The aim of picoGC project is to develop a new MEMS-based device that will integrate, in a single and robust unit at chip level, all the analytical functions necessary to perform gas chromatography analysis with the best performances never achieved by currently MicroGC technology.

picoGC project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 756439.

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SMILEY aims to develop and apply a “bottom-up” approach to build nano-structured devices with smart, multi-functional properties. To this aim, nature is used as the inspiration for the development of an ensemble of MIneralization↔self-Assembly↔self-Organization processes (termed MIAO), which will be controlled to first generate elementary nano-sized building blocks, and then to direct their assembly.

These new devices will have the following applications:

i) Smart Air Filters for Capture of Nanoparticles Development of 3-D porous matrices obtained through mineralization of self-assembling natural polymers (e.g. chitosan, cellulose, gelatine, fibroin) with apatite-like phases. These will be employed as protective devices for selective filtration of nano-particles. These filters will also be smart, having the ability to be activated under a magnetic field. This will increase the capture efficiency by magnetic and thermophoretic interference, and the filters will also show anti-bacterial/ bacteriostatic behaviour.

ii) Scaffolds for Dental Repair and Regeneration Development of bio-hybrid composites made of self-assembling natural polymers (e.g. collagen, alginate, chitosan and cellulose) mineralized with biomimetic hydroxyapatite (HA) nano-particles. The MIAO process will be directed to obtain bioactive and cell-conductive scaffolds for the repair and regeneration of human hard tissues such as bone, cementum and dentin.

iii) Fibre-Based Photovoltaic Devices A new generation of dye-sensitized solar cells will be obtained using MIAO processes employing natural fibres (e.g. modified cotton, flax, wool, silk, fibroin) and mineral phases exhibiting photo-electronic properties (e.g.: SiO4/GeO4 apatitic-like phases, TiO2, ZnO).