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Luca Berdondini

Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator
Senior Researcher

Research Line

Microtechnology for Neuroelectronics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30
+39 010 2896 520
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Luca Berdondini was born in 1974, in Locarno, Switzerland. He is a Senior Researcher at the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT, Genova, Italy), leading the IIT-NetS3 laboratory at the Dpt. of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies.

He received in 1999 a M.Sc. degree in microengineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), with a Master Thesis at Caltech (USA) by Prof. J. Pine. After a short working experience in robotics at K-Team SA (Switzerland), he began his Ph.D. studies in the field of bio-electrochemical MEMs at the Sensors Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory (Samlab, EPFL, Switzerland) under the coordination of Prof. M. Koudelka-Hep and Prof. N.F. De Rooij. In 2003 he received his PhD with a thesis on nano-/micro-fabricated interfaces and CMOS devices for large-scale high-resolution electrophysiology (Samlab, EPFL, Switzerland), based on the concept of active-pixel-sensor arrays (APS-MEAs).

At IIT, his laboratory converges a multidisciplinary research effort where scientists in neuroscience, engineering, biophysics and computation work in synergy on the development and experimental use of instrumentation integrating novel generations of sensing devices realized with microelectronics, micro-/nano-structuring, novel materials and biotechnologies. His research line targets large-scale sensing, actuation and analysis of neuronal activity at multiple scales in large neuronal assemblies and brain circuits, for experimental research in neuroscience and for potential applications in clinical neuroprosthetics, for neuro-pharmacological/toxicological screenings as well as for deriving brain-inspired artificial ICTs. The laboratory research is supported by funding from the European Community, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Italian Agencies as well as through collaborations with the industry.

Luca Berdondini is among the pioneers of CMOS-based multielectrode arrays for electrophysiology and co-founder of 3Brain GmbH (now 3Brain AG, Wädenswil, Switzerland).

Selected Publications

Selected Publications:

  1. G. N. Angotzi, M. Malerba, F. Boi, E. Miele, A. Maccione, H. Amin, M. Crepaldi, L. Berdondini (2018) A Synchronous Neural Recording Platform for Multiple High-Resolution CMOS Probes and Passive Electrode Arrays, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 12:3, pp. 532-542.
  2. T. Nieus, V. D’Andrea, H. Amin, S. Di Marco, H. Safaai, A. Maccione, L. Berdondini, S. Panzeri (2018) State-dependent representation of stimulus-evoked activity in high-density recordings of neural cultures Sci Rep. 8:5578.
  3. H. Amin, M. Dipalo, F. De Angelis, L. Berdondini (2018) Biofunctionalized 3D Nanopillar Arrays Fostering Cell Guidance and Promoting Synapse Stability and Neuronal Activity in Networks, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10, 17, 15207-15215.
  4. M. Crepaldi, G. N. Angotzi, A. Maviglia, F. Diotalevi, L. Berdondini (2018) A 5 pJ/pulse at 1-Gpps Pulsed Transmitter Based on Asynchronous Logic Master–Slave PLL Synthesis, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, 54:3.
  5. H. Amin H, F. Marinaro, D.D.P. Tonelli, L. Berdondini (2017) Developmental excitatory-to-inhibitory GABA-polarity switch is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: A potential target for clinical therapeutics, Sci Rep. 7:15752.
  6. D. Lonardoni, H. Amin, S. Di Marco, A. Maccione, L. Berdondini*, T. Nieus* (2017) Recurrently connected and localized neuronal communities initiate coordinated spontaneous activity in neuronal networks, PLoS Comput. Biol. 13(7): e1005672.
  7. H. Amin, T. Nieus, D. Lonardoni, A. Maccione, L. Berdondini (2017) High-resolution bioelectrical imaging of Aβ-induced network dysfunction on CMOS-MEAs for neurotoxicity and rescue studies, Sci Rep. 7(1):2460.
  8. M. Dipalo, H. Amin, L. Lovato, F. Moia, V. Caprettini, G. C. Messina, F. Tantussi, L. Berdondini, F. De Angelis (2017) Intracellular and extracellular recording of spontaneous action potentials in mammalian neurons and cardiac cells with 3D plasmonic nano-electrodes, Nano Lett 17(6):3932-3939.
  9. S. Dante, A. Petrelli, E. Petrini, R. Marotta, A. Maccione, A. Alabastri, A. Quarta, F. De Donato, T. Ravasenga, A. Sathya, R. Cingolani, R. Proietti Zaccaria, L. Berdondini*, A. Barberis*, T. Pellegrino* (2017) Selective targeting of neurons with inorganic nanoparticles: revealing the crucial role of nanoparticle surface charge, ACS Nano 11, 7, 6630-6640.
  10. G. Hilgen, M. Sorbaro, S. Pirmoradian, J. O. Muthmann, I. E. Kepiro, S. Ullo, C. J. Ramirez, A. P. Encinas, A. Maccione, L. Berdondini, V. Murino, D. Sona, F. Cella Zanacchi, E. Sernagor, M. Helge Hennig (2017) Unsupervised Spike Sorting for Large-Scale High-Density Multielectrode Arrays, Cell Rep 18:2521–2532.
  11. O. Barca-Mayo, M. Pons-Espinal, P. Follert, A. Armirotti, L. Berdondini*, D. De Pietri Tonelli* (2017) Astrocyte deletion of Bmal1 alters daily locomotor activity and cognitive functions via GABA signaling, Nat. Comun 8:2041-1723.
  12. H. Amin, A. Maccione, F. Marinaro, S. Zordan, T. Nieus, L. Berdondini (2016) Electrical Responses and Spontaneous Activity of Human iPS-Derived Neuronal Networks Characterized for 3-month Culture with 4096-Electrode Arrays, Front. Neurosci. 10:121.
  13. G. C. Messina, M. Dipalo, R. La Rocca, P. Zilio, V. Caprettini, R. Proietti, Z. A. Toma, F. Tantussi, L. Berdondini, F. De Angelis (2015) Spatially, Temporally, and Quantitatively Controlled Delivery of Broad Range of Molecules into Selected Cells through Plasmonic Nanotubes, Adv. Mater. 27(44):7145-7149.
  14. A. Maccione, M. Gandolfo, S. Zordan, H. Amin, S. Di Marco, T. Nieus, G. N. Angotzi, L. Berdondini (2015) Microelectronics, bioinformatics and neurocomputation for massive neuronal recordings in brain circuits with large scale multielectrode array probes, Brain Res Bull. 119:118-126.
  15. D. Panas, H. Amin, A. Maccione, O. Muthmann, M. van Rossum, L. Berdondini*, M.H. Hennig* (2015) Sloppiness in Spontaneously Active Neuronal Networks, J. Neurosci. 35(22)8480-8492.
  16. M. Dipalo, G. C. Messina, H. Amin, R. La Rocca, V. Shalabaeva, A. Simi, A. Maccione, P. Zilio, L. Berdondini*, F. De Angelis* (2015) 3D plasmonic nanoantennas integrated with MEA biosensors, Nanoscale, 7 (8), pp. 3703-3711.
  17. A. Maccione, M. H. Hennig, M. Gandolfo, O. Muthmann, J. van Coppenhagen, S. J. Eglen, L. Berdondini, E. Sernagor. “Following the ontogeny of retinal waves: pan-retinal recordings of population dynamics in the neonatal mouse”, Journal of Physiology, 592 (7), pp. 1545-1563, 2014.
  18. S. Ullo, T. R. Nieus, D. Sona, A. Maccione, L. Berdondini* and V. Murino* (2014) Functional connectivity estimation over large networks at cellular resolution based on electrophysiological recordings and structural prior, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 8 (NOV), 137.
  19. A. Petrelli, E. Marconi, M. Salerno, D. De Pietri Tonelli, L. Berdondini*, S. Dante* (2013) Nano-volume drop patterning for rapid on-chip neuronal connect-ability assays, Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, 13 (22), pp. 4419-4429.
  20. E. Ferrea, A. Maccione, L. Medrihan, T. Nieus, D. Ghezzi, P. Baldelli, F. Benfenati, L. Berdondini (2012) Large-scale, high-resolution electrophysiological imaging of field potentials in brain slices with microelectronic multielectrode arrays, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 2012;6:80. Nov 14.
  21. M. Gandolfo, A. Maccione, M. Tedesco, S. Martinoia, L. Berdondini (2010) Tracking burst patterns in hippocampal cultures with high-density CMOS-MEAs”. Journal of Neural Engineering, 7:5.
  22. A. Maccione, M. Gandolfo, M. Tedesco, T. Nieus, K. Imfeld, S. Martinoia and L. Berdondini (2010) Experimental investigation on spontaneously active hippocampal cultures recorded by means of high-density MEAs: analysis of the spatial resolution effects, Front. Neuroeng. 3:4.
  23. L. Berdondini, K. Imfeld, A. Maccione, M. Tedesco, S. Neukom, M. Koudelka-Hep, S. Martinoia (2009) Active pixel sensor array for high spatio-temporal resolution electrophysiological recordings from single cell to large scale neuronal networks”, Lab On Chip, vol 9, pp. 2644–2651.
  24. L. Berdondini, P. Massobrio, M. Chiappalone, M. Tedesco, K. Imfeld, A. Maccione, M. Gandolfo, M. Koudelka-Hep and S. Martinoia (2009) Extracellular recordings from high density microelectrode arrays coupled to dissociated cortical neuronal cultures”, J. Neuroscience Methods, vol. 177, pp. 386–396.
  25. K. Imfeld, S. Neukom, A. Maccione, Y. Bornat, S. Martinoia, P. A. Farine, M. Koudelka-Hep, L. Berdondini (2008) Large-Scale High-Resolution Data Acquisition System for Extracellular Recording of Electrophysiological Activity, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering , 55:8.
  26. K. Imfeld, A. Maccione, M. Gandolfo, S. Martinoia, P.A. Farine, M. Koudelka-Hep, L. Berdondini (2008) Real-time signal processing for high-density MEA systems, Int. J. of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing, DOI 10.1002/acs.
  27. M. Chiappalone, A. Vato, L. Berdondini, M. Koudelka-Hep, and S. Martinoia (2007) Network Dynamics and Synchronous Activity in Cultured Cortical Neurons”, International Journal of Neural Systems, Vol 17, No 2, pp. 87-103.
  28. L. Berdondini, S. Generelli, T. Kraus, O. Guenat, S. Koster, V. Linder, M. Koudelka-Hep, N.F. de Rooij (2006) Microfabricated platforms for the study of neuronal and cellular networks”, J. of Physics: conf. series, 34, 1-6.
  29. L. Berdondini, M. Chiappalone, P.D. van der Wal, K. Imfeld, N.F. de Rooij, M. Koudelka-Hep, M. Tedesco, S. Martinoia, J. van Pelt, G. Le Masson, A. Garenne (2006) A microelectrode array (MEA) integrated with clustering structures for investigating in vitro neurodynamics in confined interconnected sub-populations of neurons”, Sensors and Actuators B, Vol 114 pp 530-541.
  30. L. Berdondini, P.D. van der Wal, O. Guenat, N. F. de Rooij, M. Koudelka-Hep, P. Seitz, R. Kaufmann, P. Metzler, N. Blanc ,S. Rohr (2005) High-density electrode array for imaging in-vitro electrophysiological activity”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, vol. 21, pp. 167–174.
  31. L. Berdondini, P.D. van der Wal, N.F. de Rooij, M. Koudelka-Hep (2004) Development of an electroless post-processing technique for depositing gold as electrode material on CMOS devices", Sensors and Actuators B, Vol 99, 505-510.


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Accetta e chiudi

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.