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Tsegai Haileslassie Tekle came to ITMO University from Eritrea, East Africa. He is currently in his first year of the Chemistry of Applied Materials Master’s degree program at ITMO’s SCAMT Laboratory.
ITMO Researchers’ Project Named Top Innovative Product by St. Petersburg Committee for Science and Higher Education
A project by ITMO University’s SCAMT Industrial Lab has been named the winner of the 2019 St. Petersburg Competition of Best Innovative Projects in Science and Higher Education. The awards ceremony took place as part of the 12th St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum. The winning project, First Aid, is an innovative treatment for post-surgery scarring, stretch marks, cuts, and burns for patients of all ages. The project is being developed by the Master’s and PhD students of ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster. Olga Sokolovskaya, the head of the project, spoke with ITMO.NEWS about this invention, results of the team’s research, and their future plans.
ITMO University’s Infochemistry Center grew from an eponymous research group led by professor Ekaterina Skorb, formerly a group leader at the Max Planck Institute and Harvard researcher working under one of today’s most cited chemistry experts. Among the Center’s priority areas are interdisciplinary research at the intersection of mathematics and chemistry, experimental chemistry, and the introduction of hi-tech approaches into the industry. But its staff collaborates not only with mathematicians, biologists and IT specialists, but also artists. ITMO.NEWS spoke to Ekaterina Skorb about the Center’s tasks and projects.
ITMO University scientists in collaboration with their colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU University), Uppsala, Sweden, have developed biocomposites made of proteins based on natural spider silk and optically active nanoparticles. What is remarkable about the new material is that it combines the properties of natural silk fiber and synthetic particles. The biocomposite has unique mechanical characteristics and can give a detectable optical response when exposed to infrared radiation, which makes it a potential candidate for biomedical applications. This article was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Ksenia Mosina, a Master’s student at ITMO University’s SCAMT Laboratory, went to Canada as part of her student exchange program to participate in research on the synthesis of gold core-shell nanoparticles for biosensing and photocatalysis. The results of the research were published in Nanoscale. In this interview with ITMO.NEWS, Ksenia shares about her experiences and the skills she acquired in the Canadian laboratory.
Researchers from ITMO University developed special nanocontainers that can translate the light signal into metabolic changes in bacteria. The containers consist of titanium dioxide nanoparticles coated with silver and polymers. Once the particles are heated with laser irradiation, the polymer conformation changes and the container opens, releasing the contents. Scientists tested the new system’s performance using a model enzyme, arabinose. However, it can be replaced with other active substances in order to use the containers for drug delivery. The research was published in Bioconjugate Chemistry.
The Vinogradov twins are leading a large structural division at ITMO University called the Biochemistry cluster. Once upon a time, they were just two ordinary brothers, who secretly studied chemistry, with a dream of creating their own laboratory. They arrive at the interview together, but Vladimir is forced to leave for business, so we talk only with Alexander. This is not unusual for them – one for two and two for one.
Building A New Generation of Drugs: SCAMT Laboratory Scientists On Rational Chemical Design Using Metal-Organic Frameworks
Aimed at creating materials with pre-planned properties, rational design has become one of the most prevalent research trends in chemistry. Its advocates postulate that instead of going through the exhaustive search of random combinations, a better strategy for finding the right material would be to start with analysing the structural elements and the interactions that occur between them. This will lead to significant reductions in the effort, time, and money needed for creating new drugs or purification systems. Following their paper on framework materials that was published in Russian Chemical Reviews, ITMO University’s SCAMT Laboratory scientists met with ITMO.NEWS to talk about their research.
SCAMT Workshop Week is a summer school in a unique new format. Over the course of a week, its participants work on one of the six research projects and hone their practical skills. This year’s students have synthesized a nanopharmaceutical drug and magnetic bacteria, printed an optical sensor, built a nanobot and worked on other hi-tech inventions. 40 students were selected from among 200 applicants from Russia and neighboring countries. ITMO.NEWS met with the students to learn more about their projects.
A team of chemists-theoreticians modeled the interaction of a metal-organic framework (MOF) for drug delivery with oxidants. The model showed that the MOF is stable in water, but degrades in the presence of active forms of oxygen. As such oxidants emerge in inflammatory tissues, MOFs can be used in the design of systems for targeted delivery of anti-inflammatory agents. The research results were published in The Royal Society of Chemistry (PCCP) magazine.