SMAC - Supercritical fluids and MAterials Chemistry

Mission

The group represents the synergy of expertise in chemical engineering of supercritical fluids process and surface and solid state chemistry of materials. Science and technologies involving the use of supercritical fluids and the synthesis and physico-chemical characterization of materials aim to develop new processes and materials of industrial interest with applications in the pharmaceutical, food, adsorption/separation and catalysis. 

Main Targets

In the Materials and Surface Chemistry, the research activity of the group will focus on two lines:
1- Development and testing of nanostructured and nanoporous materials for drug delivery.
2- Development and testing of materials for the removal and analysis of water pollutants.

In line 1, the research will be organized as follows:
- synthesis and characterization of new materials;
- drug incorporation and physico-chemical study of drug-carrier interactions;
- development of devices for the sustained release of drugs;
- Microbiological tests of device activity in collaboration with research groups of other Universities.

In line 2, carried out in close collaboration with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Turin, new materials will be developed for preconcentration of analytes in chromatographic separations.

Concerning supercritical fluids, supercritical carbon dioxide is a good candidate to substitute organic solvents in the production of pharmaceutical devices thanks to its low toxicity and its tunable solvent power, which can be easily modified through small variations in temperature and pressure. The set-up of these chemical physical supercritical processes requires the knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of the involved phases. For this reason both experimental data at supercritical conditions and appropriate thermodynamic models for the estimation of these properties are needed. The research activities are focused on the following aims:
- performing experiments to measure thermodynamic properties in supercritical fluids (i.e. solubility data) aimed at obtaining data useful to design the supercritical processes as well as developing thermodynamic models to predict the properties of the supercritical fluids and phase equilibria of high-pressure systems;
- developing innovative supercritical processes to obtain pharmaceutical devices for controlled drug release.

Leader

Prof.ssa Barbara Onida

Research teams

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