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Contacts:
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Supervisor:
Prof. Fabio Di Francesco

Title of the PhD project:
Volatile Organic Compounds emitted from humans under emotional stimulation

Abstract of the PhD project:
As a social species, humans rely on social interaction for their group dynamics and survival. The studies on the subject focus mainly on visual and acoustic communication, neglecting the olfactive one. Recent research has demonstrated that human can perceive another’s fear and happiness also via olfactive stimuli, but to date there is a lack of knowledge about what are the chemosignals responsible for this probably underestimated communication.
During this project, there will be an attempt of identifying human chemosignals associated to happiness and fear. To this aim, samples of sweat collected through sorbent pads of several volunteers undergoing a controlled emotional stimulation will be characterized. In particular, the profile of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the fraction of semivolatile compounds will be investigated using a Thermal Desorption two-dimensional Gas Chromatography Quadrupole-Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer (TD-GCxGC-Q/TOF).
An olfactometric port at the end of the GC column will allow to identify the chemical species that induce a change in the emotional state of the receiving.

Publications:
• Tarita Biver, Sabrina Bianchi, Maria Rita Carosi, Alessio Ceccarini, Andrea Corti, Enrico Manco, Valter Castelvetro, “Selective determination of poly(styrene) and polyolefin microplastics in sandy beach sediments by gel permeation chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection”, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2018, 136, 269–275.

Oral communications at conferences:
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Poster communications at conferences:
• Enrico Manco, Tarita Biver, Valter Castelvetro, Andrea Corti, Alessio Ceccarini, Tommaso Lomonaco, “Poly(styrene) and polyolefin micro- and nanoplastics in sandy beach sediments: selective polymer quantification by GPC/fluorescence, and investigation on low MW environmental degradation by-products”, Chemistry meets Industry and Society, August 28th - 30th 2019, Salerno (Italy).
• E. Manco, J. La Nasa, T. Lomonaco, F. Modugno, A. Ceccarini, R. Fuoco, V. Castelvetro, A. Corti, “Characterisation of VOCs emitted by microplastics during degradation: a comparative study between dynamic headspace needle trap device coupled to gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry (DHS-NTD-GC-MS) and selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS)”. Chemistry For the Future 2019, July 3rd - 5th 2019, Pisa (Italy).

Other achievements:
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