Unique properties of natural polymers such as controlled biodegradability, biocompatibility, low toxicity, low costs make them ideal candidates to substitute conventional polymers. When they are manufactured into specific geometries, the developed systems become very efficient in biomedical applications and water remediation. Regarding biomedical applications multi-layered films, fibrous membranes, emulsions, microparticles, and coatings will be presented with unique capabilities in wound management and other biomedical areas. Regarding water treatment, it will be reported the manufacturing of structures with well-controlled porous or fibrous configurations, based on natural polymers and molecules, modified for optimized interactions with selected components of the water under treatment.
Athanassia Athanassiou is Principal Investigator at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT, Genoa, Italy). She has a degree in Physics from the University of Ioannina in Greece, an MSc from the University of Manchester and a Ph.D. in Physics from Salford University in UK. From 2000 to 2005, she worked at FORTH in Crete, and in 2006 she became Senior Researcher at NNL, CNR-Istituto di Nanoscienze, Lecce. In 2011, she joint IIT and nowadays her group of Smart Materials counts 50 people that work on sustainable materials and technologies for the benefit of environmental and human health. She has published more than 350 articles in scientific journals and 22 patents.