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VTT’s new research professor Pierangelo Metrangolo combines chemistry with electronics and biotechnology to create innovations


Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo has been nominated as Research Professor for VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in the field of molecular recognition for a period of five years starting 1 September 2009. His research at VTT will focus on promoting projects that aim at product innovations by using molecular recognition techniques. The final purpose of these studies is, e.g. to develop new biosensors, more effective drugs, and new features for packaging and device materials.

Molecular recognition technology is related to VTT’s goals in developing smart surfaces for materials: e.g. water or oil repellent. The coating of biobased materials with smart surfaces can be used to prevent environmental problems.

This professorship is a new one for VTT. The assignment increases the cooperation in the fields of biotechnology and microelectronics at VTT. Smart, electronic devices can be created in the future by combining molecular recognition technology with other technologies e.g. for personalized health monitoring.

Metrangolo, who has received this year one of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Young Chemist Awards, has obtained his degree in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Milan in 1997 and the PhD in industrial chemistry at the Politecnico di Milano in 2001, where he is Associate Professor of Fundamentals of Chemistry in Electronics. During his career Metrangolo has focused on the structures and properties of high performance fluorinated materials (Teflon®-like). Together with his colleague Giuseppe Resnati he has given name to an important chemical bond – the Halogen Bond - that once formed the basis for a Nobel Prize, but has been largely ignored for decades and never explored for its potential value in materials or pharmaceutical research.

Pierangelo Metrangolo aims at boosting the exchange of scientists and students between VTT, the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), and the Politecnico di Milano and also generate joint research initiatives for EU research programmes.