Research Lines

Electron Crystallography

Electron diffraction tomography (EDT) is a novel technique, which allows single crystal electron diffraction data collections on crystal of size smaller the 1 micron. In our laboratory we have configured a transmission electron microscope Zeiss Libra 120 as a diffraction station for EDT. We are able to collect 3D electron diffraction data on a variety of different materials with the following peculiarities: the diffraction patterns can be collected in energy filtered mode, the diffraction pattern are collected in nanodiffraction mode with a minimum illuminated area of 150 nm in diameter, the patterns can be collected in parallel standard illumination or in precession mode.
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2D Material Engineering

The mission of 2D Materials Engineering is to synthesize, investigate, and tailor two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures to pave the way for a new era of transparent and flexible technology. The discovery of graphene has led to a resurgence of interest in other two-dimensional materials, and an ever-growing portfolio of atomic sheets, (such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and layered oxides) is being actively theoretically and experimentally studied. Van der Waals heterostructures are built much like “Lego” at an atomic-scale, by vertically stacking 2D layered materials.
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Research Activities

Biostructures

Engineering protein molecules that self-assemble into complex bioarchitectures is an innovative goal of nanobiotechnology. We aim to generate novel bioinspired protein scaffolds that can self-assemble upon stimulation into desired well-ordered and stable multicomponent nanobiostructures, such as biomolecular cages and biocrystals. This process is strongly driven by specific technological needs. Applications can range from design of bioactive 3D nanobiomaterials and nanobiosensors, to designed biomedicines. My research interests also focus on the relationships biostructure/interactions/function of innovative membrane protein targets relevant for metabolic and neurological disorders, and the discovery of privileged chemicals as leads to novel drugs.

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Translatable NanoTheranostics(TNT)

The mission of this research line is to unlock the intriguing features of noble metal nanotheranostics for the introduction of innovative, efficient and non-invasive treatments of solid neoplasms to clinics. 
The major concern that has hampered the clinical translation of noble metal nanoparticles is related to the question of their persistence in organisms after the designed action. Due to this dilemma, all the appealing physiochemical properties of noble metal nanomaterials are still on the bench-side.
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