Multidisciplinary approach to monitor and reduce levels of PFASs in water
Over the past few years our department has seen the engagement of numerous research groups in the development of new methodologies for the quantification and reduction of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from natural and industrial contaminated water.
PFASs are a group of man-made organic compounds that includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and many others. PFASs are widely distributed in consumer and industrial products and represent an emerging class of global contaminants. PFASs can be detected in almost all environmental matrices and their high resistance to degradation, in combination with their ubiquity and global distribution, give lead to an increasing public concern over their potential risks to human health and environmental ecosystems.
To tackle this societal global challenge that has seen our region, Veneto, among the most affected in Italy and in Europe, we combined different expertise and established integrated approaches to develop multidisciplinary and innovative practical solutions necessary to monitor and reduce the level of PFASs in water.
Toward this goal we:
• developed novel protein- and polymer-based electrochemical sensors to monitor levels of PFASs in contaminated water. The systems are complementary and show low detection limit, a satisfactory selectivity and good reproducibility;
• determined the molecular basis of the interaction of PFASs with the bioreceptor and we are currently engineering novel synthetic proteins with higher binding affinity and selectivity towards different PFAS substances;
• conceived novel recyclable nanotechnologies for absorbing and removing PFASs from contaminated water.
We are looking for international research institutes, scientific organizations and SME expert in environmental issues, toxicology, water quality modeling, and computational intelligence systems that could help us to develop a new device and further implement our biosensing-bioremoval integrated process.
Ca' Foscari University of Venice (UNIVE) strives to attract and nurture talented scholars across the world, offering a distinguished curriculum and delivering cutting-edge research emerging from the active engagement of the hard and digital sciences with the disciplines of our traditional establishment rooted in social sciences and humanities.
Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems (DSMN) aims to stimulate research development and scientific education and is characterized by its research in innovative fields.
Developing research themes aimed at sustainability it interacts well with the local manufacturing bodies and businesses.
Education focuses on the most established research areas and include renewable energy sources, green chemistry, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies. The Department is part of the Interdepartmental Centre of Services for Experimental Disciplines. The high-level education and research enable it to train students able to enter sectors with high-level scientific and technological content. The up-to-date educational offer combines the different skills of a chemist, from inorganic compounds to molecular biology.
The offer of the Department is conceived to implement a strong interaction between the university and the labour market. Traditional education methods go along with new Lifelong Learning projects (LLP), a great opportunity for the workers within firms which need training plans for modernization and upgrades.