CeleBra – CELl Engineering BiomateRiAls

1. Development of biocompatible substrates, through soft lithography techniques, with different gradient stiffness’s and different surface coating for the control of cell motility and adhesion of cancer cells (i.e. glioblastoma)/ healthy cells and bioactive scaffolds to promote cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation and with particular emphasis on potential applications of such materials in tissue engineering and medicine regenerative.
2. Synthesis of new smart biomaterials, by uptake in living cells of small fluorescent molecules (in collaboration with Dr. G. Barbarella, CNR-ISOF Bologna).
3. Development of new organic/inorganic delivery system for controlled release of active agents, such as drugs and gene.

People Involved



CNR Researcher

Group Coordinator

Ilaria Elena


CNR Researcher



 CNR Technician

Facilities & Labs

S.Li.M. Lab @Roma

BioLab @Lecce

Characterization Lab @ Lecce

Nanofab Lab @ Lecce

Research Lines


  1. Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Arcadio V, Biasiucci M, Mezzi A, Cortese B. Cell mechanotatic and cytoxic response to Zinc oxide nanorods depends on substrate stiffness. Toxicology Research, 2016, 5, 1699-1710, ISSN: 2045-4538, doi:10.1039/C6TX00274A
  2. Di Maria F, Zangoli M, Palamà IE, Fabiano E, Zanelli A, Monari M, Perinot A, Caironi M, Maiorano V, Maggiore A, Pugliese M, Salatelli E, Gigli G, Viola I, Barbarella G. Improving the property-function tuning range of thiophene materials via facile synthesis of oligo/polythiophene-S-oxides and mixed -S-oxides/-S,S-dioxides. Advanced Functional Materials, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ adfm.201600992.
  3. Toro RG, Caschera D, Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Biasiucci M, Federici F, Gigli G, Cortese B. Unconventional patterning by Solvent-Assisted Surface-tension-driven Lithography. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2015, vol. 446; p. 44-52, ISSN: 0021-9797, doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2015.01.015
  4. Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Arcadio V, Caschera D, Toro RG, Gigli G, Cortese B. Underwater Wenzel and Cassie Oleophobic behaviour. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2015, vol. 3; p. 3854-3861, ISSN: 2050-7496, doi: 1039/C4TA06787H
  5. Caschera D, Toro RG, Federici F, Riccucci C, Ingo GM, Gigli G, Cortese B. Flame retardant properties of plasma pretreated/Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated cotton fabrics. CELLULOSE, 2015, vol. 22; p. 2797-2809, ISSN: 0969-0239, doi: 10.1007/s10570-015-0661-8
  6. Cortese B., D’Amone S, Gigli G, Palamà IE. Sustained anti BCR-ABL activity with pH responsive Imatinib Mesylate loaded PCL nanoparticles in CML cells. Medchemcomm, 2015. vol. 6; p. 212-221, ISSN: 2040-2503, doi: 10.1039/C4MD00348A
  7. Palamà IE, Cortese B., D’Amone S, Arcadio V, Gigli G. Couple delivery of Imatinib Mesylate and Doxorubicin with nanoscaled polymeric vectors for a sustained downregulation of BCR-ABL in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Biomaterials Science, 2015. vol. 3; p. 361-372, ISSN: 2047-4830, doi: DOI: 10.1039/C4BM00289J
  8. Palamà IE, Cortese B, D’Amone S, Gigli G. mRNA delivery using non-viral PCL nanoparticles. Biomaterials Science, 2015, vol. 3; p. 144-151, ISSN: 2047-4830, doi: 10.1039/C4BM00242C
  9. Palamà IE, Cortese B, D’Amone S, Gigli G. Gene therapy with non-viral PCL nanoparticles. Therapeutic Delivery, 2015, vol. 6; p. 769-771, ISSN: 2041-5990, doi: 10.4155/TDE.15.41
  10. Pagani F, Paolicelli RC, Murana E, Cortese B, Di Angelantonio S, Zurolo E, Guiducci E, Ferreira TA, Garofalo S, Catalano M, D’Alessandro G, Porzia A, Peruzzi G, Mainiero F, Limatola C, Gross CT, Ragozzino D. Defective microglial development in the hippocampus of CX3CR1 deficient mice. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2015, vol. 9; p. 111-, ISSN: 1662-5102, doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00111
  11. Palamà IE, Arcadio V, Cortese B, D’Amone S, Gigli G. Dexamethasone delivery with coated calcium carbonate microcubes for sustained growth of osteoblasts. Rendiconti Lincei, Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, 2015, vol. 26; p. 239-244, ISSN: 2037-4631, doi: 10.1007/s12210-015-0430-5
  12. Palamà IE, Di Maria F, D’Amone S, Barbarella G, Gigli G. Biocompatible and biodegradable fluorescent microfibers physiologically secreted by live cells upon spontaneous uptake of thiophene fluorophore. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2015, 3 (1), 151- 158.
  13. Cortese B, Caschera D, Federici F, Ingo GM, Gigli G. Superhydrophobic Fabrics For Oil/Water Separation through a diamond like carbon (DLC) Coating. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2014, vol. 2; p. 6781-6789, ISSN: 2050-7496, doi: 10.1039/C4TA00450G
  14. Cortese B., Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Gigli G. Influence of electrotaxis on cell behaviour. Integrative Biology, 2014, vol. 6; p. 817-830, ISSN: 1757-9708, doi: 10.1039/C4IB00142G
  15. Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Biasiucci M, Gigli G, Cortese B. Bioinspired Design of a Photoresponsive Superhydrophobic/oleophilic surface with Underwater Superoleophobic Efficacy. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2014, vol. 2; p. 17666-17675, ISSN: 2050-7496, doi: 10.1039/C4TA04068F
  16. Caschera D, Mezzi A, Cerri L, De Caro T, Riccucci C, Ingo GM, Padeletti G, Biasiucci M, Gigli G, Cortese B. Effects of Plasma treatments for improving extreme wettability behaviour of cotton fabrics. Cellulose, 2014, vol. 21; p. 741-756, ISSN: 0969-0239, doi: 10.1007/s10570-013-0123-0
  17. Di Maria F, Palamà IE, Baroncini M, Barbieri A, Bizzarri R, Gigli G, Barbarella G. Live Cell Cytoplasm Staining and Selective Labeling of Intracellular Proteins by Non-toxic Cell-permeant Thiophene Fluorophores. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2014, 12: 1603-1610.
  18. Scalera F, Gervaso F, Sanosh KP, Palamà IE, Dimida S, Sannino A. Development of a novel hybrid porous scaffold for bone tissue engineering: forsterite nanopowder reinforced chitosan. Key Engineering Materials, 2014, 587: 249-254.
  19. Palamà IE, Coluccia AML, Gigli G. Uptake of Imatinib-loaded polyelectrolyte nanocomplexes by BCR-ABL+ cells: a long-acting drug delivery strategy for targeting oncoprotein activity. Nanomedicine (London), 2014, 9 (14): 2087-2098.
  20. Caschera D, Cortese B, Mezzi A, Brucale M, Ingo G M, Gigli G, Padeletti G. Ultra hydrophobic/superhydrophilic modified cotton textiles through functionalized Diamond-Like Carbon coatings for self-cleaning applications. Langmuir, 2013 vol. 29; p. 2775-2783, ISSN: 0743-7463, doi: 10.1021/la305032k
  21. Faraldi F, Cilingirogl, A, Angelini E, Riccucci C, De Caro T, Batmaz A, Mezzi A, Caschera D, Cortese B. Micro-chemical and micro-structural investigation of archaeological bronze weapons from the Ayanis fortress (lake Van, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey). Applied Physics A, Materials Science & Processing, 2013. vol. 113; p. 911-921, ISSN: 0947-8396
  22. Cortese B, Riehle M, D’Amone S, Gigli G. Influence of Variable Substrate geometry on Wettability and Cellular Responses. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2013, vol. 394; p. 582-589, ISSN: 0021-9797, doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2012.11.051.
  23. Cortese B, Caschera D, De Caro T, Ingo GM. Micro-chemical and -morphological features of heat treated plasma sprayed Zirconia-based Thermal Barrier Coatings. 2013, Thin Solid Films, vol. 549; p. 321-329, ISSN: 0040-6090
  24. Cortese B, Caschera D, Padeletti G, Ingo G M, Gigli G. A brief review of surface functionalized cotton fabrics. Surface Innovations, 2013, vol. 1; p. 140-156, ISSN: 2050-6252, doi: 10.1680/si.13.00008
  25. Viola I, Palamà IE, Coluccia AML, Biasiucci M, Dozza B, Lucarelli E, Bettini C, Barbarella G, Gigli G. Physiological formation of fluorescent and conductive protein microfibers in live fibroblasts upon spontaneous uptake of biocompatible fluorophores. Integrative Biology, 2013, 5, 1057- 1066
  26. Palamà IE, D’Amone S, Coluccia AML, Gigli G. Micropatterned polyelectrolyte multilayer films promote alignment and myogenic differentiation of C2C12 cells in standard growth medium. Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 2013, 110 (2), 586-596.
  27. Viola I, Zacheo A, Arima V, Aricò AS, Cortese B, Manca M, Zocco A, Taurino A, Rinaldi R, Gigli G The influence of polydimethylsiloxane curing ratio on capillary pressure in microfluidic devices. Applied Surface Science, 2012, vol. 258; p. 8032-8039, ISSN: 0169-4332
  28. Cortese B, Morgan H. Controlling the Wettability of Hierarchically Structured Thermoplastics. Langmuir, 2012, vol. 28; p. 896-904, ISSN: 0743-7463, doi: 10.1021/la203741b
  29. Palamà I.E., Coluccia A.M.L., Gigli G. and Riehle M. Modulation of alignment and differentiation of skeletal myoblasts by biomimetic materials. Integrative Biology, 2012, 4, 1299-1309.
  30. Reddiconto G., Toto C., Palamà I.E., De Leo S., De Luca E, De Matteis S., Dini L., Sanapo F., Gambacorti Passerini C., Di Renzo N., Maffia M., Coluccia A.M.L. Targeting of GSK3beta promotes imatinib-mediated apoptosis in quiescent CD34+ chronic myeloid leukemia progenitors preserving normal stem cells., Blood, 2012, 119 (10), 2335-2345.
  31. Palamà I.E., D’Amone S., Coluccia A.M.L., Biasiucci M. and Gigli G. Cell self-patterning on uniform PDMS-surface with controlled mechanical cues. Integrative Biology, 2012, 4, 228-236 (Highlight: the paper is the 5th position of the “top ten most accessed articles” of Integrative Biology web site in the month of December 2011, http://blogs.rsc.org/ib/page/13/).
  32. Cortese B., Mowlem M. C., Morgan H. Characterisation of an Irreversible Bonding Process for COC-COC and COC-PDMS-COC Sandwich Structures and Application to Microvalves. Sensors And Actuators B, Chemicals, 2011, vol. 160; p. 1473-1480, ISSN: 0925-4005, doi: 10.1016/j.snb.2011.07.040
  33. Ogilvie R G, Sieben V J, Cortese B., Mowlem M C, Morgan H.. Chemically resistant microfluidic valves from Viton® membranes bonded to COC and PMMA. Lab on a Chip, 2011, vol. 11; p. 2455-2459, ISSN: 1473-0189, doi: 10.1039/C1LC20069K
  34. Palamà I.E., Di Maria F., Viola I., Fabiano E., Gigli G., Bettini C. and Barbarella G. Live-cell-permeant thiophene fluorophores and cell-mediated formation of fluorescent fibrils.. Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), 2011, 133, 17777–17785.
  35. Palamà I.E, Musarò M., Coluccia A.M.L., D’Amone S. and Gigli G. Cell uptake and validation of novel PECs for biomedical applications.. Journal of Drug Delivery, 2011, 1-7.
  36. Athanassiou A, Cingolani R, Caputo G, Cortese B., Gigli G, Nobile C, P Cozzoli D. Reversible wettability of hybrid organic/inorganic surfaces of systems upon light irradiation/storage cycles. International Journal of Nanomanufacturing, 2010, vol. 6; p. 312-323, ISSN: 1746-9392, doi: 10.1504/IJNM.2010.034793
  37. Coluccia A.M.L., De Leo S., De Luca E., Reddiconto G., Palamà I.E., Redaelli S., De Matteis S., Gambacorti-Passarini C., Dini L. and Maffia M. Deregulated Activity and Localization of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta In Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Progenitors: Role In Leukemia Maintenance and Targeted Therapy.. Blood, 2010, 21, 521.
  38. Palamà I.E., Leporatti S., De Luca E., Gambacorti-Passerini C., Di Renzo N., Maffia M., Rinaldi R., Gigli G., Cingolani R. and Coluccia A.M.L. Imatinib-Loaded polyelectrolyte microcapsules for sustained targeting of BCR-ABL+ leukemia stem cells.. Nanomedicine, 2010, 5 (3), 419-431.
  39. Palamà I.E., Coluccia A.M.L., Della Torre A., Vergaro V., Perrone E., Cingolani R., Rinaldi R. and Leporatti S. Multilayered Polyelectrolyte Capsules and Coated Colloids: Cytotoxicity and Uptake by Cancer Cells. Science of Advanced Materials, 2010, 2, 1-9.
  40. Blasi L., Argentiere S., Morello G., Palamà I.E., Barbarella G., Cingolani R, Gigli G. Uptake and distribution of labeled antibodies into pH-sensitive microgels. Acta Biomaterials, 2010, 6, 2148-2156
  41. Cortese B., Gigli G, Riehle M. Mechanical Gradient Cues for Guided Cell Motility and Control of Cell Behaviour on uniform substrates. Advanced Funcional Materials, (2009), vol. 19; p. 2961-2968, ISSN: 1616-301X, doi: 10.1002/adfm.200900918
  42. Cortese B., Piliego C, Viola I, D’Amone S, Cingolani R, Gigli G. Engineering transfer of micro and nanometer scale features by surface energy modification. Langmiur, 2009. vol. 25; p. 7025-7031, ISSN: 0743-7463, doi: 10.1021/la900248j
  43. Caputo G, Cortese B., Nobile C, Salerno M, Cingolani R, Gigli G, Cozzoli PD, Athanassiou. A Reversibly Light-Switchable Wettability of Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Surfaces With Dual Micro-/Nanoscale Roughness. Advanced Functional Materials, 2009. vol. 19; p. 1149-1157, ISSN: 1616-301X, doi: 10.1002/adfm.200800909
  44. Cortese B., Gigli G, Riehle M. Mechanical guidance cues for control of cell motility and determination of traction forces. Biomaterialien, 2009, vol. 10, ISSN: 1616-0177
  45. Cortese B., Riehle M, D’Amone S, Gigli G. Advances in micro-fabrication: from 2D to 3D PDMS scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. European Cells & Materials, 2009, vol. 18; p. 55-, ISSN: 1473-2262
  46. Cortese B., D’Amone S, Manca M, Viola I, Cingolani R, G. Gigli. Superhydrophobicity due to the hierarchical scale roughness of PDMS surfaces. Langmuir, 2008, vol. 24; p. 2712-2718, ISSN: 0743-7463, doi: 10.1021/la702764x
  47. Manca M, Cortese B., Viola I, Arico AS, Cingolani R, G. Gigli. Influence of chemistry and topology effects on superhydrophobic CF4-plasma-treated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). Langmuir, 2008, vol. 24; p. 1833-1843, ISSN: 0743-7463
  48. Cortese B., Riehle M, Cingolani R, Gigli G. Cells response sensing durotaxis by varying mechanical rigidity. European cells & Materials, 2008, vol. 16; p. 44-44, ISSN: 1473-2262
  49. Piliego C, Mazzeo M, Cortese B., Cingolani R, G. Gigli. Organic light emitting diodes with highly conductive micropatterned polymer anodes. Organic Electronics, 2008, vol. 9; p. 401-406, ISSN: 1566-1199, doi: 10.1016/j.orgel.2007.12.007
  50. Viola I., Pisignano D., D’Amone S., Cingolani R. and Gigli G. In-situ monitoring of viscoelastic liquid in a microfluidic enviroment.; Synthetic Metals, 2005.
  51. Rizzo A., Mazzeo M., Palumbo M., Lerario G., D’Amone S., Cingolani R., and Gigli G. Hybrid Light Emitting Diodes by ?-CP Double Transfer of Colloidal Semiconductor CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots on Organic Layers., Advanced Materials, 2008.
  52. Viola I., Mazzeo M, Passabì A., D’Amone S., Cingolani R. and Gigli G. Organic Light Emitting Pixel Arrays by Supra-molecular Self-organization,; Proc. SPIE, 2005, vol. 5838: 29-37, Nanotechnology II.
  53. Viola I., Mazzeo M., Passabì A., D’Amone S., Cingolani R. and Gigli G. Positive/Negative Arrays of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes by a Surface-Tension-Driven Approach, Advanced Materials, 2005, 17(24): 2935-2939.
  54. Pisignano D., D’Amone S., Gigli G. and Cingolani R. Rigid organic molds for nanoimprinting lithography by replica molding of high glass transition temperature polymers, Journal of Vacum Science and Technology, 2004, B 22 (4): 1759-1763.

Book Chapter

Strategies and applications for incorporating physical and chemical modifications for functional Cellulose based materials. Barbara Cortese, Ilaria Elena Palamà, Stefania D’Amone, and Giuseppe Gigli. Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives: Synthesis, Modification, Nanostructure and Applications. HAUPPAUGE NY 11788-3619: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2015 – ISBN: 978-1-63483-571-8, Chapter 2: 35 – 65  (Invited chapter).

Mechanical guidance of cell migration. Ilaria Elena Palamà, Stefania D’Amone, Barbara Cortese. Nanomaterials and Regenerative Medicine. IAPC Publishing, Zagreb, Croatia, 2016 – ISBN: 978-953-56942-3-6, Chapter 22: 563 – 580 (Invited chapter)


Cancer Therapy with Silver Nanoparticles. I.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.


My First AIRC Grant – Role of Electro/Mechanical cues in the control and guidance of Glioma Progression (MFAG)  2015 n. 16803 (2015-2018)_ Principal Investigator: Barbara Cortese

Latest News

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    Lecce, 05 dicembre 2019 – Aula Rita Levi Montalcini – CNR NANOTEC Lecce

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    Lecce, 27 settembre 2019


    ex monastero degli Olivetani, ore 18:00 – 24:00

     Ritorna puntuale la Notte dei Ricercatori, l’evento più atteso dai tanti appassionati di scienza, ghiotti di conoscenza senza distinzione di età. E sempre più densa di contenuti è la partecipazione del @CnrNanotec che, per l’edizione 2019,  ha reso ancora più appetibile il calendario degli appuntamenti programmati all’interno del progetto europeo #ERN-Apulia  coordinato da Unisalento, tracciando un ideale tour tra gli intriganti campi del sapere che si dipana attraverso narrazioni, illustrazioni, laboratori hand-on, dibattiti, giochi per grandi e piccini e rappresentazioni teatrali. (more…)