LACRYS

Light Assisted-CRYStallization

Abstract

The objective of the LACRYS project is to validate and de-risk a technology based on light assisted crystallization for restoration of artworks (frescos), to assess its market potential and identify the most suitable exploitation strategy. Precipitation or dissolution oThe precipitation or dissolution of single and composite materials is a ubiquitous process in materials science and nature. So far, it can be controlled at large scale either in laboratory experiments or industrial processes. However, controlling the precipitation (or dissolution) of a mineral phase at micron scale is nowadays a challenge opening the gate to precious applications in health sciences (bone and teeth repair), art preservation (frescos and most pieces of work), the synthesis of advanced complex materials and the polymorphic control in pharmaceutical industry. We have envisaged a new, feasible and affordable method to control the precipitation/dissolution of mineral phases at the scale of one micron and below. Our method uses light-sensitive molecules that can induce a local change of pH (or a local change of concentration of specific species) upon illumination with a particular wavelength. Light can be currently focused at the scale of tens of femtolitre in volume, thus allowing a formidable control of the nucleation and growth of mineral phases. The applications of this new technique would be almost universal. Therefore, we plan for this project: a) to demonstrate the limits of feasibility of the methodology and patent it; b) to optimize formulations for the specific cases of carbonate and phosphate precipitation/dissolution with obvious applications in bones and teeth repair and art preservation; c) to perform a market study to have a detailed evaluation of the value of the invention while exploring applications in the fields of polymorphic control, microgravity and fabrication of complex material at nanoscale, and d) to develop a plan for commercialization and promoting the technology.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Marco Montalti

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Chimica "Giacomo Ciamician"

Coordinator:
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas (Csic)(Spain)

Other Participants:
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 149.625,00
Project Duration in months: 22
Start Date: 01/03/2019
End Date: 31/12/2020

Cordis webpage

Industry, innovation and infrastructure This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837874