ARCHA (project leader)

ARCHA has offered research and development services relating to environmental chemistry for 25 years. ARCHA carries out and coordinates several research project per year, on its own behalf and through external contracts. For this reason, ARCHA has acted as the leader of this project. It has coordinated the partnership both at the management level as well as, organising the necessary technical activities and the development.

 A brief indication of some of the company's details and skills are listed below, to better demonstrate its expertise: 

  • 1400 m2 of laboratories and offices
  • 30 employees and collaborators, 60% graduated in scientific disciplines
  • More than 100 projects over the span of10 years
  • 6 patents
  • More than 35 scientific papers published
  • More than 30 participation in conferences

In SENSOR, ARCHA is going to develop and validate the aforementioned chemical and microbiological sensors, therefore the following departments have been involved:

  • Chemical and biological Analytical department: ARCHA laboratories are at forefront of analytical technology, with new and sophisticated equipment to accomodate a range of analytical needs, whether they be: chemical, microbiological and physical, in different sectors like environment, atmospheric emissions, sewage, drinking water, waste.
  • Research department: it has been recognised by MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) as a “Highly Qualified Laboratory” and has been registered in the MIUR list of Research Laboratory. ARCHA has coordinated and carried out several applied research projects, commissioned by institutions, small, medium and large companies, with the aim of giving solutions which better take into account technical and management complexities.
  • ICT department: specialists in the use of multivariate statistical analysis for:
    • Design of experiments (DOE) by software like Design Expert and JMP;
    • Data management by software like Google Refine, Pentaho, and data elaboration and mining by WEKA.
    • treatment and elaboration of experimental data, aimed for example at the analysis, control of systems and processes and at their modelling, for predictive and optimization purposes. For these activities, It can use unsupervised multivariate statistical analysis like Principal Components Analysis, no- linear Multi Dimensional Analysis, Multi Factor Analysis, and supervised like Partial Least Square regression or PLS-Discriminant Analysis (used software MatLab).

In SENSOR, ARCHA has been the project scientific coordinator, in particular it has developed the chemical functionalization for SAW and photonic sensors, giving them the capability to be selective with respect to specific microrganisms. ARCHA has collaborated in order to innovative autoclave realization for saturated steam sterilization for biomedical application, and it has synthetized the functional molecule of the SAW sensor for the validation of sterilization cycles. Finally, it has participated in the ACQUE sampling campaign, contributing to the statistical elaboration of the collected data. 


SMI Medical

SMI MEDICAL works in the field of Infection Control, designing equipment and systems for washing, disinfection and sterilization. It is a “technology center” based on technological development and scientific research.

The R&D activities are performed by a specialists Teams for infection control on an international level, who are also inventors. SMI MEDICAL ‘s aim is to reach the ideal solution or at least as close to full satisfaction as possible, focusing on eco- design in order to preserve the environment during the equipment life cycle, with significant and quantifiable goals.

In SENSOR, SMI Medical has worked towards the creation and realization of an innovative autoclave for saturated steam sterilization for biomedical application. It is equipped with online and real-time systems for monitoring the efficient and effective performance of the sterilization cycle and has collaborated in the hopes of the creation of new sensor for the validation of sterilization cycles.


Linari Engineering

Linari Engineering was established in 2003, focusing on the design and subsequent creation of equipment for the characterization and creation of thermohydraulic systems in the field of  high-energy physics (INFN e CERN). From the initial collaboration with University of Pisa, Linari Engigneering started to produce the first biomedical equipment and system for electrospinning in 2008. The company has got all the technical skills to project and realize advanced mechatronic devices, such as electrospinning systems, of both static and dynamic types with roto-translating collectors, bioreactors for dynamic cellular culture in vitro and finally tele-rehabilitation equipment. The company has a wealth of experience in industrial automation and processes, as is evident by certifications awarded  by international bodies: SCADA Progea system and Arc Informatique, PLC and Omron Electronics servomotors and Alleantia telecontrol system by web.

In SENSOR, Linari Engineering  has collaborated aiming at the realization of electrospun sensors for the detection of chemical contaminants.



Pontlab is an analytical, test and measurements laboratory, that offers services to different kinds of companies (chemical, mechanic, automotive, textile, tannery, pharmaceutical, biologic, etc...). Pontlab is accredited with ISO/IEC 17025 (accreditation number 1286) by Accredia, in addition to the accreditation ISO 9001 by DNV. The laboratory equipment is comprehensive and modern: including equipment which facilitates chemical analysis, chemical/ physical characterization of materials, mechanical and functional tests and environmental tests.

In SENSOR, Pontlab has designed and realized the bioaerosilzation chamber.


INSTM – National Interuniversity Consortium for Materials Science and Technology

INSTM is a Consortium composed of 49 Italian Universities, in which research activity relating to advanced materials and relative technologies, is conducted. The number of involved individuals is over 2000 composed of professors, university researchers, research fellows and fellowship holders, PHD students, and still growing.

INSTM promotes research activities in Material Science and Technology done by the consortium of universities, giving them management, technical and financial support.

INSTM provides the appropriate management, technical and financial support to promote research activities in Material Science and Technology in the consortium universities, and efficently coordinates a “critical mass” of skills which enable handling of high levels of competition. Innovative research projects support the needs of Italian businesses and help  to develop technology transfer, offering significant and effective opportunities for interaction between the academia and industry.

In SENSOR, INSTM has designed and realized the nanostructured sensor by electrospinning.


Nanosciences Institute - CNR

The Nanosciences Institute is characterized by two centers, NEST-Pisa and S3-Modena. The research activities are:

  • Synthesis and fabrication of nanostructures and nanodevices
  • Experimental and theoretical-computational study of their properties, functionalities and their interfaces
  • Their integration in functional complex systems

The acquired knowledge is used to further develop multidisciplinary applications in different areas, in particular in energy, in nano(bio)technology and nano-medicine.

In SENSOR, CNR-nano has designed and realized the functionalized nano balance (SAW sensor).


TECIP Institute - Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

TECIP was born in Pisa in 2001 as a Center of Excellence for the Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research. The Institute's soul is the research and the training linked to communication, Information and perception technologies. Their principle research areas are:

  • The optical communication networks utilising photonic technologies, also applicable in the fields of sensors and biophotonics
  • The IT and telematics applications of real-time embedded systems and sensor networks for the Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Virtual environments and robotic interface systems for the study of man-machine interaction and human perception;
  • The scientific and technological research has an interdisciplinary nature and is conducted in Laboratories equipped with pioneering equipment and technologies.

The recent Quality Assessment of Research (VQR), conducted by the National Agency ANVUR, has seen the TeCIP Institute place 1st in the national ranking for Industrial Engineering and Information, among all Italian university departments of medium size.

In SENSOR, TECIP has desigend and realized the photon refractive index sensor.


Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery - UNIPI

The Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery was born from the aggregation of teaching and technical staff previously belonging to various Departments of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. This has promoted multidisciplinary and translational activities in the biomedical field through the valorization of synergies between basic research and applied clinical research. The research activity of the Department is focused towards the study of morphological aspects, causes (genetic, environmental and social factors) and mechanisms related to the physiological processes of the human body or to their alteration in disease conditions. The research activity of the Department is therefore dedicated to the development of knowledge of the factors that affect human health. The aim is to make optimum use of diagnostic and therapeutic (both medical and surgical) tools and technologies and to develop innovative technologies in these fields.

In SENSOR, UNIPI has taken care of the definition of the pathogens to be monitored, the preparation of the samples for analysis, and the identification of the markers to be used in the sensors.


Biophysics Institute – CNR

The mission of the Biophysics Institute is the quantitative study of the mechanisms related to the functioning of biological systems through biophysical techniques and multidisciplinary methods (physics, physiology, mathematics, molecular biology, chemistry, structural biology, informatics, biochemistry)

The Biophysics Institute (IBF) of the National Research Council (CNR) is the result of the fusion of five CNR bodies interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms in living systems, after the reorganization of the CNR in 2002. The main branch of the Institute, originally established in Pisa, was moved to Genoa in April 2003.

In SENSOR, IBF has worked on the design and construction of the fluorescence sensor.


CNIT – The National Laboratory of Photonic Networks and Technologies

The National Laboratory of Photonic Networks and Technologies (PNTLab) of CNIT is the laboratory of reference in Italy for the transfer of research and innovation of photonics applied to information and communication technology and sensors.

With over 30 employees including researchers and technicians and 50 university professors and researchers affiliated, mainly of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, PNTLab is the largest structured group operating in the field of photonic networks and technologies at the national academic level. The PNTLab is equipped with a fully equipped laboratory for experimental activities in the field of photonics and integrated photonics. Moreover, thanks to a collaboration with the technological platform present in INPHOTEC for the realization of optoelectronic photonic components and sensors, PNTLab carries out design activities and development of techniques and packaging processes for integrated optical circuits.

In SENSOR, the PNTLab has been responsible for packaging, and the realization of prototypies, for integrated photon sensors. These prototypes contain the photonic chip designed by the partner Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, a microfluidic cell designed ad hoc, mounted on a special card and with all the electrical and optical connections needed to query the sensor.


Acque Spa

The project has been sponsored by Acque S.p.A.

In a letter of endorsement it announced its willingness to collaborate in the project by giving  SENSOR partners access to the Acque S.p.A. plants for sampling campaigns.