Hypatia project is organized in several tasks, which are defined to accomplish the project goals by considering the different expertise of the involved partners. Tasks are grouped in four main workpackages (WP), organized according to a rational interconnection of different activities, their proper timing and sequence. WPs main actions deal with the synthesis of nanoapatites, their physico-chemical characterization through forefront techniques, the scaling-up and testing on wheat plants, the dissemination of project activities and the exploitation of the outcomes.

WP1: Synthesis and physico-chemical characterization of Engineered nanoApatites

This workpackage deals with the tasks of preparing N-doped Engineered nAp (E-nAp) and of their full characterization by conventional laboratory instrumental methods.

Expected Output

  • E-nAp with tailored size and shape, doped with NO3and NH4+ ions
  • E-nAp surface-functionalized with urea
  • In vitro NPK release kinetics

WP2: Structural, size and morphological characterization of Engineered Nanoapatites by Wide Angle X-ray Total Scattering and Light Scattering

All batches prepared in WP1 will be subjected to a thorough physicochemical characterization, based on unconventional Wide Angle X-ray Total Scattering (WAXTS), Static and Dynamic Light Scattering (SLS/DLS) techniques and Multi Wavelength Turbidimetry MWT). Therefore this workpackage is divided into two main tasks:

  • Synchrotron Experiments and Structural, Size and Morphological Characterization of E-nAp by WAXTS
  • Size and Morphological Characterization of E-nAp by SLS/DLS/MWT

Synchrotron X-ray scattering data will be acquired at the MS-X04SA beamline at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) and WAXTS data analysis will be performed through the Debye Scattering Equation (DSE) approach. All the computational models will be developed within the Debussy Suite of programs (debussy.sourceforge.net).

Light scattering with laser sources, in the complementary static and dynamic approaches, will be used to study the stability of nanoapatites suspension, in terms of agglomeration, dissolution and sensitivity to temperature, pH or salinity changes.

Expected output

  • WAXTS and Light Scattering data collection and data reduction protocols for E-nAp
  • WAXTS-DSE modelling of E-nAp in terms of structure, size, shape and distribution
  • LS inversion algorithms for aggregates of E-nAp, in terms of size and distribution.

WP3: Growth chamber and greenhouse tests

This workpackage deals with three main tasks involving agricultural, analytical and chemical-engineering activities:

  • Lab scale-up synthesis of E-nAp
  • Growth chamber and greenhouse tests
  • Measure of physiological parameters

Expected output

  • Advances in scaling up the E-nAp preparation process
  • Report on the physiological and health state of the plants

WP4: Management, dissemination, training and knowledge transfer

Main Tasks

  • Project management
  • Dissemination, outreach, public engagement
  • Training, knowledge transfer, exploitation

All the people involved in the project will contribute to the spreading of scientific results through the participation to workshops, conferences and outreach activities. Care will be taken to make sure that the young researchers of the team will take full advantage from these activities.

A dissemination plan has been prepared and provides a detailed guideline for all the dissemination activities. The goal is achieving the most efficient spreading of the main project outcomes among the stakeholders, interested parties, scientific community and general public.

Expected output

  • Project website
  • Publications
  • Conference days
  • Exploitation plan