University of Aveiro (UAVR), Centre for Research in Ceramics and Composite Materials (Portugal)

Peptide Nanotube Sensor SurfacesUniversity of Aveiro is a leading educational and research organization in the area of materials science and biochemistry in Portugal and participates in many international programmes on education (e.g., ECIU program) and research (e.g., EU projects Enermat and FAME).

The work is organized in a newly created research unit: Center for Research in Ceramic and Composite Materials (CICECO, http://www.ciceco.ua.pt) with all necessary support for research, project management, and technical assistance. The specialization of CICECO is in the areas of advanced micro- and nanostructured materials for electronic applications and biomaterials, in particular. Sensor group (Dr. Alisa Rudnitskaya) has wide experience in the field of potentiometric and piezoelectric chemical sensors and development of new sensing materials. Development of multisensor systems for liquid analysis, so called “electronic tongues”, and their application to the quantitative and qualitative detection of chemical and biological agents is the major specialization of this group. Special attention is paid to the application of chemometric tools comprising pattern recognition, multivariant and multiway calibrations to the processing of the multisensor data. The food biochemistry group (Prof. Ivonne Delgadillo) has experience in structural characterization of natural macromolecules by instrumental techniques (FTIR, NMR, AFM and electronic detection) and in the development of rapid methods for the characterization of complex systems and food products with applications in the quality control. The project team at UA will be lead by Dr. Andrei Kholkin who is a specialist in the preparation and characterization of various nanostructured materials including organic/inorganic materials and hybrids for sensors/Actuator applications (e.g., peptide nanotubes, polymer ferroelectrics, ferroelectric-lipid composites, etc). He is currently a research coordinator at CICECO and leads a group developing multifunctional materials and scanning probe microscopy techniques. He is one of the world leaders in using AFM for the characterization of functional materials. He is a co-author of more than 300 technical publications in this area including 15 book chapters and reviews in Materials Today and MRS Bulletin. The available equipment for the project includes all necessary facilities for processing and characterization of biomaterials including various furnaces and thermostats, biochemistry laboratories, XRD, TEM/STEM, SEM with EDS, DTA, TGA, DSC, ICP-OES, FTIR, NMR, particle size analysis, specific surface area analysis, viscosimetry, electrical and mechanical instrumentation including that used for sensor characterization (impedance analyzers, frequency counters, time counters, etc). The dedicated AFM laboratory owns three different instruments used to characterize electrical and electromechanical properties of biosensors by using various methods.