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Controlling Life with Photons

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Light can be used for controlling cell activity, with high space and time resolution and a virtually infinite number of configuration, free from wiring constrains. Yet there is a fundamental limitation: by and large living cells are transparent. This talk review the state of our research regarding organic bio interfaces for inducing light sensitivity in cells, both in vitro and in vivo, and consequently controlling or interfering with vital function. One goal is understanding the up-take and bio compatibility of artificial systems. Next is assessing the biotic/abiotic interface interaction and understanding the coupling mechanism. Different shapes, volume and nature of the organic semiconductor can be adopted. We will report on the application of dispersed interfaces, obtained by spreading organic nanoparticles into cells or living animals. Finally an update on the artificial retina project will be presented, as one of the most appealing application of this emerging technology.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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