ASTROTECH Glial Engineering and Interfacing will provide a more complete understanding of brain health and disorders


The past four decades demonstrated that non-neuronal cells, called astrocytes are emerging as crucial players for brain function & dysfunction. A major obstacle of previous and current initiatives on Neurotechnologiesis a lack of focus on astrocytes and most of the tools used to probe and sense astrocytes are derived from those developed to study neurons. ASTROTECH will create and develop the field of Glial Engineering, to provide a consistent range of tools to record, study, and manipulate astrocytes in the healthy and diseased brain. ASTROTECH will train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) on research, training and complimentary skills aiming at: engineering biomaterials and nanostructured interfaces to provide in vivo-like in vitro models for controlled & reliable studies of astrocytes in vitro; fabrication and characterization of nanostructured devices for stimulation, recording and biosensing of astrocytes; optogenetics tools, optoelectronic device &photonic methods for precise and cell selective stimulation of astrocytes; computational approaches to describe and predict neuron-astrocytes interactions. The training on state-of-the-art biomaterials interfaces, electronic, photonic devices will be combined with in depth knowledge on optogenetics, neuroscience, glial physiology and biology and computational methods to validate the developed tools in vitro, ex vivo, in silico & in pathological models of glioma, ischemia, epilepsy and depression. The ASTROTECH network combines 11 beneficiaries and 14 partners belonging to 9 European and Non-EU countries Academia, Public Research Centers and industrial labs, that combines interdisciplinary, intersectoral and soft skills knowledges where the private sector is highly represented and covers every step “from benchside to bedside” of the value chain.

ASTROTECH will improve career perspectives  of the next generation of scientists.


look at the Supervisors and participant profile, get in touch with them

Valentina Benfenati
ASTROTECH - Coordinator

She is the Coordinator of ASTROTECH and the supervisor of ESR-CNR-ISOF.  

Luca Maiolo

He is Co-Coordinator of ASTROTECH and the supervisor of ESR-CNR-IMM.  

Roberta Chiodini ASTROTECH Project Manager

She is the Roberta Chiodini ASTROTECH Project Manager at CNR-ISOF.  

Roberto Zamboni
Senior Participant

He is Senior Participant of ASTROTECH 

Giulio Busulini ASTROTECH - Dissemination and Exploitation Board

He is head of ASTROTECH – Dissemination and Exploitation Board 

Ignazio La Rosa ASTROTECH - Dissemination and Exploitation Board

He is member of ASTROTECH – Dissemination and Exploitation Board 

Vincenzo Guarino

PI at CNR-IPCB and supervisor of ESR-CNR-IPCB  

Luigi Ambosio

Director of CNR-IPCB and Senior Participant in ASTROTECH

George Malliaras

Head of Bioelectronics Lab, University of Cambridge, Supervisor of ESR-UCAM

Miroslava Anděrová, PhD.

SRHead of Department of Cellular Neurophysiology, Czech Academy of Science, Supervisor of ERS-CZA IEM

Christophe Bernard

Aix-Marseille University, Research Director,  Supervisor of ESRs-AMU

Maurizio De Pittà

Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM)

Supervisor of ESR-BCAM

Ana Pego

INEB – Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica / i3S – Instituto de Inovação e Investigação em Saúde. Supervisor of ESR-INEB

Grazia Paola Nicchia

Professor of Physiology, UNIBA,

Supervisor of ESR-UNIBA

Maria Rosa Antognazza


Supervisor of ERS-IIT-CNST

Gertrudis Perea

Head of Neuron-glia networks lab,Cajal Institute, Madrid, Spain

Supervisor of ESR-CSIC

Julio Gomez


Supervisor of ESR-AVA

Marta Perez


Project Manager

Marcus S. Carstensen

CTO at OptoCeutics, PhD Project in Neurophotonic Technologies for Treatment & Diagnostics of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Jakob Hildebrandt Andersen

Head of Commercialization at OptoCeutics

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What ASTROTECH ESRs Have to Say

@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Faezeh".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Georgia".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Guido".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Georgia".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Aitakin".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Zynep".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Valeria".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Misaki".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Valeria".
@Meet ASTROTECH ESR "Davide".
@ meet ASTROTECH ESR "Nacho"
@meet ASTROTECH ESR Katerina