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Patent
CNR Institute of Neuroscience and Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Date: 2015-02-18

According to one aspect, the invention relates to a device (100) for remote polarimetric characterisation of a sample (S). It comprises a source (10) for emitting at least one incident light wave at at least one first wavelength (_(E)); a monomode optical fibre (30) in which the incident light wave is intended to propagate; a polarisation state generator (PSG) arranged on the proximal side of the optical fibre; a reflector (40) intended to be arranged on the distal side of the optical fibre; a polarisation state analyser (PSA) arranged on the proximal side of the optical fibre and allowing, for each probe state of the incident wave generated by the polarisation state generator, the polarisation of the light wave obtained after propagation of the incident wave in the optical fibre (30), reflection from the distal side of the optical fibre and reverse propagation in the optical fibre (30), to be analysed. Processing means (70) make it possible to determine, from a first polarimetric characterisation of the optical fibre, a Mueller matrix (M_(F)) associated with the optical fibre, and, from a second polarimetric characterisation of the assembly comprising the optical fibre and the sample, a Mueller matrix (M_(T)) associated with said assembly. The Mueller matrix (M_(o)) associated with the sample is determined from the Mueller matrices associated with the optical fibre and the assembly comprising the optical fibre and the sample, respectively.


Patent
C.N.S. International Srl, CNR Institute of Neuroscience, Bedini and Laurino | Date: 2017-02-22

Structure of umbelical (1) arranged to connect a diver (100) with a support ship (200) and/or with a safety diving bell (250). The structure of umbelical comprises at least one duct (61) for feeding a breathable gaseous mixture to the diver, a duct (62) for removing a flow breathed out from the diver. Furthermore are provided an electric cable (63) supplying electric energy to the diver and a connection device (10) arranged to connect in a removable way a first portion (10a) of the umbelical that, in use, is arranged on the side of the diving bell and/or of the support ship, and a second portion (10b) of said umbelical that, in use, is arranged on the divers side. The connection device (10) has at least one passage, or meatus, defined between a face of said first portion and a face of the second portion of the connection device and in which a first predetermined pressure P1 is present, with P1 less, or equal, to the atmospheric pressure. The structure of umbelical also comprises a source (70) of a gas at a second predetermined pressure P2 with P2>P1 and a valve (75) for pneumatically connecting, or disconnecting, the source of pressurized gas and the meatus.


Patent
Bercella S.r.l. and CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Date: 2015-03-12

The present invention relates to a zinc oxide-based piezoelectric device, utilisable both as a sensor and as an actuator. More in particular, the present invention relates to a piezoelectric device (1, 101) comprising at least two carbon fibre crossed yarns (2a, 2b; 102a, 102b), at the intersection of which a zinc oxide layer (3, 103) in nanorod form is arranged, wherein an end (4a, 4b) of each of said yarns (2a, 2b; 102a, 102b) is connected to an operative unit (5).


Patent
Bercella S.r.l. and CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Date: 2017-02-01

The present invention relates to a zinc oxide-based piezoelectric device, utilisable both as a sensor and as an actuator. More in particular, the present invention relates to a piezoelectric device (1, 101) comprising at least two carbon fibre crossed yarns (2a, 2b; 102a, 102b), at the intersection of which a zinc oxide layer (3, 103) in nanorod form is arranged, wherein an end (4a, 4b) of each of said yarns (2a, 2b; 102a, 102b) is connected to an operative unit (5).


Wiersma D.S.,University of Florence | Wiersma D.S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Nature Photonics | Year: 2013

What do lotus flowers have in common with human bones, liquid crystals with colloidal suspensions, and white beetles with the beautiful stones of the Taj Mahal? The answer is they all feature disordered structures that strongly scatter light, in which light waves entering the material are scattered several times before exiting in random directions. These randomly distributed rays interfere with each other, leading to interesting, and sometimes unexpected, physical phenomena. This Review describes the physics behind the optical properties of disordered structures and how knowledge of multiple light scattering can be used to develop new applications. The field of disordered photonics has grown immensely over the past decade, ranging from investigations into fundamental topics such as Anderson localization and other transport phenomena, to applications in imaging, random lasing and solar energy. Copyright © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Tozzini V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics | Year: 2010

The last decade has witnessed a renewed interest in the coarse-grained (CG) models for biopolymers, also stimulated by the needs of modern molecular biology, dealing with nano- to micro-sized bio-molecular systems and larger than microsecond timescale. This combination of size and timescale is, in fact, hard to access by atomic-based simulations. Coarse graining the system is a route to be followed to overcome these limits, but the ways of practically implementing it are many and different, making the landscape of CG models very vast and complex. In this paper, the CG models are reviewed and their features, applications and performances compared. This analysis, restricted to proteins, focuses on the minimalist models, namely those reducing at minimum the number of degrees of freedom without losing the possibility of explicitly describing the secondary structures. This class includes models using a single or a few interacting centers (beads) for each amino acid. From this analysis several issues emerge. The difficulty in building these models resides in the need for combining transferability/predictive power with the capability of accurately reproducing the structures. It is shown that these aspects could be optimized by accurately choosing the force field (FF) terms and functional forms, and combining different parameterization procedures. In addition, in spite of the variety of the minimalist models, regularities can be found in the parameters values and in FF terms. These are outlined and schematically presented with the aid of a generic phase diagram of the polypeptide in the parameter space and, hopefully, could serve as guidelines for the development of minimalist models incorporating the maximum possible level of predictive power and structural accuracy. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.


Rontani M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

A theory for the tunneling of one atom out of a trap containing two interacting cold atoms is developed. The quasiparticle wave function, dressed by the interaction with the companion atom in the trap, replaces the noninteracting orbital at resonance in the tunneling matrix element. The computed decay time for two Li6 atoms agrees with recent experimental results, unveiling the "fermionization" of the wave function and a novel two-body effect. © 2012 American Physical Society.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control cell cycle progression by targeting the transcripts encoding for cyclins, CDKs and CDK inhibitors, such as p27KIP1 (p27). p27 expression is controlled by multiple transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms, including translational inhibition by miR-221/222 and posttranslational regulation by the SCFSKP2 complex. The oncosuppressor activity of miR-340 has been recently characterized in breast, colorectal and osteosarcoma tumor cells. However, the mechanisms underlying miR-340-induced cell growth arrest have not been elucidated. Here, we describe miR-340 as a novel tumor suppressor in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Starting from the observation that the growth-inhibitory and proapoptotic effects of miR-340 correlate with the accumulation of p27 in lung adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma cells, we have analyzed the functional relationship between miR-340 and p27 expression. miR-340 targets three key negative regulators of p27. The miR-340-mediated inhibition of both Pumilio family RNA-binding proteins (PUM1 and PUM2), required for the miR-221/222 interaction with the p27 3′-UTR, antagonizes the miRNA-dependent downregulation of p27. At the same time, miR-340 induces the stabilization of p27 by targeting SKP2, the key posttranslational regulator of p27. Therefore, miR-340 controls p27 at both translational and posttranslational levels. Accordingly, the inhibition of either PUM1 or SKP2 partially recapitulates the miR-340 effect on cell proliferation and apoptosis. In addition to the effect on tumor cell proliferation, miR-340 also inhibits intercellular adhesion and motility in lung cancer cells. These changes correlate with the miR-340-mediated inhibition of previously validated (MET and ROCK1) and potentially novel (RHOA and CDH1) miR-340 target transcripts. Finally, we show that in a small cohort of NSCLC patients (n=23), representative of all four stages of lung cancer, miR-340 expression inversely correlates with clinical staging, thus suggesting that miR-340 downregulation contributes to the disease progression.Oncogene advance online publication, 25 August 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.267.


Tozzini V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2010

(Figure Presented) The activity within a living cell is based on a complex network of interactions among biomolecules, exchanging information and energy through biochemical processes. These events occur on different scales, from the nano- to the macroscale, spanning about 10 orders of magnitude in the space domain and 15 orders of magnitude in the time domain. Consequently, many different modeling techniques, each proper for a particular time or space scale, are commonly used. In addition, a single process often spans more than a single time or space scale. Thus, the necessity arises for combining the modeling techniques in multiscale approaches. In this Account, I first review the different modeling methods for bio-systems, from quantum mechanics to the coarsegrained and continuum-like descriptions, passing through the atomistic force field simulations. Special attention is devoted to their combination in different possible multiscale approaches and to the questions and problems related to their coherent matching in the space and time domains. These aspects are often considered secondary, but in fact, they have primary relevance when the aim is the coherent and complete description of bioprocesses. Subsequently, applications are illustrated by means of two paradigmatic examples: (i) the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family and (ii) the proteins involved in the human immunodeficency virus (HIV) replication cycle. The GFPs are currently one of the most frequently used markers for monitoring protein trafficking within living cells; nanobiotechnology and cell biology strongly rely on their use in fluorescence microscopy techniques. A detailed knowledge of the actions of the virusspecific enzymes of HIV (specifically HIV protease and integrase) is necessary to study novel therapeutic strategies against this disease. Thus, the insight accumulated over years of intense study is an excellent framework for this Account. The foremost relevance of these two biomolecular systems was recently confirmed by the assignment of two of the Nobel prizes in 2008: in chemistry for the discovery of GFP and in medicine for the discovery of HIV. Accordingly, these proteins were studied with essentially all of the available modeling techniques, making them ideal examples for studying the details of multiscale approaches in protein modeling. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Szabo I.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Zoratti M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Physiological Reviews | Year: 2014

The field of mitochondrial ion channels has recently seen substantial progress, including the molecular identification of some of the channels. An integrative approach using genetics, electrophysiology, pharmacology, and cell biology to clarify the roles of these channels has thus become possible. It is by now clear that many of these channels are important for energy supply by the mitochondria and have a major impact on the fate of the entire cell as well. The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date overview of the electrophysiological properties, molecular identity, and pathophysiological functions of the mitochondrial ion channels studied so far and to highlight possible therapeutic perspectives based on current information. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

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