Bilkent University Department of Physics, UNAM and Neurosciences faculty member Giovanni Volpe has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Dr. Volpe will be using the five-year funding provided by the council for his research project “Biocompatible and Interactive Artificial Micro- and Nanoswimmers and Their Applications.”
The ERC provides individual support to encourage top-quality research in Europe. The council defines its goals as supporting the best of the best in Europe across all fields of science, scholarship and engineering. The funding process, open to candidates around the world, is highly competitive.
ERC funding is regarded as the most prestigious research funding in Europe; past recipients have included several Nobel laureate scientists. Since the start of the program in 2007, Dr. Volpe’s grant is the 4th ERC grant received by Bilkent University and the 12th ERC grant received by researchers working in Turkey.
In his project, Dr. Volpe will be developing biocompatible microswimmers capable of elaborate behaviors through the engineering of their performance when interacting with other particles and with a complex environment, and working nanoswimmers. The project will thus push the frontiers of the current understanding of active matter at both the mesoscopic and nanoscopic scales, and will permit Dr. Volpe to develop some technologically disruptive techniques, namely, targeted delivery of cargo within complex environments, which is of interest for drug delivery and bioremediation, and efficient sorting of chiral nanoparticles, which is of interest for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.