MATERIALS FOR HEALTH

In this field, the Area has recently developed a considerable experience as documented in the two years after the peer review by papers on high impact factor journals as well as by the acquisition of both national and European grants (FP7 project on micro-fluidics, Cariplo Foundation on Drug Delivery and Materials and devices for genomics and proteomics). These experiences primarily concern the study of new materials for desease diagnosis and treatment, with particular interest in genomics, proteomics and regenerative medicine.
The importance of this research topic is reflected  by the well established opinion in the scientific community (with significant funding by the Seventh Framework Program in this direction) that if molecular biology and medicine are continuously making significant progress in the understanding and solving of many problems, the practical application of this knowledge requires a significant research effort focused on materials and manufacturing technologies, to develop new devices that can simplify and speed up the analysis of genetic and protein material. Examples of research activities already undertaken and that has to be developed are the study of new polymeric materials and biomimetic and functional surfaces for the preparation of microarrays and Lab-on-Chip in the fiels of diagnostic, and the development of engineered materials for transfection and gene therapy.
In the field of diagnostics new methods for molecular mapping, based on optical techniques, are also being developed. As for the production of materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and for drug delivery the experience gained in new materials development and in surface modification treatment is well documented by international publications and grants.