Research database

BioPhET - Bioresorbable Photonics Enabling- Technologies for innovative companies in health and biomedical sector (BioPhET)

24 months (2023 - 2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
PNRR – Mission 4
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:


Photomedicine is a well known tool that largely contributed to the advancement of healthcare during the last 30 years, especially in the fields of cancer, skin diseases and wound infections. A particularity of light-tissue interaction is that it can be used both for diagnostic purposes and as a treatment, thus making photonic tools extremely promising for the realization of theranostic devices. As light penetration in biological tissues is generally low, because of several light-absorbing and light-scattering elements, it is often necessary to use optical fibers to bring light to deep tissues and organs, for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Unfortunately, materials used for the realization of optical fibers generally show a poor biocompatibility because of the cytotoxic action intrinsic to certain materials, and of their mechanical properties, which may trigger a significant foreign-body response in the host organism. The goal of the BioPhET project is to develop and demonstrate innovative photonics technologies based on the use of bioresorbable optical materials (i.e. materials that are naturally decomposed and absorbed by the host organism within a certain time-frame), that will enable an unprecedented set of opportunities for innovative companies working in the health and biomedical sectors. The opportunities enabled by the bioresorbable technologies investigated in the project range from bioresorbable therapeutic devices (based on photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy and/or photobiomodulation) to integrated optical sensors (glucose monitoring, oxygenation, infections, etc…), optically controlled cell growth and differentiation, with the possibility to enable, in a longer term, also optically controlled migration of cells in vivo, and bioresorbable optogenetic implants. To achieve such an ambitious goal, we will take advantage of the expertise of 3 research groups, guaranteeing to the project the required knowledge in the fields of optical design, optical fabrication and biological application of photonic technologies. The project is organized in 5 work-packages (see part B.1.2) and activity will focus on the realization of two different demonstrators. The first one is based on a fiber-type structure, and will target a multifunctional device allowing for drug release from a microfluidic channel inside the fiber optics, combined with a light-delivery fiber core that will monitor the therapy by integrating the function of optical coherence tomography. The second device is based on planar bioresorbable substrates and aims at creating an innovative optical smart platform for scaffolding, where light exposure can be actively used to promote cell growth and differentiation or to induce localized therapeutic effects, either directly or by triggering highly localized drug release.

People involved





ERC sectors

PE7_11 - Components and systems for applications (in e.g. medicine, biology, environment)
PE2_9 - Optics, non-linear optics and nano-optics
PE5_7 - Biomaterials, biomaterials synthesis
LS9_8 - Biomimetics

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 3. Assicurare la salute e il benessere per tutti e per tutte le età


Total cost: € 239,280.00
Total contribution: € 239,280.00
PoliTo total cost: € 114,000.00
PoliTo contribution: € 114,000.00