Wrapping Up 2022: Research

December 28, 2022

2022 has been a busy year for the INL Community. This week we take a look at some of this year’s highlights and achievements regarding our people, our projects, and the latest research developments. Join us on this ride and remember all the interviews carried out throughout the year.

As 2022 comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to reflect on everything INL has accomplished in terms of Research this year. COVID-19, the War in Ukraine, and the global crisis (financial and environmental) haven’t stopped us and despite everything, we’ve made this a great year filled with large accomplishments.

In 2022 we’ve welcomed students, staff, and visitors back to our laboratory, though, of course, it wasn’t exactly the way things had been. Masks remained present for a good part of the year. Even with all the changes, INL persisted to perform interdisciplinary research, and deploy and articulate nanotechnology for the benefit of society addressing society’s grand challenges.

INL joins QUARMEN master (QUAntum Research Master Education Network)

INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory is an official partner of the QUARMEN master (QUAntum Research Master Education Network), a project created in the frame of the European university alliance for Global Health – EUGLOH, also coordinated by Paris-Saclay University. This program counts on the collaboration of Paris-Saclay, Porto, Rome, and Toronto universities. Read the full update >>

INL delegation visits HRAEPY – Regional High Specialty Hospital of the Yucatán Peninsula “HRAEPY”

The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and the Regional High Specialty Hospital of the Yucatán Peninsula “HRAEPY”, a decentralised body of the Federal Public Administration within the Mexico Government initiated a cooperation agreement in the field of nanomedicine back in 2020. The aim of this cooperation agreement, signed during a remote ceremony due to the pandemic, was to carry out bilateral clinical research in the field of precision medicine. Read the full update >>

Isabel Rodríguez among the best 5000 Spanish scientific women

Isabel Rodríguez, Research Fellow at the Food Processing and Nutrition Research Group, has been ranked among the best 5000 Spanish scientific women. As part of CSIC’s institution’s commitment to gender equality policies, they’ve published the first edition of the Ranking of Spanish and foreign researchers working in Spain according to data from their personal public profiles on Google Scholar. This edition consists of the 5600 researchers ordered according to the highest h-index and secondarily by a number of citations. Read the full update >>

i-Grape project was recognized with the “Innovation in XPERIENCE 4.0 Ecosystem” Award at COTEC Portugal Innovation Summit

The i-GRAPE consortium composed of INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, SOGRAPE, INESC MN, The University of Freiburg, AUTOMATION SRL is proud to announce that the i-GRAPE Project, represented by INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and SOGRAPE at the 19th edition of the COTEC Portugal Innovation Summit, has just been recognized with the “Innovation in XPERIENCE 4.0 Ecosystem” Award. Read the full update >>

Lars Montelius at IndTech2022 presenting the Materials 2030 Roadmap

The Director-General of INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Lars Montelius presented last week, at IndTech 2022, the Materials 2030 Roadmap, during the Plenary session: Systemic Approach for Advanced Materials: 2030 Perspective chaired by Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment. Read the full update >>

InNPeC Project – Nanotools for rare giants: an innovative blood-based screening for prostate cancer

Researchers from INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and INESC-MN – Institute for Systems Engineering and Computers – Microsystems and Nanotechnologies have developed two different devices, which can be used separately or as a two-stage system, to isolate these rare blood cells (more specifically circulating tumour cells or CTCs, and cancer-associated macrophage-like cells or CAMLs). These rare cells can be used as biomarkers to diagnose prostate cancer or to provide feedback on how a patient is responding to a specific treatment. Read the full update >>

MICRODIGEST, a Micro-device for Human Gastrointestinal Tract Simulation

In the MICRODIGEST project, INL researchers developed a tool to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drugs or foods. The modular sensors platform uses microfluidics to simulate human digestion (oral, gastric, and intestinal phases) and intestinal absorption in an automated and miniaturised manner. This allows for reducing sample size, increasing experimental throughput and potentially reducing costly failures in future clinical trials. Read the full update >>

MiconCell Project has come to an end!

After 4 years, the FCT-funded project “MiconCell – Thin-film micro-concentrator solar cells” has successfully finished in June 2022. The innovative idea of the MiconCell project was to combine highly-efficient thin-film technology with the concentrator photovoltaic approach and shrink the size scale to the micrometre range. Read the full update >>

NovaCell project, developing novel architectures of CIGS solar cells

Project NovaCell is managed by the Nanofabrication for optoelectronic applications – NOA research group and they focus their work and research on the incorporation of nanotechnology in optoelectronic devices with strong industrial and innovation potential. In this project, NOA research group is developing novel architectures of CIGS solar cells. By reducing the solar cell thickness, researchers want to reduce fabrication costs through material savings and by increasing the machine throughput. Read the full update >>

SpinCat, Spin-Polarized Catalysts for Energy-efficient AEM Water Electrolysis

In the SpinCat project, researchers are working on the development of efficient magnetic earth-abundant catalysts that, through spin polarisation, will boost the catalytic activity towards oxygen evolution reaction by a factor of three as compared to state-of-the-art catalysts. This project will contribute to establishing Europe as the world leader in electrolyser technology for renewable HYDROGEN production and will help Europe to reach its decarbonisation objectives. Read the full update >>

“Shine bright like a diamond” gains meaning in Parkinson’s research

Recently, medical researchers succeeded to grow small cellular mini-brains, known as brain organoids, in a lab dish. In parallel, physicists are reporting novel quantum sensing techniques, based on bright colour centres in diamonds. The Ultrafast Bio- and Nanophotonics Research Group, in collaboration with ICVS/University of Minho and University of Aveiro, is carrying out frontier research to gain insight into Parkinson’s disease. Read the full update >>

NANOCULTURE, monitoring the exposure of the nanoparticles on aquaculture specimens

Given the importance of the aquaculture sector for the Atlantic Area, possible adverse effects of the use of engineered nonpoint sources of pollution in aquaculture should be well understood in order to ensure maximum safety of food products and the environmental-related impacts of the activity. Therefore, the objective of NANOCULTURE is to advance the knowledge, risk assessment and mitigation of the environmental presence of the most-used engineered nanoparticles in market products: titanium dioxide and silver nanoparticles. Read the full update >>

#TrustEat – Agri-food research at INL by adding blockchain technology

The project #TrustEat aims to add a new dimension to the current research in the agri-food area at INL by adding blockchain technology. This technology can ensure the food value chain integrity to the consumers, providing a reliable tool to contribute to the safety, traceability and authenticity of food systems. Blockchain is an immutable digital ledger that works through a consensus of computer systems; there is not one central authority over the blockchain. Read the full update >>

Project STAR-Sol, opening doors to large-scale electrical solar deployment

The aim of the project STAR-Sol, a collaboration between INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and the University of Luxembourg, is to overcome challenges in photovoltaic material science and to open doors to large-scale electrical solar deployment. The innovative design developed in the project STAR-Sol incorporates parallel stripes of solar cells, smaller than the eye can resolve. Read the full update >>

QU-BOSS aims to open new horizons in quantum information

QU-BOSS project focuses its work and development on opening new horizons in quantum information, quantum control and machine learning. INL researchers are contributing with theoretical expertise on optical quantum computing to this European project, together with Università Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza and Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche. Read the full update >>

NanoBioSensor, developing a faster methodology to detect the presence of spoilage

The project NanoBioSensor, a collaboration between INL, Exatronic and Frulact, developed a faster methodology to detect the presence of spoilage-responsible microorganisms (yeast and moulds) in fruit preparations. The device and methodology were developed by combining the researchers’ expertise in molecular biology, microfluidics and electronics. This new methodology allows much faster detection of microorganisms – reducing the total analysis time of 7 days to less than 24 hours with a sensibility comparable to conventional methods. Read the full update >>

3DSecret winner of the Pathfinder Programme by the European Innovation Council

The results of the EIC Pathfinder Open 2022 competition were released and a project coordinated by INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology is among the winners. With its Pathfinder programme, the EIC supports the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. It welcomes the high-risk/high-gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs. Read the full update >>

GASTRIC, developing miniaturised devices for the simulation of gastrointestinal enzymatic digestion

The GASTRIC project is focused on the development of miniaturised devices for the simulation of gastrointestinal enzymatic digestion and an organ-a-chip to study intestinal absorption in the gut. Oral administration remains the preferred route for the delivery of drugs or dietary supplements. However, orally ingested compounds must first survive digestion and then be absorbed by the small intestine to reach the systemic circulation. The capacity to study these processes in a reliable and robust manner is key to the successful development of new bioactive compounds. Read the full update >>

Eight INL researchers among the World’s Top 2% Scientists

These eight INL researchers were highlighted for the impact of their work throughout their whole careers, among the World’s Top 2% Scientists. The updated list is based on the Sep 01, 2022, snapshot from Scopus, updated to the end of the citation year 2021. The list provides a publicly available database of 100,000 top scientists in several disciplines worldwide, with standardised information on citations, h-index, co-authorship-adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator. Read the full update >>

uPGRADE project team meets in Portugal

During the meeting, Spin.Works presented the design of the 6U satellite, foreseen to be launched in 2024. From the INL and University of Minho side, the Integrated Micro and Nanotechnologies team presented the MEMS accelerometer being developed for space gravimetric applications, namely the latest characterization results and the design of the 6 accelerometers’ orthogonal assembly. Read the full update >>

Marewind, developing durable materials and recyclable solutions for the offshore wind industry

MAREWIND solutions will pave the way for the next generation of offshore wind generators and facilities that aim to solve the technological, economic, business, and societal challenges we are now facing. In addition, it will strengthen the leading role of Europe in the global offshore wind market with the current 22,072 MW of installed cumulative capacity, followed by Asian and North American markets. Read the full update >>

Raising key questions about water pollution, a new white paper has been published by Water Europe with the contribution of the Water Quality research group

A new white paper has been published by Water Europe with the contribution of the Water Quality research group at INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory. Water Europe, initiated by the European Commission in 2004, issues white papers to inform readers about complex water-related topics in a concise and targeted way. Read the full update >>

Miguel Cerqueira is among the most cited researchers for the fifth year in a row

The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory staff researcher, Miguel Cerqueira, from the Food Processing Research Group, has been ranked as a “Highly Cited Researcher” for the fifth consecutive year, in the field of Agricultural Sciences. Read the full update >>

Lorena Diéguez, Paulina Piairo and Sara Abalde-Cela, running for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022

Lorena Diéguez, Paulina Piairo and Sara Abalde-Cela running for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022 through their work developed at INL and at RUBYnanomed, a spin-off from INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory. The EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more women innovators, and create role models for women and girls everywhere. Read the full update >>

3D-NANOFOOD, personalised foods for seniors through nanotechnology and 3D printing

3D-NANOFOOD project proposes a combination of promising techniques to manufacture personalised foods, including 3D printing, food enrichment, and nano-delivery systems. 3D printing is a versatile and emerging technology to manufacture food in a fast way, and at the same time to develop products with personalised texture and/or special nutrition needs. Read the full update >>

NeuralGRAB, developing a brain activity recording platform

In the framework of the project NeuralGRAB funded by the La Caixa Foundation, INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory is working with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto and the Spanish Astrobiology Centre(CAB/CSIC) towards the development of a brain activity recording platform. Read the full update >>

KESPER, innovative technology that uses a novel class of kesterite materials

KESPER – The kesterite-based Photoelectrodes for Water and Nitrogen Reduction project proposes an innovative technology that uses a novel class of kesterite materials avoiding the use of critical raw materials for the generation of renewable gases. Kesterite, a greenish-black mineral, presents several forms and compositions; however, this also makes it extremely versatile with adaptable features. Read the full update >>

SINFONIA, boosting RTD activities in nanosafety

The European-funded project SiNfONiA aims to boost research and technological development activities in the area of nanosafety and bring to market technology that is safe and trusted by the end-users and consumers is a fundamental necessity and the foundation for all current and future deployment and acceptance of nanotechnology. Read the full update >>

Next year, we will continue to make strides in improving how we serve our community and how we continue to explore new interfaces and perform interdisciplinary research for the benefit of society.

We would like to say thank you to each one of you for everything you do every day. Your commitment to work, to science and nanotechnology, is a big part of the reason we feel pumped and excited for the upcoming year. Together we will continue to travel in scale and experience science outside your world and inside INL.