Giovanni Volpe has been awarded with the ERC Proof of Concept Grant for the research project LUCERO: Smart Optofluidic micromanipulation of Biological Samples.
The grant, consisting of 150k EUR, is meant to commercialize the research project LUCERO, providing an innovative method that combines artificial intelligence and optical tweezers to analyze cells easily and inexpensively.
The current technologies for cell analysis have many limitations: they require access to a large number of cells and considerable expertise. The available methods are also labor-intensive and in some cases the cells are destroyed.
The new method developed in LUCERO simplifies the work and lowers the costs of biomedical research by allowing ordinary standard microscopes, which are already in use in biomedical laboratories, to be used to perform the cell analysis.
The method of LUCERO can be used in several areas, from artificial insemination to forensic medicine. It has potentially a large commercial market.
Giovanni Volpe expects that LUCERO will provide around 20 jobs for university-trained experts and researchers within the next five years.
The project LUCERO has already received initial funding and support from two different organizations (Venture Cup and SPIE). Two doctoral students, Falko Schmidt and Martin B. Mojica, are part of LUCERO’s contributors team.