Partners

The BioMeld consortium is first and foremost a creative partnership, made up of six institutes and universities and one consultancy from five European countries. The consortium is led by the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. The remaining partners include: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, University of the West of England, Fundacio Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya, Smart Sensing SRL, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, and Lance Leverette.

The Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad (UNSPF) has more than 200 researchers working on various projects. It currently participates in 40 national projects of technological development funded by the MESTDRS, and 7 Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects. UNSPF was the coordinator and participant in TEMPUS, COST, IPA, SEE.ERA NET, FP6, FP7, H2020, and Horizon Europe projects. Furthermore, it established a series of activities in the framework of bilateral cooperation (Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, etc.) and in multilateral projects. The faculty is a member of the following international associations: EUA, ICA, CASEE, VUA, AREV, and AUF. Great importance is given to networking with leading research centers in the country and abroad and the mobility of the faculty’s researchers. Future orientation of the UNSPF is the implementation of its multidisciplinary research and continuation of traditionally fruitful collaboration with various stakeholders (local and regional authorities, different SMEs, etc.). The Faculty of Agriculture is the lead coordinator of project BioMeld. As part of this project, UNSPF will devote full hardware and software systems for modelling computationally expensive simulations and AI algorithms. The project team will be provided with 2 GPU GeForce RTX 3090 (2x 10496 cores), CPU Intel 48-core Workstation server, and computer maintenance for rapid testing of developed algorithms.

IGOR BALAŽ

is professor of biophysics at the University of Novi Sad. He received his BSc in Biology and Ph.D. in physics of complex systems. He has been leading two EIC-funded projects on developing tumor simulator and the use of AI in optimizing drug delivery systems. His interests are evolutionary computation, modeling of complex biological systems, and agent-based modeling.

Email: igor.balaz@df.uns.ac.rs
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/igor-balaz/

MARINA KOVAČEVIĆ

is a research assistant at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 2022. Her background is in physical chemistry, modelling of chemical and biological systems, and biochemistry.

Email: marinak@dh.uns.ac.rs
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marina-kovacevic-mk/

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna is a public institution of university education with special regulations based in Pisa. The BioRobotics Institute is part of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, and is an integrated system pursuing frontier research, advanced education and innovation in the fields of biorobotics and bionics. In brief, we use robotics to mimic life and unveil its principles, to rehab, assist and treat human beings, to educate and change society. Within the Institute, Prof. Leonardo Ricotti coordinates the “Regenerative Technologies” Laboratory (https://www.santannapisa.it/it/regenerative-technologies-laboratory). We possess state-of-the-art micro and nano-fabrication machinery and clean-room facilities dedicated to research in microengineering, sensors, actuators, ultrasound, biomaterials and nanoparticles for biomedical applications. With our expertise in developing new flexible and scalable machines based on smart materials and biohybrid systems, which integrate living cells, tissues, and artificial components, we will concentrate our efforts on the work package 3, related to the Manufacturing modular, adaptable, reconfigurable BHM catheter, and on the Internal Dissemination and early career development.

LEONARDO RICOTTI

is Associate Professor of Bioengineering and head of the “Regenerative Technologies” Lab at the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. The Lab is composed of ~ 30 members. He holds a M.Sc. course on “Bionic Organs and Tissues” and a PhD course on “Soft Lithography and Biomaterials characterization”. He has supervised or co-supervised 20 PhD students and 47 M.Sc./B.Sc. theses on bioengineering topics. He carries out innovative research efforts at the interface between different disciplines, such as mechatronics, materials science, molecular biology and micro/nano-technologies, targeting new technologies for regenerative medicine and for artificial organs. He is co-author of ~130 scientific publications (~ 100 on ISI journals), 6 book chapters and he is the co-inventor of 18 patents. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience and of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics. In 2012, he received the “Massimo Grattarola” award for the best PhD Thesis in bioengineering. In July 2014, he received the European Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Doctoral Award. From 2018, he received several prizes as a member of the spin-off company Relief s.r.l. He currently coordinates a European project (ADMAIORA – ADvanced nanocomposite MAterIals fOr in situ treatment and ultRAsound-mediated management of osteoarthritis), funded in the H2020 framework and is PI of other projects in which Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna participates as a partner, as BioMeld.

Email: leonardo.ricotti@santannapisa.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leonardo-ricotti-bb957422/

LORENZO VANNOZZI

is an Assistant Professor within the “Regenerative Technologies” Lab of the BioRobotics Institute. In 2013, he received a M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa (cum laude), with a thesis entitled “Design and development of a 3D system for bio-hybrid actuation” and in 2017 he obtained a Ph.D. in Biorobotics (cum laude), defending a thesis entitled “Novel actuated microsystems”. In 2022, he got the position of Assistant Professor. His research deals with the exploration of 3D biofabrication technologies, including 3D bioprinting, the investigation of novel 2D thin films for different applications (e.g., drug delivery, regenerative medicine), and the development of nanocomposite materials with smart and enhanced capabilities. He has an interdisciplinary approach involving materials science, mechatronics and biology. He supported the teaching activity of Prof. Leonardo Ricotti within the PhD course on ““Soft Lithography and Biomaterials characterization”, with practical classes on material synthesis and characterization. He is the author or co-author of 26 publications in ISI journals, and one book chapter. He is also a coinventor of 4 patents. In 2018, he received the “Julia Polak European Doctorate Award” from the European Society of Biomaterials committee. He has been involved in different Italian and European projects (ADMAIORA, MIO-PRO, MOTU, M2Neural and GeT Small), for which he provided significant technical contributions, and in BioMeld for which he is the Project Manager.

Email: lorenzo.vannozzi@santannapisa.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenzo-vannozzi-3361aa28/

The Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) at UWE is an academic unit that brings together the disciplines of Information Systems, Computing and Unconventional Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. UCL is amongst the most innovative and ground-breaking research centres in UWE, Bristol. It is based at the College of Arts, Technology and Environment. The College has a commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to both research and teaching. The College employs some 300 people, and funds a number of full-time research studentships. Its vision is to re-invent the future by: defining a new vision for education in computing, engineering and mathematical sciences; becoming a showcase for emerging technology; developing novel ways of using technology; demonstrating excellence in research linked to excellence in teaching and learning; enabling new models of partnership with industry and the community. The UCL is an interdisciplinary cooperation spanning theoretical and experimental studies of novel principles of information processing in physical, chemical and neuronal-based systems. Discovered principles are being applied to the design of experimental massively parallel unconventional computers which exploit the phenomena of non-linear dynamics. Also, members of the UCL focus on nature-inspired computation utilized for optimization techniques in theoretical level, as well as in real-life applications. The team’s role in the project is centred around the optimisation modules of the modeling and simulation framework of biohybrid machines, which will streamline the processes of design, quoting, manufacturing, verification, and reporting, thus significantly reducing error-prone manual steps. Evolutionary optimization methods will be used with a soft-body physics simulator to produce the best solution in a predefined parameter space for the morphologies and the behaviours of the biohybrid machines under realistic test scenarios. Also, given that actuators in biohybrid systems are very difficult to model accurately, because their dynamics involve nonlinear and non-smooth dissipation, the team will develop supervised Machine Learning approaches (i.e., deep neural networks) to obtain a better characterization of experimental results and enhanced control loops.

ANDREW ADAMATZKY

Andrew I. Adamatzky is currently a Professor in unconventional computing and the Director of the Unconventional Computing Laboratory, College of Arts, Technology and Environment, University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K. He does research in molecular computing, reaction-diffusion computing, collision-based computing, cellular automata, slime mold computing, massive parallel computation, applied mathematics, complexity, nature-inspired optimization, collective intelligence and robotics, bionics, computational psychology, non-linear science, novel hardware, and future and emergent computation. He has authored seven books, most notable are Reaction-Diffusion Computing, Dynamics of Crow Minds, and Physarum Machines, and has edited 22 books in computing, most notable are Collision Based Computing, Game of Life Cellular Automata, and Memristor Networks. He has also produced a series of influential artworks published in the atlas The Silence of Slime Mould.

Email: andrew.adamatzky@uwe.ac.uk
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-adamatzky-1b243a36/

LARRY BULL

Larry Bull received the B.Sc. degree (Hons.) in computing for real-time systems and the Ph.D. degree from the University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K., in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence with the College of Arts, Technology and Environment, University of the West of England. Prof. Bull has published widely on nature-inspired computation, including the monograph The Evolution of Complexity (Springer, 2020).

MICHAIL-ANTISTHENIS TSOMPANAS

Michail-Antisthenis Tsompanas received the Dipl. Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh), Xanthi, Greece, in 2009, 2011, and 2016, respectively. He is currently a Lecturer in Computer Science affiliated with the College of Arts, Technology and Environment, University of the West of England, Bristol. He has been a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) since 2009. His research interests include unconventional and bio-inspired computing, electronic systems design, and cellular automata theory and applications.

Email: antisthenis.tsompanas@uwe.ac.uk
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/antisthenis-tsompanas-467b4b41/

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC, https://ibecbarcelona.eu/) conducts interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of engineering and life sciences, generating new knowledge by putting together fields like nanomedicine, biophysics, biotechnology, tissue engineering and the applications of health information technology. Notably, IBEC was awarded in 2015 and 2019 with the prestigious “Severo Ochoa Excellence Award” by the Spanish Ministry, and its location in the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, https://www.pcb.ub.edu/en/) offers a highly stimulating biomedical environment where the institute can work closely with organizations from the public and private sector interested in the biomedical application of Nanotechnology. IBEC also has access to the powerful technological facilities of the CCiT UB and the PCB services. IBEC is a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST, https://bist.eu/), a scientific initiative of seven of Catalonia’s research centres of excellence whose objective is to increase their levels of collaboration in order to build together a joint scientific project. The strength of BIST is based on the research capacities of the individual institutes and their potential to promote multidisciplinary, cutting-edge projects. Two research groups from IBEC are involved in the BioMeld project: • Smart nano-bio-devices • Biomimetic systems for cell engineering

Smart nano-bio-devices (led by Prof Samuel Sánchez)

PROF. SAMUEL SÁNCHEZ

Prof. Samuel Sánchez (PhD in Chemistry, UAB, 2008), is ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona, since 1.1.2015. He also serves as Deputy Director for the Internationalization of IBEC where he is currently leading the “Smart Nano-Bio-Devices” group, working in the multidisciplinary field of nano-sciences with special interest in engineering life-like systems, from nanorobots to 3DBio-Printed Robots.

Email: ssanchez@ibecbarcelona.eu

DR VALERIO DI CARLO

Dr Valerio di Carlo, is a senior technician in the “Smart nano-bio-devices” group, with a PhD in “Pasteurian Science”. He has a bachelor degree in “Biology” and a master degree in “Molecular biology”.

Email: vdicarlo@ibecbarcelona.eu

JUDITH FUENTES

is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering in the “Smart nano-bio-devices” group, currently working on the development of 3D bioprinted muscle-based bioactuators for biomedical and robotic applications. She received the B.Sc. degree in Biotechnology from the IQS University in 2018, and the M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Edinburgh in 2019. Her research interests include tissue engineering, biohybrid robotics, 3D bioprinting and regenerative medicine.

Email: jfuentes@ibecbarcelona.eu
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/judith-fuentes-llanos-8333a911b/

MARINA ESQUERRÁ

is a Research Assistant in the “Smart nano-bio-devices” group. She holds a B.Sc. degree in Biotechnology from the University Rovira i Virgili. For the final degree project, she worked on the optimization of 3D cultures of human myoblasts. In 2022 she received the M.Sc. in Theoretical Basis and Assisted Reproduction Laboratory Procedure from the University of Valencia, focusing her research on human reproduction and embryology. Her currently research interests include bioengineering, biofabrication and medical devices.

Email: mesquerra@ibecbarcelona.eu
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marinaesquerr%C3%A0par%C3%A9s-biotecnologa/

“Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering” group (led by Dr Elena Martínez)

The Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering group, led by Dr. Elena Martínez, is focused on the development of artificial systems that mimic tissue complex cues (architecture, cell composition, ligand distribution, physical stimuli, etc.) for more biomimetic in vitro assays. Their research involves the development of novel biofabrication techniques which are suitable for soft hydrogels, the fabrication and application of mini-bioreactors that incorporate multiple signalling (mechanical, chemical and electrical), and the creation of in vitro intestinal mucosa models to study barrier function, stroma – epithelial crosstalk, and cancer.

DR ELENA MARTÍNEZ

Dr Elena Martínez (PhD in Physics, UB 2001) is Lecturer at the Biomedical Engineering and Electronics Department of the Physics Faculty at University of Barcelona and the leader of the Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering group at IBEC since 2013. She also serves as IBEC’s Talent and Education Deputy Director. Her research is mostly focused in the development of novel in vitro tissue models and all the associated technological tools.

Email: emartinez@ibecbarcelona.eu

DR JORDI COMELLES

Dr Jordi Comelles (PhD in Biomedicine, UB 2012) is Senior Researcher at the Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering group and Associate Lecturer at the Biomedical Engineering and Electronics Department of the Physics Faculty at University of Barcelona. His research is centered in development of novel microfabrication techniques which are suitable for soft hydrogels and their application to the study of cell migration and organization in in vitro tissue models.

Email: jcomelles@ibecbarcelona.eu

Smart Sensing S.r.l. is an SME born as university spin-off company of the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. It focuses on the study, characterisation, design and implementation of innovative processes, machines and systems in the manufacturing industry for the realisation of products from conceptualisation, to production, to recycling and re-utilisation, by employing advanced technologies and systems based on intelligent/smart methods and tools, also through the KETs of Industry 4.0, for the realization of the Smart Factories. The team members come from the University of Naples Federico II where they have developed their competences on advanced manufacturing technology and systems by implementing R&D projects with research partners and large, medium and small industries in the field of advanced production.

The team’s role in the project is focused on the realization of the demonstration bio-intelligent manufacturing cell (BIMC) for the production of bio-hybrid machines (BHM catheters). Based on the specifications concerning the BHM catheter design and fabrication, including materials, fabrication processes, geometrical and functional features, the necessary resources will be identified and optimally selected for the establishment of the BIMC as an integrated manufacturing cell merging AI with bio-inspired and/or bio-integrated manufacturing solutions, incorporating information channels, sensors and actuators systems.

PROF. ROBERTO TETI

Roberto Teti is CEO and one of the founders of the Smart Sensing S.r.l SME company established as academic spin-off of the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. His main research and development interests are focused on Technological innovation for the smart factories; Biological transformation in manufacturing; Advanced sensor applications for process monitoring; Innovative materials technology and inspection; Applications of AI and ML to manufacturing technology and systems. He authored over 350 publications, chaired several national and international conferences and is fellow of the main national and international scientific associations in the field of production engineering: International Academy for Production Engineering – CIRP, Italian Association for Manufacturing Technology – AITeM, etc. He is and has been responsible for national, European and international projects of applied and technological research as well as industrial contracts with enterprises of national and regional interest.

PROF. DORIANA D’ADDONA

Doriana D’Addona is one of the founders of the Smart Sensing Srl Academic Spin-Off SME company. Her main research and development interests are focused on Manufacturing processes and automation, development and implementation of AI techniques for maintenance, preventive diagnostics, and automated quality control; reconfigurable machines and systems for smart manufacturing; intelligent computation and machine learning for production machines and systems; cognitive paradigms for Industry 4.0. She has participated in a number of regional, national and European research and development contracts and is PI in two international projects. She is member of the main national and international scientific associations in the field of production engineering (International Academy for Production Engineering – CIRP; Italian Association for Manufacturing Technology – AITeM; IEEE and IEEE-IES), authored more than 150 publications and is member of numerous Int. Conf. Committees.

DR ALESSANDRA CAGGIANO

Alessandra Caggiano is one of the founders of the Smart Sensing Srl Academic Spin-Off SME company. Her main research and development interests are focused on advanced manufacturing technology and systems, smart sensor monitoring of manufacturing processes, machine learning, cloud manufacturing, cyber-physical systems and digital factory technologies. She has been involved as active researcher in several European Framework projects as well as national research contracts. She participated in several national and International Conferences and published papers in peer reviewed high impact journals and conference proceedings as well as book chapters in the field of Manufacturing Technology and Systems. She is member of the main national and international scientific associations in the field of production engineering: International Academy for Production Engineering – CIRP, Italian Association for Manufacturing Technology – AITeM.

DR TIZIANA SEGRETO

Tiziana Segreto is one of the founders of the Smart Sensing Srl Academic Spin-Off SME company. Her main research and development interests are focused on sensor monitoring of manufacturing processes, advanced materials testing and non-destructive evaluation, 3D metrology and reverse engineering. She is and has been member of international committees: Co-Chair of the CIRPe2014 Global Web Conference on Production Engineering Research; Member of the Organising and Scientific Committee of the CIRP ICME Conference Series; etc.). She is reviewer for high impact journals: J. of Engineering Manufacture, J. of Mechanical Engineering Science, Int. J. of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Int. J. of Expert Systems with Applications, J. of Applied Research & Technology. She has been Award Winner of the French-Italian Vinci Project and has taken part in a significant number national and international research projects.

The UniCA team members belong to the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Cagliari. The team has multi-year experience in the development of innovative solutions for electronics and bioelectronics that will be exploited in the BioMeld framework with the development of the feedback platform for the BHM catheter. The main research skills involved are the development of innovative sensors for physical and biochemical parameters and bi-directional interfaces between electronic modules and living tissues.

STEFANO LAI

is a Senior Assistant Professor in Bioelectronics at the University of Cagliari. He received magna cum laude the M. Sc. Degree in Electronic Engineering in 2010, and the PhD with highest honors in Electronics and Computer Science in 2014. His research topics mainly focus the development of physical and biochemical sensors in flexible electronic processes.

Email: stefano.lai@unica.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefanolai

PIERO COSSEDDU

is Associate Professor in Electronics at the University of Cagliari. He received the M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering in 2003, and the PhD in Electronics and Computer Science in 2007. His research topics mainly focus on the development of innovative flexible devices for wearable electronics and e-skin applications.

Email: piero.cosseddu@unica.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/piero-cosseddu-92143a10

MASSIMO BARBARO

is Associate Professor in Electronics at the University of Cagliari. He received the M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering in 1997, and the PhD in Electronics and Computer Science in 2001 at University of Cagliari. His research interests include the development of biosensors, implantable electronics, and innovative smart sensors for precision agriculture.

Email: barbaro@unica.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/massimo-barbaro-067b522/

GIULIA CASULA

is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Cagliari. She
obtained the M.Sc. Degree in Electronic Engineering in 2011, and the Ph.D. in Electronics and
Computer Science in 2015. Her research interests mainly focus on the development, fabrication, and
characterization of electronic devices on flexible substrates for different applications including bio-
chemical sensors, wearable electronics, and artificial skin.

Email: giulia.casula@unica.it
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/giulia-casula-b613b0a0/

FEDERICA DI PRIMA

is a Project Manager at the University of Cagliari. She has an extensive experience in administrative and project management roles, skilled in supporting scientific coordination, managing research projects, and ensuring adherence to administrative procedures. Her expertise also includes handling proposal writing, budget planning, organizing events and disseminating research results.

Email: federicadiprima@gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/federica-di-prima-10b744b9/



LANCE LEVERETTE

is Brussels-based expert with over 15 years’ experience in market analysis and strategy. He is an innovation and new product development specialist conducting market research and analysis as well as market strategy, business plans, commercial due diligence, and market reports for universities, start-ups, grant consortiums, and companies. Lance has a completed FET Innovation Launchpad project and has now started a Horizon project as the commercialization expert in the consortium. He serves as an expert coach for the European Commission with three successful coaching’s and is an approved service provider to the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) Fusion commercialization program with 10 successful commercial reports completed for clients. He has over eight commercial market publications on various markets including automotive, industrial, and medical and is published academically as well.

Before relocation to Brussels, Lance Leverette worked in strategic marketing and market analysis for a variety of leading developers of precision industrial and medical device products in the United States including AJ Oster (a division of Global Brass and Copper with sister company Olin Brass), Barnes Aerospace (an aerospace original equipment manufacturer), and Zeus Industrial Products (a developer of performance polymer products for medical device, aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications). At Zeus he worked with R&D to commercialize a fluoropolymer nanofiber as well as coordinate various projects for market development. Further, he also led in the development of the automotive and industrial manufacturing market segments for UPS (United Parcel Service- a Fortune 50 company) in Atlanta, Georgia, US and was an analyst with SupplierBusiness (now a division of Standard & Poors) in Stamford, England reporting on the purchasing strategies of automotive manufacturers. He holds a BA in International Affairs from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, US and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK.

Lance will be conducting the market research, analysis, and strategy tasks within the project.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lanceleverette/