Dipartimento di Informatica, Bioingegneria, Robotica ed Ingegneria dei Sistemi (DIBRIS), Università degli Studi di Genova (Genova, Italy)

DIBRIS with 72 academic staff, 32 technical and administrative staff, 60 post-doc researchers, and an annual research budget of about 5,6 million Euros, is characterized by a multidisciplinary vocation and by a strong background in the disciplines related to computer science, system and control engineering and bioengineering. It offers Bachelor programs in Biomedical Engineering, Computer science and Informatics; master programs in Bioengineering, System Engineering, Computer Science and Robotics. Finally it has well-recognized PhD programs in Bioengineering, Computer science and Robotics. 

The research group directly involved in this project is the Neuroengineering and Bionanotechnology Lab headed jointly by Prof. Roberto Raiteri and Prof. Sergio Martinoia. The NBT Lab has a good experimental know-how in electrophysiology of networks of neurons and brain tissue coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) based methds to characterize biomolecules, cells and biological tissue at the nanoscale, as well as theoretical expertise in neuron-electrode junction models and neuronal networks models and simulations. 

Since 2002, the group coordinated/participated to 3 EU-funded projects related to the acquisition and analysis of electrophysiological data coming from dissociated cultures coupled to innovative devices. UNIGE coordinate the NEUROBIT project (IST-2001-33564) developing a complete hybrid system involving networks of cortical neurons and participated to the IDEA project (NEST-2005-516432) designing and testing a new platform for high-density electrophysiological recordings. More recently it developed the hardware and software for Lab-on-a-chip device to monitor differentiation processes in vitro (project EXCELL: NMP4-SL-2008-214706). The expertise acquired during the past EU projects, especially regarding the electrophysiological measurements and the development of innovative experimental tools for cell characterization will be exploited in the framework of the present project.

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