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Claudio Canale

Affiliated Researcher

Research Line

Nanoscopy & NIC@IIT


IIT Central Research Lab Genova


via Morego 30
+39 010 71781 885
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Claudio Canale is Team Leader at the Department of Nanophysics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). His activity is mainly focused on the application of scanning probe techniques in the study of bio-materials and bio-mechanisms. He graduated in Physics in at the University of Genova (Italy) in 2001, studying the distribution of scalar fields in the atmosphere, with particular interest on the saturation of intermittency in the temperature and humidity fields. He collaborated with the National Institute of Physics of Matter (2001-2002) on in the development of selective sensors for water analysis; functionalized self-assembled monolayers of thiols on gold were used for the detection of heavy ions in water. In 2006 he received the Ph.D. from the University of Genova, defending a thesis on the characterization of misfolded protein aggregates. The topics of his research are on the biological application of the AFM. In particular, he studied the kinetics of aggregation of different amyloidogenic peptides, relating them to the different condition at which the aggregation occured. He studied the interaction between amyloid aggregates and other bio-materials, with a particular interest on the interaction of amyloid olygomers and model membranes. In the last years he moved his interest also on the AFM application on cell, he is working at the study of cell mechanics, he focused in particular in the study of cell nuclei mechanics. He is interested in cell adhesion mechanism and he developed techniques to analyze the adhesion of cell on molecular substrate as well as the intercellular adhesion strength. In the last years he is stably collaborating with other IIT Departments.

Selected Publications

"Cholesterol drives Aβ(1–42) interaction with lipid rafts in model membranes." Langmuir (2014) 30 (46):13934–13941

"Cellular level nanomanipulation using atomic force microscope aided with superresolution imaging." Journal of Biomedical Optics (2014) 19(10):1-9

"GRP78 clustering at the cell surface of neuronf tranduces the action of exogenous alpha-synuclein." Cell Death & Differentiation (2014) 21:1971-1983
"Resting microglia react to Abeta-42, but do not detect oligomers or oligo-induced neuronal damage." Neurobiology of Aging (2014) 35(11): 2444-2457
"Lamin B1 overexpression increases nuclear rigidity in autosomal dominant leukodystrophy fibroblasts." The FASEB Journal, (2014) 28:3906-30918

"Effects of barium titanate nanoparticles on proliferation and differentiation of rat mesenchymal stem cells" Colloids and Surfaces B (2012) 102:312-320

"Probing cytoskeleton organization of neuroblastoma cells with single cell force spectroscopy" Journal of Molecular Recognition (2012) 25:270-277

“Toxic effects of expanded ataxin-1 involve mechanical instability of the nuclear membrane” BBA Molecular Basis of Disease (2012) 1822:906-917

"Inhibiting effect of αs1-casein on Aβ1-40 aggregation” BBA General Subjects (2012) 1820:124–132

“Nanoscale structural and mechanical effects of Beta-amyloid (1-42) on polymer cushioned membranes: A combined study by neutron reflectometry and AFM force spectroscopy BBA Biomembranes (2011) 11:2646-2655

“Force spectroscopy as a tool to investigate the properties of supported lipid membranes” Microscopy Research and Technique (2010) 73:465-972

“Amyloid Fibrils Formation and Amorphous Aggregation In Concanavalin A” Biophys. Chem. (2007) 125:184-190

“Natively folded HypF-N and its early aggregates interact with phospholipid monolayers and destabilize supported lipid bilayer” Biophys. J. (2006) 91:4575-4578

“Collagen plays an active role in the aggregation of β2-microglobulin under physio-pathological conditions of dialysis-related amyloidosis” J. Biol. Chem. (2006) 281 (24):16521-16529

“Beta Amyloid is Different in Normal Aging and in Alzheimer’s Disease” J. Biol. Chem.(2005) 40:34186-34192

“Amyloid Formation from HypF-N under Conditions in wich the Protein is Initially in its Native State” J. Mol. Biol. (2005) 34:323-335

“Monitoring the Process of HypF Fibrillization and Liposome Permeabilization by Protofibrils” J. Mol. Biol. (2004) 338:943–957





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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.