Alice Marinangeli

foto,  June 7, 2023
PhD student
PhD in Biotechnology - 38° ciclo (October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2025)
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Responsabile scientifico: prof.ssa Alessandra Maria BOSSI

PhD in Biotechnology - 38° ciclo (October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2025)

Doctorate research program

The PhD project, which sees the university and the company reality involved in synergy, aims to develop an innovative generation of sensors based on the use of Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIPs). This new technology, universal and low cost, is able to detect predefined molecular targets, such as pollutants, in complex environments. A central problem shared by a large part of production activities is precisely that of water pollution. Unfortunately, it is now ubiquitous and is characterized by the spread of a wide diversity of harmful substances, which threaten the environment and our health. In view of the extent of the problem, it is evident that there is a lack of instruments for monitoring the quality of waste water and free water, which is usually entrusted to the collection of samples, chemical extraction and laboratory analysis, by sophisticated instrumentation, such as mass spectrometry. The Molecular imprinting technique has attracted considerable attention precisely for its ability to prepare molecular recognition systems capable of imitating the binding specificity of biological receptors (antigen-antibody, enzyme-substrate). For this reason, in recent years this technique has become an interesting approach for the manufacture of new functional polymers, with a selectivity towards a certain target. Mips are increasingly used for the development of chemo/biosensors, bringing significant advantages such as high stability, low production cost and ease of preparation. The most difficult aspect in producing a sensor based on molecular imprinting is, probably, the conversion of the binding between MIP and analyte into a readable and measurable signal. In general, the efficiency of these sensors actually depends not only on the selectivity of the nanoparticles towards the target molecule, but also on the chosen approach to signal reading. An advantageous alternative is to convert the MIP-analyte bond into an optical signal, using for example fluorescence, which can be easily monitored and quantified. The implementation of this project could therefore make it possible to make available new knowledge and, hopefully, new tools for environmental monitoring and control of industrial processes. Therefore, the expected final result of the project will be the creation of a universal sensor platform, modular and configurable according to the needs declined by any company committed to pursuing the objectives of the green transition. 


PhD student with strong motivation to learn and grow in the role of biotechnologist. In the last year, I focus my research activities on the synthesis of fluorescent biomimetic polymeric nanoparticles (MIPs) capable of binding specifically a target analyte. I investigate the use of these polymers as recognition elements to develop optical sensors.


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