Contactless Collectors Garner Praise at the Vatican

News, 02. 10. 2023
Representatives of the Scientific Committee for the Research of the Shroud of Turin have been learning about the possibilities of using non-contact microscopic material collectors. Developed in the laboratories of CTU UCEEB, these collectors could play a pivotal role in the study and preservation of one of Christianity's most significant relics, the authenticity of which remains a matter of debate.

The Nanomaterials and Biotechnology research team at CTU UCEEB, led by Professor Evžen Amler, has been at the forefront of developing non-contact microscopic material collectors. These are specifically designed for rough surfaces where the conventional wipe method is not sufficient. Their applications are diverse and include the collection of molecules and microscopic particles from textiles with longer fibres. This makes them particularly suitable for researchers studying the Shroud of Turin, as direct contact with the relic must be avoided to ensure its protection.

Our innovative combination of instrumental technology and specially designed nanofibre membranes promises to meet this requirement. During an online session, we presented the first prototype to the Vatican's Scientific Committee for the Study of the Shroud of Turin. The demonstration, which showed the non-contact detection of pollen grains embedded deep within textile material, was met with great appreciation. We are now in the process of compiling further documentation that will enable the committee to assess the potential of our system for further research into the Shroud of Turin and its conservation in a sterile environment.