The overarching goal of our research is to induce light sensitivity in living cells, organs, or tissues. This is done by introducing phototransducers that establish functional abiotic/biotic interfaces. They harvest light energy and transduce it into a bio electric signal that eventually elicits a biological response. The ultimate outcome is to realize human-machine interfaces driven by light for application in regenerative medicine, prosthetics, and hybrid robotics.
One of the main results recently achieved is the realization of a retina prosthesis. We exploit conjugated polymer nanoparticles to replace degraded photoreceptors in retinas affected by retinitis pigmentosa.
The activity leverages on the long-standing experience of the PI in the investigation of the photophysics of organic semiconductors for a variety of applications, from photonics to optoelectronics and energy.