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Ferruccio Pisanello

Researcher Tenure Track - Principal Investigator

Research Line

Multifunctional Neural Interfaces with deep-brain regions


CBN@UniLe Lecce


Center for Biomolecular NanotechnologiesIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaVia Bersanti 1,
+39 0832 1816 232
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Ferruccio Pisanello coordinates the research line "Multifunctional Neural Interfaces with Deep Brain Regions" at the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies. Ferruccio Pisanello's research group is composed by three Ph.D. students and two Post Docs, and has the main aim to exploit advanced micro- and nano-fabrication techniques to develop new tools investigating deep brain regions.

Ferruccio was born on 27th August 1984. He obtained the PhD degree in Physics at the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in July 2011. He graduated summa cum laude (master degree) in telecommunication engineering at the Universtiy of Salento (Italy) in July 2008 with a thesis in photonic devices concerning the development of a biosensor based on photonic crystals. In January 2009 he obtained the pre-master degree of the Superior Institute for Interdisciplinary Instruction (ISUFI, Istituto Superiore Universitario Formazione Interdisciplinare) with the maximum mark.

At the moment he holds 32 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and more than 20 contributions to international meetings.


1- ERC Starting Grant 2016 - 2021 MODEM - Multipoint Optical DEvices for Minimally invasive neural circuits interface

Selected Publications

IIT Publications [Peer-Reviewed Publications 19, Book Chapters 2, Patent Applications 1]

34- [Article] Enrico Domenico Lemma, Sara Sergio, Barbara Spagnolo, Marco Pisanello, Luciana Alghieri, Maria Addolorata Coluccia, Michele Maffia, Massimo De Vittorio, Ferruccio Pisanello, "Tunable mechanical properties of stent-like microscaffolds for studying cancer cell recognition of stiffness gradients", Microelectronic Engineering 190, 11-18 (2017) [Weblink]

33- [Article] Natalina Moscatelli, Barbara Spagnolo, Marco Pisanello, Enrico Domenico Lemma, Massimo De Vittorio, Vincenzo Zara, Ferruccio Pisanello, Alessandra Ferramosca, "Single-cell-based evaluation of sperm progressive motility via fluorescent assessment of mitochondria membrane potential", Scientific Reports 7, 17931 [Open Access Link]

32- [Article] Enrico Domenico Lemma, Barbara Spagnolo, Francesco Rizzi, Stefania Corvaglia, Marco Pisanello and Massimo De Vittorio and Ferruccio Pisanello, "Microenvironmental Stiffness of 3D Polymeric Structures modulates Invasion rates of Cancer Cells", Advanced Healthcare Materials 6 1700888 (2017), [Weblink]

highlight: paper selected for the BackCover of the 6 November 2017 issue of Advanced Healtcare Materials
highlight:  paper highlighted by Advanced Science News

31- [Article] Ferruccio Pisanello, Gil Mandelbaum, Marco Pisanello, Ian A Oldenburg, Leonardo Sileo, Jeffrey E Markowitz, Ralph E Peterson, Andrea Della Patria, Trevor M Haynes, Mohamed S Emara, Barbara Spagnolo, Sandeep Robert Datta, Massimo De Vittorio & Bernardo L Sabatini, "Dynamic illumination of spatially restricted or large brain volumes via a single tapered optical fiber", Nature Nuroscience (2017) doi:10.1038/nn.4591 [Weblink, Open Access Link]

30- [Article] Enrico Domenico Lemma, Francesco Rizzi, Tommaso Dattoma, Barbara Spagnolo, Leonardo Sileo, Antonio Qualtieri, Massimo De Vittorio, and Ferruccio Pisanello, "Mechanical properties tunability of three-dimensional polymeric structures in two-photon lithography", IEEE Transaction on Nanotechnologies 16, 23 (2017) [Weblink]

29- [Article] Y Cho, G Zheng, G J Augustine, D Hochbaum, A Cohen, T Knöpfel, Ferruccio Pisanello, F S Pavone, I M Vellekoop, M J Booth, S Hu, J Zhu, Z Chen and Y Hoshi, "Roadmap on neurophotonics", Journal of Optics 18 093007 (2016) [Weblinkpdf Open Access]

28- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Sileo, M. De Vittorio "Micro- and nanotechnologies for optical neural interfaces", Frontiers in Neuroscience 10:70 (2016) [Weblinkpdf Open Access]

27- [Article] M. Pisanello, A. Della Patria, L. Sileo, B. L. Sabatini, M. De Vittorio, and F. Pisanello, "Modal demultiplexing properties of tapered and nanostructured optical fibers for in vivo optogenetic control of neural activity", Biomedical Optics Express 6, 4014 (2015) [Weblink, pdf Open Access]

26- [Article] B. Spagnolo , V. Brunetti , G. Leménager , E. De Luca , L. Sileo , T. Pellegrino , P. P. Pompa, M.De Vittorio, and F. Pisanello, "Three-dimensional cage-like microscaffolds for cell invasion studies", Scientific Reports 5, 10531 (2015) [WebLink, Open Access]

highlight: paper highlighted by Extracellular Matrix News 6.20 May 28, 2015 [WebLink]

25- [Article] L. Pellisier, M. Manceau, C. Lethiec, D. Coursault, S. Vezzoli, G. Leménager, L. Coolen, M. De Vittorio, F. Pisanello, L. Carbone, A. Bramati, E. Lacaze, "Alignment of Rod-Shaped Single Photon Emitters Driven by Line Defects in Liquid Crystals", Advanced Functional Materials 25, 1719-1726 (2015), [WebLink]

24- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Sileo, I. A. Oldenburg, M. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, J. A. Assad, B. L. Sabatini, M. De Vittorio, "Multipoint emitting optical fibers for spatially addressable in-vivo optogenetics", Neuron 82, 1245-1254 (2014), [WebLink]

highlight: paper highlighted by Nature Methods in a research highlight titled "A magic wand for optogenetics" [WebLink]

highlight: among the most read papers in cell press (July 2014) [WebLink]

highlight: paper selected for a Video Abstract [YouTubeLink]

highlight: paper highlighted by Bioengineering Bites [WebLink

23- [Article] C. Accoto, A. Qualtieri, F. Pisanello, Carlo Ricciardi, F. Pirro, M. De Vittorio, F. Rizzi, "Two-Photon Polymerization Lithography and Laser Doppler Vibrometry of a SU-8-Based Suspended Microchannel Resonator", Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, In press (2014) [WebLink]

22- [Article] C. Lethiec, F. Pisanello, L. Carbone, A. Bramati, L. Coolen, A. Maitre, "Polarimetry-based analysis of dipolar transitions of single colloidal CdSe/CdS dot-in-rods", New Journal of Physics 16 093014 (2014) [WebLink Open Access]

21 - [Article] M. Manceau, S. Vezzoli, Q. Glorieux, F. Pisanello, E. Giacobino, L. Carbone, M. De Vittorio, A. Bramati, "Effect of charging on CdSe/CdS dot-in-rods single-photon emission", Physical Review B 90 035311 (2014) [WebLink]

20- [Book Chapter]L. Sileo, F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, M. De Vittorio, "Focused Ion Beam Technology as a Fabrication and Inspection Tool in Neuron Interfacing", 183-205 (2014), Springer [WebLink]

19- [Article] G. Leménager, F. Pisanello, J. Bloch, A. Kavokin, A. Amo, A. Lemaitre, E. Galopin, I. Sagnes, M. De Vittorio, E. Giacobino, and A. Bramati, "Two-Photon Injection of polaritons in semiconductor microstructures", Optics Letters 39, 307–310 (2014) [WebLink]

18- [Article] F. Pisanello, G. Leménager, L. Martiradonna, L. Carbone, S. Vezzoli, P. Desfonds, P. D. Cozzoli, J.-P. Hermier, E. Giacobino, R. Cingolani, M. De Vittorio, A. Bramati, "Non-blinking single photon generation with anisotropic colloidal nanocrystals: towards room-temperature efficient colloidal quantum sources", Advanced Materials25, 1974-1980 (2013) [WebLink]

highlight: paper selected for the Frontispiece of the 11 April 2013 issue of Advanced Materials 

17- [Article] F. Pisanello, R. De Paolis, D. Lorenzo, P. Guardia, S. Nitti, G. Monti, D. Fragouli, A. Athanassiou, L. Tarricone, L. Manna; M. De Vittorio, L. Martiradonna, "GHz properties of magnetophoretically aligned iron-oxide nanoparticle doped polymers", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 5, 2908–2914 (2013) [WebLink]

16- [Article] L. Sileo, F. Pisanello, L. Quarta, A. Maccione, A. Simi, L. Berdondini, M. De Vittorio, L. Martiradonna "Electrical Coupling of Mammalian Neurons to Microelectrodes with 3D Nanoprotrusions Microelectronic Engineering", Microelectronic Engineering 111, 384 (2013) [WebLink]

17- [Book Chapter] T. Stomeo, A. Qualtieri, F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, P.P. Pompa, M. Grande, D’Orazio and M. De Vittorio (2013). "Silicon Nitride Photonic Crystal Free-Standing Membranes: A Flexible Platform for Visible Spectral Range Devices", Advances in Photonic Crystals, Prof. Vittorio Passaro (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0954-9, InTech,  [WebLink

14- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, L. Sileo, V. Brunetti, G. Vecchio, M. A. Malvindi, G. Morello, M. Zanella, P. P. Pompa, L. Manna, M. De Vittorio "Highly luminescent, flexible and biocompatible Cadmium-based nanocomposites", Microelectronic Engineering 111, 299 (2013) [WebLink]

highlight: article featured in "Advances in Engineering"

13- [Article] F. Pisanello, R. De Paolis, D. Lorenzo, S. Nitti, G. Monti, D. Fragouli, A. Athanassiou, L. Manna, L. Tarricone, M. De Vittorio, L. Martiradonna, "Radiofrequency characterization of polydimethylsiloxane - iron oxide based nanocomposites", Microelectronic Engineering 111, 46 (2013) [WebLink]    

12- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, A. Qualtieri, T. Stomeo, M. Grande, P.P. Pompa, R. Cingolani, A. Bramati, M. De Vittorio, “Silicon Nitride PhC Nanocavities as Versatile Platform for Visible Spectral Range Devices”, Photonics and Nanostructures - Fundamentals and Applications 10, 319-324 (2012). [WebLink]


Previous Publications [Peer-Reviewed Publications 11, EU Granted Patents 1, US Granted Patents 1]

11- [Article] D. Sanvitto, S. Pigeon, A. Amo, D. Ballarini, M. De Giorgi, I. Carusotto, R. Hivet, F. Pisanello, V. G. Sala, P. S. Soares-Guimaraes, R. Houdré, E. Giacobino, C. Ciuti, A. Bramati, G. Gigli, “All-optical control of the quantum flow of a polariton superfluid”, Nature Photonics5, 610-614 (2011).

10- [Article] A. Amo, S. Pigeon, D. Sanvitto, V. G. Sala, R. Hivet, I. Carusotto, F. Pisanello, G. Lemenager, R. Houdre, E. Giacobino, C. Ciuti, A. Bramati, “Polariton Superfluids Reveal Quantum Hydrodynamic Solitons”, Science332, 1167 (2011).

9- [Article] F. Pisanello, A. Qualtieri, T. Stomeo, L. Martiradonna, R. Cingolani, A. Bramati, M. De Vittorio, “High Purcell factor dipole-like modes at visible wavelengths in H1 photonic crystal cavity”, Opt. Lett.35, 1509 (2010).

8- [Article] F. Pisanello, G. Leménager, L. Martiradonna, P. Spinicelli, A. Fiore, A. Amo, E. Giacobino, R. Cingolani, M. De Vittorio, A. Bramati “Evaluation of oscillator strength in colloidal CdSe/CdS dots-in-rods”, Physica Status Solidi (c)7, 2688 (2010).

7- [Article] L. Martiradonna, F. Pisanello, T. Stomeo, A. Qualtieri, G. Vecchio, S. Sabella, R. Cingolani, M. De Vittorio, P. P. Pompa, “Spectral tagging by integrated photonic crystal resonators for highly sensitive and parallel detection in biochips”, Appl. Phys. Lett.96, 113702 (2010). doi:10.1063/1.3360810
highlight: paper selected for the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology

highlight: paper selected for the Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research

6- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, G. Leménager, P. Spinicelli, A. Fiore, J. P. Hermier, L. Manna, R. Cingolani, E. Giacobino, M. De Vittorio, A. Bramati “Room temperature-dipole like single photon source with a colloidal dot-in-rod”, Appl. Phys. Lett.96, 033101 (2010). doi:10.1063/1.3291849

highlight: paper selected for the Cover Image of the 18 January 2010 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

highlight: paper selected for the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology

highlight: the paper is the 6th position of the "top 20 most downloaded papers" of APL web site in the month of January and it’s the first of its issue.

highlight: paper selected for the Virtual Journal of Quantum Information

5- [Article] A. Qualtieri, F. Pisanello, M. Grande, T. Stomeo, L. Martiradonna, G. Epifani, A. Fiore, A. Passaseo, M. De Vittorio, “Emission control of colloidal nanocrystals embedded in Si3N4 photonic crystal H1 nanocavities”, Microelectronics Engineering87, 1435 (2010) doi:10.1016/j.mee.2009.11.133.

4- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, T. Stomeo, A. Qualtieri, G. Vecchio, S. Sabella, P. P. Pompa, M. De Vittorio, “Parallel and high sensitive photonic crystal cavity assisted readout for DNA-chips”, Microelectronics Engineering87, 747 (2010), doi:10.1016/j.mee.2009.11.158.

3- [Article] M. De Vittorio, F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, A. Qualtieri, T. Stomeo, A. Bramati and  R. Cingolani, “Recent advances on single photon sources based on single colloidal nanocrystals”, Opto−Electronics Review18, 50-58 (2010).

2- [Article] F. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, P. Spinicelli, A. Fiore, J. P. Hermier, L. Manna, R. Cingolani, E. Giacobino, A. Bramati and M. De Vittorio, “Dots in road as polarized single photon sources”, Superlattices and Microstructures47, 165-169 (2009), doi:10.1016/j.spmi.2009.06.009.

1- [Article] F. Pisanello, M. De Vittorio, and R. Cingolani, “Modal selective tuning in a photonic crystals cavity”, Superlattices and Microstructures 47, 34-38 (2010), doi:10.1016/j.spmi.2009.06.003.

IIT Patents:

4- [ApplicationF. Pisanello, L. Martiradonna, L. Sileo, I. A,. Oldenburg, M. Pisanello, B. Sabatini, J. Assad, M. De Vittorio, “Optogenetic tool for multiple and independently addressing of patterned optical fiber, reference” Italian patent application #TO2013A000603, Application 17th July 2013 

Previous Patents:

3- K. Aoki, M. De Vittorio, T. Stomeo, F. Pisanello, A. Massaro, L. Martiradonna, S. Sabella, R. Rinaldi, Y. Arakawa, R. Cingolani, and P.P. Pompa, " Method of identifying a target analyte using photonic crystal resonators, and related device", US patent #20100028898 (2009).

2- K. Aoki, M. De Vittorio, T. Stomeo, F. Pisanello, A. Massaro, L. Martiradonna, S. Sabella, R. Rinaldi, Y. Arakawa, R. Cingolani, and P.P. Pompa, " Photonic crystal resonators array chip for improved optical sensing of (bio)molecules in genomics and proteomics ", European Patent #EP09166989.5 (2009).

1- K. Aoki, M. De Vittorio, T. Stomeo, F. Pisanello, A. Massaro, L. Martiradonna, S. Sabella, R. Rinaldi, Y. Arakawa, R. Cingolani, and P.P. Pompa, "Procedimento per la rivelazione di un analita, con l'impiego di cristalli fotonici risonanti e relativo dispositivo", Italian Patent #T02008A00614 (2008).


  • ERC Starting Grant 2016 - 2021 MODEM - Multipoint Optical DEvices for Minimally invasive neural circuits interface
  • Honorable Mention Micrograph Contest at the 39th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering (MNE2013, 16 – 19 September 2013, London)
  • International Conference on Quantum Dots 2010, 26-30 April 2010, Nottingham, United Kingdom: Winner of the Nature Publishing Group prize for best student poster. (100 GBP and free subscription to Nature Materials and Nature Physics)
  • International School of Nanophotonic and Photovoltaics, 17-24 September 2009, Maratea (Potenza), Italy: winner of the best poster award.
  • Trends in Nanotechnology 2009, Barcelona (Spain), 07-11 September 2009: abstract selected for C’Nano IdF student grant, abstract selected for Phantom foundation student grant (Conference travel grant)
  • Winner of the Vinci’s Fellowships 2009 for students in joints PhD program (4500 Euros).



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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.