Rome, December 28 - The European Research Council (ERC) has granted three million euros to two hi-tech Italian research projects involving nanoparticles, officials said Monday. Project Icarus by Bari chemist Teresa Pellegrino, 40, aims to develop intelligent nano-crystals to carry medication to diseased tissues, without damaging healthy ones. Pellegrino is one of five Italian women researchers to win the funding that saw 291 projects selected out of 3,000 applicants. Project Modem by engineer Ferruccio Pisanello, aged 31, originally from Lecce, aims is to use fiber optics to carry light stimuli to nerve cells in a new, less intrusive techniques to study the brain. Both projects are to be carried out at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and will last four and five years, respectively.