Elisabetta Colombo graduated in Physics of Advanced Technologies at the University of Torino in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 she specialized in materials characterization techniques and carbon based materials properties during the PhD at the Experimental Physics Department at the University of Torino. She worked as post-doc fellow in the following three years at the Electron Devices and Circuits Department at the University of Ulm in Germany: there she designed, fabricated and tested HFCVD diamond sensors for drug-screening and bio-chemical applications, constantly interacting with neuroscientists in Torino (prof. E. Carbone's group) and clinicians in Ulm (Prof. Dr. M. Schneider's group) that were employing the devices. Back to Italy, with an improved background on electrochemistry and cleanroom fabrication technologies, she worked for a short period of time in a small private research laboratory dealing with CVD deposition of TiO2 thin films for dye-sensitized solar cells. She spent subsequently two years employed at Gem Elettronica Srl, an Italian company specialized in radar and navigation systems. In this framework, she experienced how state-of-the-art materials can be successfully integrated at a commercial level, being deputed to the thermal dissipation unit of the R&D department for power transistor systems.
Since then she was employed as post-doc researcher at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience of IIT in Genova, where she focuses her research on the development and characterization of photosensitive neural interfaces. At IIT, her main activity is related to a novel polymeric device based on photovoltaic conjugated polymers, which is able to modulate neuronal activity upon illumination at a level of membrane potential in cultured neurons, or firing activity in more complex neuronal networks like retina explants or brain slices. Finally, in vivo it has been proven suitable as retinal prosthesis for the recovery of the blind in visually impaired rodents. In addition to this activity, she is involved in the testing of smart materials and devices, like graphene or photosensitive molecules for the modulation of neuronal activity.
Lately, she bacame Technologist of the NSYN Center to support the development of novel neural interfaces and the engineering of new techniques for the characterization of smart materials for applied neuroscience.