Nanobiotechnology. Coordinator: Zuccheri

The nanobiotechnology research group employs nanotechnological techniques and strategies towards the characterization of biological systems (through ultramicroscopy, single-molecule techniques, biosensors) and it exploits the features of biological molecules for designing and making nanosystems.

Research themes

Atomic Force Microscopy: The research group develops nanotechnology techniques, with a focus on Atomic Force Microscopy. These are used to characterize nucleic acids, nucleoprotein complexes, proteins, biological nanostructures and nanostructured materials (surfaces, nanoparticles, nanofibers, nanostructured polymers). Single molecule force spectroscopy is used to study the conformational equilibria in proteins or to characterize the interactions amongst molecules.

DNA nanotechnology: The group exploits Structural DNA Nanotechnology, the strategies to design the self-assembly of DNA nanostructures to make functional nanostructures (for biosensing or other applications).

Biosensors: The groups works at the development of biosensing systems, especially focusing on the recognition of biomolecular analytes from solutions. The group main experience lies in the use of biosensors based on nucleic-acids.

Advanced cell culture: we are working at the development of methods for advanced and 3D cell culture, also in the context of a research project funded by the American Association for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

The group can provide technical services in atomic force microscopy and related techniques (with the assistance of optical microscopy) for the characterization of biomolecules, nanostructures and materials, including nanomechanical analysis. Please, contact the coordinator for details.

Lab members

Dr. Giampaolo Zuccheri (group web page) (personal web page), coordinatore.

Dr. Andrea Miti, post-doc (personal web page), Dr Ottavia Tartagni, Ph.D. candidate (personal web page).

Internship projects 

- Design and characterization of strategies for molecular self-assembly on the nanoscale for applications in biosensing.

- AFM-based characterization of cells and exosomes for diagnostics applications.

- Advanced methods of cell culture for testing of chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Please, write to the coordinator for updated information and the availability of these or other internship projects.

Main publications

Pedro M.Castro, Patrícia Baptista, Giampaolo Zuccheri, Ana Raquel Madureira, Bruno Sarmento, Manuela E. Pintado, (2019) "Film-nanoparticle composite for enhanced oral delivery of alpha-casozepine" Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2019.05.029

A. Abruzzo, T. Cerchiara, F. Bigucci, G. Zuccheri, C. Cavallari, B. Saladini, B. Luppi (2019) "Cromolyn-crosslinked chitosan nanoparticles for the treatment of allergic rhinitis" European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 131: 136-145 doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2019.02.015.

F. Massenzio , E. Peña-Altamira, S. Petralla, M. Virgili, G. Zuccheri, A. Miti, E. Polazzi, I. Mengoni , D. Piffaretti, B. Monti "Microglial overexpression of fALS-linked mutant SOD1 induces SOD1 processing impairment, activation and neurotoxicity and is counteracted by the autophagy inducer trehalose" Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2018 Oct 10;1864(12):3771-3785. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.10.013.

A. Gandini, M. Bartolini, D. Tedesco, L. Martínez-González, C. Roca, N. Campillo, J. Zaldivar-Diez, C. Perez, G. Zuccheri, A. Miti, A. Feoli, S. Castellano, S. Petralla, B. Monti, M. Rossi, F. Moda, G. Legname, A. Martínez, M. L. Bolognesi (2018) "Tau-centric multi-target approach for Alzheimer’s disease: development of first-in-class dual glycogen synthase kinase 3β and tau-aggregation inhibitors" Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61, 17, 7640-7656 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00610.

Bergamini C., Angelini P., Rhoden KJ, Porcelli AM, Fato R, Zuccheri G.* (2014) "A practical approach for the detection of DNA nanostructures in single live human cells by fluorescence microscopy" Methods. 67(2):185-92 doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.01.009.