The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s primary technological university and the country’s largest centre of basic and applied research. It is ranked among the leading technological universities in the world. The Technion has earned three Nobel prizes over the past decade and has a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in electronics, information technology, nano(bio)technology, materials engineering, and more.
Within the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, great emphasis is placed on multidisciplinary research, which is carried out both within the department, and in collaboration with other scientific and technological departments.
Prof. Ester Segal is the coordinator of the NanoPack project. Research activities in Prof. Segal’s lab lie at the broad interface between nanomaterials science and biotechnology. This includes the basic study of structure-property relationships of nanomaterials and application of this knowledge in development of functional materials systems. The group focuses on studying nanostructured inorganic materials (such as porous Si, nanoclays, Halloysite nanotubes, etc.) and their interface with soft matter e.g. polymers, biomolecules, and living cells. Understanding these interfaces allows us to rationally design new drug delivery platforms and functional responsive nanomaterials, as well as biosensors for detection of biological and chemical targets.
The group is intentionally composed of members from different disciplines: Chemistry, pharmacology, chemical engineering, materials engineering, biotechnology engineering and food engineering. The group has pioneered the design of sophisticated polymer nanocomposites, combining natural antimicrobials encapsulated within nanomaterials, which can be compounded and processed at high temperatures by conventional methods. The resulting systems exhibit outstanding and long lasting and highly efficient antimicrobial activity, while complying with strict regulations.
Role in NanoPack:
- The Technion is coordinating the project and will be responsible for management of the scientific and technical aspects of the project, and involved in almost all work packages.
- Contributing to optimizing and scale-up of the loading and controlled release of antimicrobials from the HNT’s.
- Participating in production of active polymers, their incorporation into packaging and pilots of packaging on different food types.
- Leading efficacy testing throughout each stage of the packaging development
- Leading tasks on data management and risk management.