Biomolecular Delivery

On the left: Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) characterization of PNIPAM magnetic nanobeads (inset: cartoon sketching the DOXO-loaded nanobeads); in the middle: TEM images of invagination of the KB cell membrane and formation of the endosome containing the PNIPAM–NBs after 24 h at 37 °C. On the right: Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy image (overlay of fluorescence and transmission) of halloysite clay nanotubes uptaken by cancer cellls and (inset) TEM image of halloysite clay nanotubes.

The major goal in designing nanosystems as drug delivery vectors is to control the release of pharmacologically active agents and to achieve the site-specific action of drugs at a therapeutically optimal rate and dosage regimen. Targeting of the nanocarrier at the action site and shielding of the surface to reduce adsorption of non-specific proteins are crucial aspects for augmenting the therapeutic efficacy. In this respect, studies about interactions between drugs and serum protein are of particular interest. The strategy of “drug delivery vectors” which is widely applied to the medical field can be translated to phyto-therapy with the aim of developing sustainable antimicrobial protection of plants. Beyond nanosystems, surfaces can be functionalized to release antimicrobial agents on demand.


Inorganic nano-carriers for targeted therapy

Among inorganic nanostructures, our research efforts have focused on the design of several types of multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs), such as magnetic or metallic nanoparticles and halloysite nanotubes loaded with anticancer drugs or used directly as therapeutic tools. Superparamagnetic NPs can be guided with a magnetic field to deliver attached drugs, in addition to hyperthermia treatment. In silver and silver-coated silica NPs, the metallic domain induces cell death upon laser irradiation and reactive oxygen species generation.

Plasmonic NPs are a class of metallic nanomaterials that mediate Localized Plasmon Resonance (LPR), resulting in highly enhanced electromagnetic fields (eg light) in their immediate neighbourhood. This can be exploited for triggering localised drug release or directly to kill diseased tissues via heat release, while sparing adjacent healthy tissues (Plasmonic PhotoThermal Therapy, PPTT). The possibility to deliver NPs to a tumor site and then exploit the efficient conversion of Near Infrared (NIR) light to heat opens up a new “drug-free” cancer therapy.

Another class of novel inorganic biocompatible nanomaterials for biomolecular delivery are Halloysite clay Nanotubes which are composed of double layered aluminosilicate minerals with a hollow tubular structure in the submicron range and are capable of entrapping and releasing drugs within the inner lumen.

NPs can deliver a variety of biomolecules; of particular relevance is the gene delivery process that allows the introduction of foreign DNA or RNA into host cells for therapy avoiding immune response in the patient. In this frame, we have combined NPs and a human whole genomic DNA exploiting the possibility to realize applications for Plasmonic Gene Therapy (PGT). The interaction between NPs and nucleic acids of different lengths have been studied by using analytical techniques such as Scanning Electron-Microscopy (SEM), Electrophoretic mobility assay and Zeta-potential measurements.

Stimuli-responsive organic carriers

(Left slide) Schematic illustration of pH-responsive nanogels exploited for the controlled uptake and release of hydrophobic and cationic solutes (Middle) Confocal laser scanning microscopy images of leukemic cells after 3 hours of incubation with DOX-PECs (red) and IM-CH-FITC PCL NPs (green). Cell nuclei were counterstained with DAPI (blue). Scale bars: 10 μm. (Right slide) Schematic illustration of couple delivery.

The next generation of nanomaterials for bio-engineered applications also employ stimuli-responsive organic carriers. These stimuli-responsive organic carriers experience structural variations in response to small changes of environmental conditions, thus triggering the release of the encapsulated/adsorbed drugs.

To date a variety of polymers sensitive to physical and biochemical stimuli, including light, pH, temperature, electric and magnetic fields, chemical analytes and biological components (i.e. protease) have been developed. Induced changes in a polymer chain’s conformation upon applying a certain stimulus lead to some consequences such as the increase/reduction of both pore size and permeability to analytes, as well as significant changes in volume and hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties. Nanoparticles sensitive to magnetic fields can be functionalized by lipids for different biomedical applications. Indeed, release systems based on stimuli-responsive polymers can be exploited to control molecular recognition, including capture, release and detection of biomolecules.

Drug-protein interactions

Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most abundant protein in the bloodstream, and constitutes up to 60% of the total serum proteins. One of its most extraordinary properties is the ability to bind reversibly a large variety of endogenous and exogenous ligands, such as hormones, fatty acids, and a great number of therapeutic drugs. In particular, it increases the solubility of hydrophobic drugs in plasma and modulates their delivery to cells. Consequently, binding to this protein controls the free, active concentration of a drug, provides a reservoir for a long duration of action, and strongly affects its absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. Many experimental and computational techniques can be applied to determine the binding site and binding constant for the interaction of drugs with HSA. In particular, fluorescence spectroscopy offers many advantages (high sensitivity, rapidity and ease of implementation) over conventional techniques such as affinity and size exclusion chromatography, dialysis and ultrafiltration. By measuring the quenching of the HSA intrinsic fluorescence, the accessibility of quenchers to the fluorophore groups of HSA can be estimated. This information can help to predict the binding mechanisms of drugs. Other experimental techniques (such as optical absorption and EPR spectroscopy), and computational methods (such as molecular docking and MD simulations) can be used to gain insights into the binding location and affinity of various compounds to HSA, and on their competitive association in the presence of other physiological ligands.

Examples of ligands for HSA (left side), structure of the protein (middle) and emission spectra at growing amount of HSA complexes (right).
Examples of ligands for HSA (left side), structure of the protein (middle) and emission spectra at growing amount of HSA complexes (right).

Delivery systems for sustainable antimicrobial protection of plants

The aim is the development of innovative phyto-therapy based on nano-carriers to efficiently reach the target and to amplify the agrochemical effect. A new Spray-drying synthesis was exploited to produce pure and thermodynamically stable nano-crystals with high quantitative rate. The synthetized nano-crystals have optimal drugs loading efficiency and biocompatible nature. The potential targeting in infected plants was supported by phytotoxic and localization assay on model plants. The nano-crystals showed good mobility in xylem vessels, without any effect on the plant tissues nor uptake by the vegetable cells. In particular this nanotechnology strategy was applied to control the Xylella Fastidiosa (Xf) infection that causes the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome, denoted CoDiRO, an high impact disease observed in Salento (research activities in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection). The phyto-therapy design is supported by the research and development of new diagnostic protocols based on untargeted metabolomics approach trough advanced mass spectrometry.

TEM image of CaCO3 nano-crystals obtained by Spray Dryer process (A). Confocal image of xylema vessels of model plant that was exposed to nano-crystals (B); the white arrows indicate the xylematic flux direction. TEM image of Xylella fastidiosa cells exposed to nano-crystals (C); the red arrow indicates the internalized crystal and the blue one shows the drastic alteration of bacteria wall structure.

Plasma deposition of drug delivery coatings

Plasma-based strategies can be used to produce drug delivery coatings in order to reduce bacteria attachment and proliferation and/or to stimulate specific cell-tissue responses. Due to the variety of devices, implants, materials in general, as well as causative bacteria and field of application, plasma-assisted strategies can be tailored to specific product needs. Composite coatings containing inorganic (metals and metal oxides) or organic (synthetic drugs and biomolecules) agents dispersed in an organic matrix can be deposited in one step, and used for drug delivery applications. When a barrier film is deposited on top of such coatings, the direct contact between the drug and the medium is hampered and the release is reduced. To control the rate of release over time, a further plasma deposition of a barrier film can be performed to slow down the diffusion of the antimicrobial agent in the water media. Low pressure and atmospheric pressure plasmas can be used for this purpose.

Plasma sputter deposition of silver containing drug-delivery coatings. Top: picture of a plasma discharge and sketch of the plasma process aimed at obtaining a silver containing coating coated by a barrier film to control drug delivery rate; middle: TEM  images of 1% and 3% of silver containing coatings; bottom: SEM picture of Staphylococcus epidermis grown on a plasma deposited coating without silver (bottom-left) and with silver and barrier coating (bottom-right)
Plasma sputter deposition of silver containing drug-delivery coatings. Top: picture of a plasma discharge and sketch of the plasma process aimed at obtaining a silver containing coating coated by a barrier film to control drug delivery rate; middle: TEM images of 1% and 3% of silver containing coatings; bottom: SEM picture of Staphylococcus epidermis grown on a plasma deposited coating without silver (bottom-left) and with silver and barrier coating (bottom-right)

Facilities & Labs

Bio Lab @ Lecce

Characterization Lab @ Lecce

Micro/nano fabrication @ Rende

Structural and morphological characterizations lab @ Rende

Bio Lab @ Rende

Bio Lab @ URT Bari




CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher



Associate Professor

Ilaria_PalamaIlaria E.


CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher



Associate Researcher



Associate Researcher



Associate Professor



CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher



CNR Technician



CNR Technician


De Luca

Associate Professor

francesca BaldassarreFrancesca


Associate PostDoc



Associate PostDoc



Associate Professor


De Sio

Associate PostDoc



CNR Researcher



Associate Professor



CNR PostDoc


La Deda

Associate Professor



Associate PostDoc



Associate Professor


  1. L. Ricciardi, S. Pirillo, D. Pucci, M. La Deda, Emission solvatochromic behavior of a pentacoordinated Zn(II) complex: A viable tool for studying the metallodrug-protein interaction, Journal of Luminescence, 151, 138-142, (2014), ISSN: 0022-2313; doi: 10.1016/j.jlumin.2014.02.020
  2. M. Mortato, S. Argentiere, G.L. De Gregorio, G. Gigli, L. Blasi, Enzyme-responsive multifunctional surfaces for controlled uptake/release of (bio)molecules, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 123, 89-95, (2014) ISSN: 0927-7765; doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.08.034
  3. I.E. Palamà, B. Cortese, S. D’Amone, G. Gigli, mRNA delivery using non-viral PCL nanoparticles, Biomaterials Science, 3, 144-151, (2015), ISSN: 2047-4830; doi: 10.1039/c4bm00242c
  4. I.E. Palamà, A.M.L. Coluccia, G. Gigli, Uptake of Imatinib-loaded polyelectrolyte nanocomplexes by BCR-ABL+ cells: a long-acting drug delivery strategy for targeting oncoprotein activity, Nanomedicine, 9 (14), 2087-2098, (2014), ISSN: 1743-5889; doi: 10.2217/NNM.13.147
  5. L. del Mercato, M. M. Ferraro, F. Baldassarre, S. Mancarella, V. Greco, R. Rinaldi, S. Leporatti, Biological Applications of LbL Multilayer Capsules: From Drug Delivery to Sensing, Advances Colloids and Interface Science, 207, 139–154, (2014), ISSN: 0001-8686; doi: 10.1016/j.cis.2014.02.014 (Invited Review, Special Issue Helmuth Mohwald)
  6. I.E. Palamà, B. Cortese, S. D’Amone, V. Arcadio, G. Gigli, Couple delivery of Imatinib Mesylate and Doxorubicin with nanoscaled polymeric vectors for a sustained downregulation of BCR-ABL in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, Biomaterials Science, 3, 361-372, (2015), ISSN: 2047-4830; doi: 10.1039/c4bm00289j
  7. A. Quarta, D. Bernareggi, F. Benigni, E. Luison, G. Nano, S. Nitti, C. Cesta, L. Di Ciccio, S. Canevari, T. Pellegrino, M. Figini, Targeting FR-expressing cells in ovarian cancer with Fab-functionalized nanoparticles: a full study to provide the proof of principle from in vitro to in vivo, Nanoscale, 7 (6) 2336-2351, (2015), ISSN: 2040-3364; doi: 10.1039/c4nr04426f
  8. C. Dionisi, N. A.N. Hanafy, C. Nobile, M. L. de Giorgi, R. Rinaldi, S. Casciaro, Y. M. Lvov, S. Leporatti, Halloysite Clay Nanotubes as Carriers for Curcumin: Characterization and Application, IEEE Transactions On Nanotechnology, 15, 720-724, (2016), ISSN: 1536125X; doi: 10.1109/TNANO.2016.2524072.
  9. S. Mancarella, V. Greco, F. Baldassarre, D. Vergara, M. Maffia, S. Leporatti, Polymer-coated Magnetic Nanopartocles for Curcumin Delivery to Cancer Cells, Biosci, 15 (10), 1365-1374, (2015), ISSN: 1616-5187; doi: 10.1002/mabi.201500142. (Awarded by Frontispiece Colour Issue)
  10. A. Zacheo, A. Quarta, A. Zizzari, A. G. Monteduro, G. Maruccio, V. Arima, G. Gigli, One step preparation of quantum dot-embedded lipid nanovesicles by a microfluidic device, RSC Advances, 5, 98576-98582, (2015), ISSN: 2046-2069; doi: 10.1039/c5ra18862h
  11. F. Palumbo, G. Camporeale, Y.W. Yang, J. S. Wu, E. Sardella, G. Dilecce, C. D. Calvano, L. Quintieri, L. Caputo, F. Baruzzi, P. Favia Direct deposition of Lysozyme embedded Bio-composite Thin films, Plasma Processes and Polymers 12-11, 1302-1310 (2015), ISSN: 1612-8869; doi: 10.1002/ppap.201500039
  12. L. De Sio, G. Caracciolo, F. Annesi, T. Placido, D. Pozzi, R. Comparelli, A. Pane, L. Curri, A. Agostiano, R. Bartolino, Plasmonics Meets Biology through Optics Nanomaterials, ISSN: 20794991; doi:10.3390/nano50x000x (2015)
  13. L. De Sio, G. Caracciolo, T. Placido, D. Pozzi, R. Comparelli, F. Annesi, M. L. Curri, A. Agostiano, R. Bartolino, Applications of nanomaterials in modern medicine, Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali ISSN: 20374631; doi: 10.1007/s12210-015-0400-y (2015).
  14. L. De Sio, F. Annesi, T. Placido, R. Comparelli, V. Bruno, A. Pane, G. Palermo, L. Curri, C. Umeton, R. Bartolino Templating gold nanorods with liquid crystalline DNA J. Optics 17, 025001 (2015), ISSN: 2040-8978; doi: 10.1088/2040-8978/17/2/025001
  15. B. Rizzuti, R. Bartucci, L. Sportelli, R. Guzzi, Fatty acid binding into the highest affinity site of human serum albumin observed in molecular dynamics simulation, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 579, 18-25 (2015), ISSN: 0003-9861; doi: 10.1016/
  16. M. Pantusa, R. Bartucci, B. Rizzuti, Stability of trans-resveratrol associated with transport proteins, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62, 4384-4391 (2014), ISSN: 0021-8561; doi: 10.1021/jf405584a
  17. E. Sardella, F. Palumbo, G. Camporeale, P. Favia, Non-Equilibrium Plasma Processing for the Preparation of Antibacterial Surfaces; Materials 9(7), 515 (2016) ISSN: 1996-1944; doi:10.3390/ma9070515.
  18. V. Vergaro, P. Papadia, S. Leporatti, S. De Pascali, F. P. Fanizzi, G. Ciccarella Synthesis of biocompatible polymeric nano-capsules based on calcium carbonate: A potential cisplatin delivery system. Journal Of Inorganic Biochemistry, 153, 284-292, (2015). ISSN: 0162-0134; DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2015.10.014.
  19. F. Baldassarre, F. Foglietta, V. Vergaro, N. Barbero, A. L. Capodilupo, L. Serpe, S. Visentin, A. Tepore, G. Ciccarella Photodynamic activity of thiophene-derived lysosome-specific dyes. Journal Of Photochemistry And Photobiology B-Biology, 158, 16-22, (2016) ISSN: 1011-1344; DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2016.02.013.

Other selected Publications

  1. S. Argentiere, L. Blasi, G. Morello, G. Gigli, A novel pH-responsive nanogel for the controlled uptake and release of hydrophobic and cationic solutes, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115, 16347-16353, (2011), ISSN: 1932-7447; doi: 10.1021/jp204954a
  2. S. Deka, A. Quarta, R. Di Corato, A. Riedinger, R. Cingolani, T. Pellegrino, Magnetic nanobeads decorated by thermo-responsive PNIPAM shell as medical platforms for the efficient delivery of doxorubicin to tumor cells, Nanoscale, 3 (2), 619-629 (2011), ISSN: 2040-3364; doi: 10.1039/c0nr00570c
  3. V. Vergaro, E. Abdullayev, Y.M. Lvov, A. Zeitoun, R. Cingolani, R. Rinaldi, S. Leporatti, Cytocompatibility and Uptake of Halloysite Clay Nanotubes, Biomacromolecules, 11, 820–826, (2010), ISSN: 1525-7797; doi: 10.1021/bm9014446 (One of Most Cited Papers in Biomacromolecules in 2011, Highly Cited Paper, according to Web of Science Thompson Reuters)
  4. S. Argentiere, L. Blasi, G. Ciccarella, A. Cazzato, G. Barbarella, R. Cingolani, G. Gigli, Smart surfaces for pH controlled cell staining, Soft Matter, 5, 4101-4103, (2009), ISSN: 1744-683X; doi: 10.1039/b914277k
  5. S. Deka, A. Quarta, R. Di Corato, A. Falqui, L. Manna, R. Cingolani, T. Pellegrino, Acidic pH-responsive nanogels as smart cargo systems for the simultaneous loading and release of short oligonucleotides and magnetic nanoparticles, Langmuir, 26 (12), 10315-10324, (2010), ISSN: 0743-7463; doi: 10.1021/la1004819
  6. I.E. Palamà, S. Leporatti, E. de Luca, N. Di Renzo, M. Maffia, C. Gambacorti-Passerini, R. Rinaldi, G. Gigli, R. Cingolani, A.M.L. Coluccia, Imatinib-Loaded Polyelectrolyte Microcapsules for Sustained Targeting of Bcr- Abl+ Leukemia Stem Cells, Nanomedicine Future Medicine Ltd, 5(3), 419-431 (2010), ISSN: 1743-5889; doi: 10.2217/NNM.10.8
  7. Vergaro, F. Scarlino, C. Bellomo, R. Rinaldi, D. Vergara, M. Maffia, F. Baldassarre, G. Giannelli X. Zhang, Y. M. Lvov and S. Leporatti, Drug-loaded polyelectrolyte microcapsules for sustained targeting of cancer cells, Advanced Drug Delivery Review, 63, 847-864, (2011), ISSN: 0169-409X; doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2011.05.007 (Invited Review)
  8. F. Baldassarre, V. Vergaro, F. Scarlino, F. De Santis, G. Lucarelli, A. della Torre, G. Ciccarella, R. Rinaldi, G. Giannelli, S. Leporatti, Polyelectrolyte Capsules as Carriers for Growth Factor Inhibitor Delivery to Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Macromol Biosci, 12, 656-665 (2012), ISSN: 1616-5187; doi: 10.1002/mabi.201100457
  9. V. Vergaro, Y.M. Lvov, S. Leporatti, Halloysite Clay Nanotubes for Resveratrol Delivery to Cancer Cells, Biosci., 12 (9), 1265-1271, (2012), ISSN: 1616-5187; doi: 10.1002/mabi.201200121
  10. M. Kastellorizios, G.P.A.K. Michanetzis, B. R. Pistillo, S. Mourtas, P. Klepetsanis, E. Sardella, R. d’Agostino, Y. F. Missirlis, S. G. Antimisiaris Haemocompatibility improvement of metallic surfaces by covalent immobilization of heparin-liposomes, Int. J. Pharm. 2012, 432-1, 91-98; doi: 10.4236/jbnb.2013.44A004


Cancer Therapy with Silver Nanoparticles. E. Palamà, M. Pollini, F. Paladini, G. Accorsi, A. Sannino and G. Gigli. US 4182.3000. 2013 and WO 3000. 2014.

Abstract: A novel approach in cancer therapy based on the cytotoxic effect of silver nanoparticles on cancer cells, without any deleterious effect on normal cells, has been developed.


Process for the production by plasma of nanometric thickness coatings allowing controlled release of silver ions of other elements, or of molecules of biomedical interest, from solid products, and products thus coated, R. D’agostino, P. Favia, F. Fracassi, E. Sardella, C. Costagliola, A. Mangone. Patent WO2013021409-A1: E. Sardella, P. Favia et al. WO2013021409 (2013)

Abstract: Process for the production by plasmochemical deposition of a film having a nanometric thickness, optionally multilayered, permitting carrying out in a controlled, uniform and long lasting way, release of substances of interest in a surrounding medium containing liquids, from a substrate including the substance to be released as micro/nano particles, or from a layer deposited on the substrate including the substance to be released as micro/nano particles, or from a layer of the substance to be released deposited on the substrate, or from a substrate that is the substance to be released optionally in the form of particles. The substances to be released can be metals, compounds having anti-bacterial properties, biologically active molecules such as drugs, hormones, vegetable extracts, peptides, lipids, protides and glucides. The layer with the substance to be released, be it organic or inorganic, is obtained by plasmochemical deposition optionally having a structure similar to polyethylene oxide (PEO) or polyethylene glycol (PEG), called PEO-like polymers, constituted, in a variable percentage da ethylene oxide units (-CH2CH2O-, EO); barrier film is obtained by depositing by plasma at least one organic or inorganic layer, optionally with a PEO-like structure, wherein chemical composition, degree of crosslinking and thickness are adjustable by the plasmo chemical deposition process parameters, and allow to adjust the release of the active substance according to specific needs. The structures on which the above said films can be deposited are: medical-surgical devices, common handworks, structures known as scaffolds, and the above defined substances to be released themselves. The invention also relates to medical-surgical devices, common handworks and scaffolds coated by a substrate and barrier layer, as well as to biologically active substances coated by at least one barrier layer.


Synthesis of nano-sized CaCO3 particles by spray dryer. Ciccarella, V. Vergaro. EP2796412 (A1) (2013).

Abstract: Method for preparing calcium carbonate comprising the steps of mixing an aqueous solution of NaHCO3 and an aqueous solution of CaCl2 , then atomizing them in a pre-heated air flow, thereby obtaining calcium carbonate in powder form and sodium chloride. The calcium carbonate obtained comprises nanoparticles smaller than 100 nm.


  1. NABIDIT – NAno-BIotecnologie per DIagnostica e sviluppo di Terapie innovative; Regional project APQ – Reti di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca (2010-2012)
  2. MAGNIFYCO – Magnetic nanocontainers for combined hyperthermia and controlled drug release; Project ID: 228622 – FP7-NMP (2009-2013)
  3. IT-LIVER – Strategy to Inhibit TGF-b In Liver Disease; FP7 ITN-Marie Curie (2012-2016).
  4. Nanocarriers for Cancer Therapy; Bilaterale Ministero Affari Esteri (2008-2011).
  5. MAAT – Nanotecnologie molecolari per la salute dell’uomo e dell’ambiente; Pon MIUR, PON02_00563_3316357 (2012-2015)
  6. LIPP – Laboratorio di ricerca Industriale Pugliese dei Plasmi; Regional project APQ – Reti di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca (2010-2012)
  7. RINOVATIS – Rigenerazione di tessuti nervosi ed osteocartilaginei mediante innovativi approcci di Tissue Engineering, PON MIUR PON02_00563_3448479, (2013-2015)

Latest News

Costituzione del nuovo Ispc-Cnr

IV incontro - nuovo Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale - CNR

Lecce, 20 aprile 2018

Aula Rita Levi Montalcini - ore 11:00

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne

Per comunicazioni inerenti il processo di riorganizzazione potete scrivere a:

Tutte le informazioni che riguardano gli incontri, compresi gli indirizzi dello streaming, li trovate sul sito

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Nanotechnology day '18

Nanotechnology day '18

Lecce, 18 aprile 2018

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne

Torna con un calendario denso di appuntamenti, tra seminari, mostre, dimostrazioni sperimentali, visite ai laboratori, torna  il tradizionale appuntamento con la “Settimana della cultura scientifica”, in programma all'Università del Salento dal 16 al 21 aprile 2018, nato dalle linee guida del progetto ministeriale “Piano Lauree Scientifiche”, al quale l’Ateneo salentino aderisce sin dalla fondazione nel 2003 per i Corsi di Laurea in Fisica e in Matematica.

Oltre millecinquecento studenti attesi dalle scuole superiori di Lecce, Brindisi e Taranto per partecipare agli incontri in programma che si terranno presso le sede del Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica “Ennio De Giorgi” e il CNR Nanotec.

L’obiettivo della “Settimana della cultura scientifica”, che si aprirà con una giornata interamente dedicata alle Nanotecnologie, è quello di avvicinare i giovani alla Scienza.

Programma completo dell'evento

Loretta del Mercato, si aggiudica l'ERC STARTING GRANT 2017

Loretta del Mercato, si aggiudica  l'ERC STARTING GRANT 2017

uno dei bandi più competitivi a livello europeo.

Lecce, 6 settembre 2017 

Lo European Research Council, che promuove la ricerca di eccellenza in Europa, nei giorni scorsi ha reso noti i nomi dei 406 vincitori della selezione ERC STARTING GRANT 2017, il bando tra i più competitivi a livello internazionale.

Su 3085 progetti presentati, 406 i progetti selezionati a cui sono stati destinati i 605 i milioni di euro di investimento. 48 le nazioni di provenienza dei ricercatori, soltanto 17 gli Italiani che condurranno le loro ricerche nel nostro paese, tra cui Loretta del Mercato, ricercatrice dell'Istituto di Nanotecnologia del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche di Lecce.

Un importante riconoscimento alla ricerca nel settore della medicina di precisione condotta presso il CNR NANOTEC, un indiscusso premio al talento della giovane ricercatrice che, a 38 anni e un contratto a tempo determinato, sarà a capo del progetto "Sensing cell-cell interaction heterogeneity in 3D tumor models: towards precision medicine – INTERCELLMED".

Il progetto, il cui obiettivo è affrontare uno dei problemi più spinosi della ricerca sul cancro, ovvero la difficoltà nel trasformare i risultati delle ricerche scientifiche in applicazioni cliniche per i pazienti e che vedrà coinvolto l'Istituto tumori "Giovanni Paolo II" di Bari, si propone di sviluppare nuovi modelli in vitro 3D di tumore del pancreas, alternativi ai modelli animali, ingegnerizzati con un set di sensori nanotecnologici che consentiranno di monitorare le interazioni delle cellule tumorali con il loro micorambiente, verificare l'appropriatezza delle terapie prima della somministrazione ai pazienti oncologici e quindi prevedere la risposta dei singoli pazienti ad una o più terapie antitumorali.

La realizzazione di queste piattaforme 3D multifunzionali consentirà di superare le evidenti differenze intercorrenti tra "modelli animali" ed esseri umani fornendo dati attendibili ed in tempi più rapidi rispetto ai dati ottenuti tramite lunghi e costosi procedimenti di sperimentazione sugli animali. Le tecnologie e i modelli sviluppati saranno estesi anche ad altre forme di tumori solidi nonché impiegati per studi nell'ambito della ingegneria tissutale e della medicina rigenerativa.

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