Micro-Nano-Bio Systems and Targeted Therapies

Leonardo Ricotti

Main Activities: 

The "Micro-Nano-Bio Systems and Targeted Therapies" Lab has the mission of studying phenomena at the milli-, micro- and nanoscale, to invent new solutions and to engineer processes at such scales, in order to develop advanced technological components and to enable minimally invasive therapies. A high level of interdisciplinarity features the group, whose research efforts are at the edge between robotics, micro-mechanics, materials science and molecular biology.  



Leonardo Ricotti

Main Contact




Papers on ISI Journals

* = these authors equally contributed to this work


V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, P. Dario. The bioartificial pancreas (BAP): biological, chemical and engineering challenges. Biochem. Pharmacol. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2015.08.107; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 5.009]

L. Vannozzi, L. Ricotti, M. Cianchetti, C. Bearzi, C. Gargioli, R. Rizzi, P. Dario, A. Menciassi. Self-assembly of polydimethylsiloxane structures from 2D to 3D for bio-hybrid actuation. Bioinspir Biomim. 10: 056001; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 2.354]

T. Mazzocchi, L. Ricotti, N. Pinzi, A. Menciassi. Parametric design, fabrication and validation of one-way polymeric valves for artificial sphincters. Sens Act A: Phys. 233: 184-194; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 1.903]

V. Iacovacci, G. Lucarini, L. Ricotti, P. Dario, P. Dupont, A. Menciassi. Untethered magnetic millirobot for targeted drug delivery. Biomed Microdev. 17(3): 9962; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 2.877]

A.R. Salgarella, G. Giudetti, L. Ricotti, D. Camboni, G.L. Puleo, F. Ruini, C. Tonda-Turo, V. Chiono, G. Ciardelli, S. Micera, A. Menciassi, C.M. Oddo. A bio-hybrid mechanotransduction system based on ciliate cells. Microelectr Eng. 144: 51-56; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 1.197]

G. Ciuti, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, P. Dario. MEMS sensor technologies for human centred applications in healthcare, physical activities, safety and environmental sensing: a review on research activities in Italy. Sensors. 15(3): 6441-6468; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 2.245]

L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi. Nanotechnology in biorobotics: opportunities and challenges. J Nanop Res. 17: 84; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 2.184]

L. Ricotti, A. Cafarelli*, V. Iacovacci*, L. Vannozzi*, A. Menciassi. Advanced micro-nano-bio systems for future targeted therapies. Curr Nanosci. 11(2): 144-160; 2015 [I.F. 2014: 1.096]


L. Ricotti*, G. Ciuti*, M. Ghionzoli, A. Messineo, and A. Menciassi. Metal/polymer composite Nuss bar for minimally invasive bar removal after Pectus Excavatum treatment: FEM simulations. Int J Num Meth Biomed Eng. 30(12): 1530-1540; 2014 [I.F. 2013: 1.5]

S. Betti*, G. Ciuti*, L. Ricotti*, M. Ghionzoli, F. Cavallo, A. Messineo, and A. Menciassi. A Sensorized Nuss Bar for Patient-Specific Treatment of Pectus Excavatum. Sensors. 14(10): 18096-18113; 2014 [I.F. 2013: 2.0]

V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi. Design and development of a mechatronic system for noninvasive refilling of implantable artificial pancreas. IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics. doi: 10.1109/TMECH.2014.2327196; 2014 [I.F. 2013: 3.6]

M. Ghionzoli, G. Ciuti*, L. Ricotti*, F. Tocchioni, R. Lo Piccolo, A. Menciassi, and A. Messineo. Is a shorter bar an effective solution to avoid bar dislocation in Nuss procedure? Ann Thorac Surg. 97(3): 1022-1027; 2014 [I.F. 2013: 3.6]

L. Ricotti, R.P. das Neves, G. Ciofani, C. Canale, S. Nitti, V.Mattoli, B. Mazzolai, L. Ferreira, and A. Menciassi. Boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation modulates F/G-actin ratio and mechanical properties of human dermal fibroblasts. J Nanop Res. 16: 2247; 2014 [I.F. 2013: 2.3]


L. Ricotti, T. Fujie, H. Vazão, G. Ciofani, R. Marotta, R. Brescia, C. Filippeschi, I. Corradini, M. Matteoli, V. Mattoli, L. Ferreira, and A. Menciassi. Boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation of cell co-culture on micro-engineered hydrogels. PLoS ONE. 8(8): e71707; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 3.5]

L. Ricotti, J. Rigosa, A. Niosi, and A. Menciassi. Analysis of balance, rapidity, force and reaction times of soccer players at different levels of competition. PLoS ONE. 8(10): e77264; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 3.5]

L. Ventrelli, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli. Nanoscaffolds for guided cardiac repair: the new therapeutic challenge of regenerative medicine. J Nanomat. 108485; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 1.6]

L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi: Engineering stem cells for future medicine. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 60(3): 727-734; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 2.2]

G.G. Genchi, G. Ciofani, I. Liakos, L. Ricotti, L. Ceseracciu, A. Athanassiou, B. Mazzolai, A. Menciassi, and V. Mattoli: Bio/non-bio interfaces: a straightforward method for obtaining long term PDMS/muscle cell biohybrid constructs. Coll Surf B: Biointerf. 105: 144-151; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 4.3]

F. Greco, T. Fujie, L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli: Microwrinkled conducting polymer interface for anisotropic multicellular alignment. ACS Appl Mat Interf. 5(3): 573-584; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 5.9]

L. Ricotti, T. Assaf, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi: Wearable and implantable pancreas substitutes. J Artif Organs. 16(1): 9-22; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 1.4]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, C. Canale, D. D’Alessandro, S. Berrettini, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli: Effects of barium titanate nanoparticles on proliferation and differentiation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. Coll Surf B:
Biointerf. 102: 312-320; 2013 [I.F. 2013: 4.3]


L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi: Guest editorial introduction to the special issue on bio-hybrid systems and living machines. Biomed Microdev. 14(6): 965-967; 2012 [I.F. 2013: 2.8]

L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi: Bio-hybrid muscle cell-based actuators. Biomed Microdev. 14(6): 987-998; 2012 [I.F. 2013: 2.8]

L. Ricotti, A. Polini, G.G. Genchi, G. Ciofani, D. Iandolo, H. Vazão, V. Mattoli, L. Ferreira, A. Menciassi, and D. Pisignano: Proliferation and skeletal myotube formation capability of C2C12 and H9c2 cells on isotropic and anisotropic electrospun nanofibrous PHB scaffolds. Biomed Mater. 7: 035010; 2012 [I.F. 2013: 2.9]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, J. Rigosa, A. Menciassi, V. Mattoli, and M. Monici: Hypergravity effects on myoblast proliferation and differentiation. J Biosci Bioeng. 113(2): 258-261; 2012. [I.F. 2013: 1.8] – Cover Page


L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, I. Bernardeschi, V. Pensabene, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi: Quantification of growth and differentiation of C2C12 skeletal muscle cells on PSS-PAH-based polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer nanofilms. Biomed Mater. 6(3): 031001-031007; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 2.9]

F. Vozzi, D. Mazzei, B. Vinci, G. Vozzi, T. Sbrana, L. Ricotti, N. Forgione, and A. Ahluwalia: A flexible bioreactor system for constructing in vitro tissue and organ models. Biotechnol Bioeng. 108(9): 2129-2140 2011. [I.F. 2013: 4.2]

T. Fujie, L. Ricotti, A. Desii, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, and V. Mattoli: Evaluation of substrata effect on cell adhesion properties using freestanding poly(L-lactic-acid) nanosheets. Langmuir. 27(21): 13173-13182; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 4.4]

L. Ricotti, and A. Ravaschio: Break dance significantly increases static balance in 9 years-old soccer players. Gait Post. 33(3): 462-465; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 2.3]

V. Pensabene, S. Taccola, L. Ricotti, G. Ciofani, A. Menciassi, F. Perut, M. Salerno, P. Dario, and N. Baldini: Flexible polymeric ultrathin film for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Acta Biomater. 7(7): 2883-2891; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 5.7]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, and V. Mattoli: Preparation, characterization and in vitro testing of poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid / barium titanate nanoparticle composites for enhanced cellular proliferation. Biomed Microdev. 13(2): 255-266; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 2.8]

G. Ciofani, S. Danti, L. Ricotti, D. D’Alessandro, S. Moscato, V. Mattoli, and A. Menciassi: Boron nitride nanotubes: production, properties, biological interactions and potential applications as therapeutic agents in brain diseases. Curr Nanosci. 7(1): 94-109; 2011. [I.F. 2013: 1.4]


G. Ciofani, S. Danti, D. D’Alessandro, L. Ricotti, S. Moscato, M. Petrini, and A. Menciassi: Enhancement of neurite outgrowth in neuronal-like cells following boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation. ACS Nano. 4(10): 6267-6277; 2010. [I.F. 2013: 12.0]

L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, V. Pensabene, V. Mattoli, T. Fujie, S. Takeoka, A. Menciassi, and P. Dario: Adhesion and proliferation of skeletal muscle cells on single layer poly(lactic acid) ultra-thin films. Biomed Microdev. 12: 809-819; 2010. [I.F. 2013: 2.8]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, S. Danti, S. Moscato, C. Nesti, D. D’Alessandro, D. Dinucci, F. Chiellini, A. Pietrabissa, M. Petrini, and A. Menciassi: Investigation of interactions between poly-L-lysine-coated boron nitride nanotubes and C2C12 cells: up-take, cytocompatibility, and differentiation. Int J Nanomed. 5: 285-298; 2010. [I.F. 2013: 4.2]


A. Landi, A. Mazzoldi, C. Andreoni, M. Bianchi, A. Cavallini, M. Laurino, L. Ricotti, R. Iuliano, B. Matteoli, and L. Ceccherini-Nelli: Modelling and control of HIV dynamics. Comput Meth Progr Bio. 89(2): 162-168; 2008. [I.F. 2013: 1.1]


Our team

Leonardo Ricotti (Assistant Professor)
Gioia Lucarini (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Tommaso Mazzocchi (Research Assistant)
Antonella Verbeni (PhD student - 3rd year)
Veronica Iacovacci (PhD student - 2nd year)
Lorenzo Vannozzi (PhD student - 2nd year)
Andrea Cafarelli (PhD student - 2nd year)
Alice Salgarella (PhD student - 1st year)
Matteo Rocchi (M.Sc. student)
Aliria Poliziani (M.Sc. student)