate materials in portfolio, their use in integrated 2D-Si CMOS applications and for future devices beyond CMOS technology require further research and engineering efforts to overcome notable challenges. Thus, GO2NANO is proposed to undertake ground-breaking research that will contribute to the advance in the maturation 2D nanodevices by targeting the following challenges: 2D materials growth, materials interface characterization and contact fabrication. This research will contribute to the understanding of the chemical and electronic nature and role of defects and impurities, facilitating a rational development and control of the operation mode of unprecedented 2D-based transistors suitable for their co-integration with CMOS technology.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancers with a 5-year survival rate under 10%. Current treatments for PDAC are based on ineffective and unspecific drugs that cause hard side effects. Besides, new T cell-based immunotherapies are toxic and unsuccessful in most solid tumors, including PDAC. Activating KRAS mutations occur in almost all patients, but unfortunately, KRAS is difficult to target. This discouraging situation highlights the need to design orthogonal and innovative strategies that target different pro-tumoral axes, in order to increase the antitumor effect minimizing side effects. In NIR-NanoCAR project, we will develop a new concept of therapy, Near-Infrared (NIR) Photothermal Nano-CAR Immunotherapy (NIR-PNCI). To test this concept, we will fuse i) thermosensitive liposomes capable to mediate photothermal therapy by NIR, with ii) exosomes derived from mesothelin-CAR T cells armored with IL-12 (which maintain effector molecules from their parental cells) and loaded with siRNA targeted to mutated KRAS. We will explore the antitumor capability and the tumor microenvironment-reprograming mediated by the hybrid nanotherapy in a relevant murine PDAC model. If successful, this nanosystem will be a breakthrough with a paradigm shift in the strategy to design the next generation of nanoimmunotherapies for solid tumors.