Giorgio Tortarolo studied engineering at the Dipartimento di Informatica, Bioingegneria, Robotica e Ingegneria dei Sistemi (DIBRIS) of the University of Genoa. In 2015, he obtained the M.Sc. degree (110/110 cum laude, right of publication) for the thesis titled "Modular integration of a STED imaging system into a custom confocal microscope", later awarded from Società Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica (SIOF). After the graduation, Giorgio joined IIT as a fellow student, under the supervisions of Dr. Giuseppe Vicidomini and Prof. Alberto Diaspro. During the six-months fellowship period, he contributed to develop the Fourier Ring Correlation Analysis, a quantitative criterium to assess the effective spatial resolution of any point-scanning microscopy image. At the end of the fellowship, Giorgio spent two months in Illinois, USA, collaborating with a well established microscopy company, ISS, to introduce in their product line a novel STED microscope. In November 2016, Giorgio obtained the Ph.D. scholarship in Engineering at the University of Genoa, to join the Molecular Microscopy and Spectroscopy group. He focused on the realisation of an innovative image scanning microscopy (ISM) platform, leveraging the single-photon-avalanche-diode (SPAD) array detector to increase the spatial resolution and the signal to noise ratio of conventional confocal and fluorescence lifetime imaging measurements. Later, he implemented a real-time, feedback based single molecule tracking system based on the SPAD array, to follow individual molecules with high spatio-temporal precision. These projects resulted in his Ph.D. degree, obtained in March 2020 with the thesis "Laser Scanning Microscopy with SPAD Array Detector: Towards a New Class of Fluorescence Microscopy Techniques". After his graduation, Giorgio had the chance to continue his work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Molecular Microscopy and Spectroscopy group, where he is currently focusing on the single molecule tracking project.
Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) has been the first microscopy technique to overcome the diffraction limit, but the resolution improvement over traditional microcopy is rarely exploited: it is theoretically achieved only if the pinhole in front of the detector is extremely closed. In this configuration, only few photons actually reach the detector, resulting in a heavy reduction of the signal to noise ratio of the recorded image. As a consequence, users usually open the pinhole to achieve a satisfactory contrast, but doing so gradually decreases - and eventually nullifies - the super-resolution effect. To overcome the tradeoff between spatial resolution and signal to noise ratio, we developed an image scanning microscopy platform, leveraging a fast, frame-rate free pixellated detection hardware: the SPAD array detector. The platform exploits the spatial and temporal distributions of the fluorescence emission light, opportunely sampled by the SPAD array detector and by the custom-made acquisition architecture, to improve traditional confocal and fluorescence lifetime imaging.
December 2016: Master Degree Award from SIOF, Società Italiana Ottica e Fotonica
October 2018: Fee Waiver Program winner for the 24th Picoquant Single Molecule Workshop, Berlin