Biophysics and Soft Matter (BSM)
Research in molecular Biophysics has a longstanding tradition in Parma, dating back to the 60's.The Italian Biophysical Society SIBPA (Società Italiana di Biofisica Pura ed Applicata) was founded in Parma in 1973. Nowadays, researchers active in this Department apply spectroscopic and computational methods to study structural and dynamical properties of biological macromolecules and their interactions with the environment.
The term “Soft Condensed Matter” dates back to the ‘90s when the Nobel Laureate Pierre Gilles de Gennes used it to name a large class of systems of practical importance, and not identifiable within any of the classical states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). Typical examples are plastics, rubber, hair, cosmetics, foods, chewing-gum, colloidal systems such as paints, toothpastes, foams and gels … Research in our Department employs a wide spectrum of experimental techniques, some of them only available at Large Scale Facilities, for structural and dynamical characterization (diffraction, spectroscopies, microscopies …) and focuses on food, nano-medicine, complex fluids and arrested systems.
Research in the field of neuromorphic systems in Parma was started in 2005 when an electronic analog of biological synapse was realized. Currently, the group consists of researches from CNR-IMEM (http://www.imem.cnr.it/) and Department of Mathematical, Physical and Computer Sciences and its activity is focused on the realization of deterministic and stochastic networks for bio-inspired information processing and interfacing these circuits with living systems.