R. Cingolani

Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Liguria, Italy

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Publications (952)2935.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Solution-processed inorganic and organic materials have been pursued for more than a decade as low-threshold, high-gain lasing media, motivated in large part by their tunable optoelectronic properties and ease of synthesis and processing. Although both have demonstrated stimulated emission and lasing, they have not yet approached the continuous-wave pumping regime. Two-dimensional CdSe colloidal nanosheets combine the advantage of solution synthesis with the optoelectronic properties of epitaxial two-dimensional quantum wells. Here, we show that these colloidal quantum wells possess large exciton and biexciton binding energies of 132 meV and 30 meV, respectively, giving rise to stimulated emission from biexcitons at room temperature. Under femtosecond pulsed excitation, close-packed thin films yield an ultralow stimulated emission threshold of 6 μJ cm(-2), sufficient to achieve continuous-wave pumped stimulated emission, and lasing when these layers are embedded in surface-emitting microcavities.
    Nature Nanotechnology 10/2014; · 31.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cuticle is one of the most important plant barriers. It is an external and continuous lipid membrane that covers the surface of epidermal cells and whose main function is to prevent the massive loss of water. The spectroscopic characterization of the plant cuticle and its components (cutin, cutan, waxes, polysaccharides and phenolics) by infrared and Raman spectroscopies has provided significant advances in the knowledge of the functional groups present in the cuticular matrix and on their structural role, interaction and macromolecular arrangement. Additionally, these spectroscopies have been used in the study of cuticle interaction with exogenous molecules, degradation, distribution of components within the cuticle matrix, changes during growth and development and characterization of fossil plants.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 06/2014; 5(305):1. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Technologies able to handle microvolumes of liquids, like microfluidics and liquid marbles, are attractive for applications that include miniaturized biological and chemical reactors, sensors, microactuators, and drug delivery systems. Inspired from natural fibrous envelopes, here we present an innovative approach for liquid encapsulation and manipulation by using electrospun nanofibers. We demonstrated the realization of not-wetting soft solids consisting of a liquid core wrapped in a hydrophobic fibrillar cloak of a fluoroacrylic copolymer and cellulose acetate. By properly controlling the wetting and mechanical properties of the fibers, we created final architectures with tunable mechanical robustness that were stable on a wide range of substrate (from paper to glass) and floated on liquid surfaces. Remarkably, the realized fiber-coated drops endured vortex mixing in a continuous oil phase at high stirring speed without bursting or water losses, favouring mixing processes inside the entrapped liquid volume. Moreover, the produced cloak can be easily functionalized by incorporating functional particles, active molecules or drugs inside the nanofibers.
    Langmuir 02/2014; · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied in vitro toxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) coated with a thin silica shell (Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs) on A549 and HeLa cells. We compared bare and surface passivated Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs to evaluate the effects of the coating on the particle stability and toxicity. NPs cytotoxicity was investigated by cell viability, membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays, and their genotoxicity by comet assay. Our results show that NPs surface passivation reduces the oxidative stress and alteration of iron homeostasis and, consequently, the overall toxicity, despite bare and passivated NPs show similar cell internalization efficiency. We found that the higher toxicity of bare NPs is due to their stronger in-situ degradation, with larger intracellular release of iron ions, as compared to surface passivated NPs. Our results indicate that surface engineering of Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs plays a key role in improving particles stability in biological environments reducing both cytotoxic and genotoxic effects.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85835. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The assessment of the risks exerted by nanoparticles is a key challenge for academic, industrial, and regulatory communities worldwide. Experimental evidence points towards significant toxicity for a range of nanoparticles both in vitro and in vivo. Worldwide efforts aim at uncovering the underlying mechanisms for this toxicity. Here, we show that the intracellular ion release elicited by the acidic conditions of the lysosomal cellular compartment - where particles are abundantly internalized - is responsible for the cascading events associated with nanoparticles-induced intracellular toxicity. We call this mechanism a lysosome-enhanced Trojan horse effect since, in the case of nanoparticles, the protective cellular machinery designed to degrade foreign objects is actually responsible for their toxicity. To test our hypothesis, we compare toxicity for similar gold particles whose main difference is in the internalization pathways. We show that particles known to pass directly though cell membranes be
    Nanoscale 01/2014; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fatigue resistance of the photochromic diarylethene molecules 1,2-bis[2-methylbenzo[b]thyophen-3-yl]-3,3,4,4,5,5-hexafluoro-1-cyclopentene embedded in three different acrylic polymers is studied upon multiple coloration–decoloration cycles. The resistance to photofatigue is found to be different in the three polymeric materials when one-photon excitation was used for the reversible photoconversion experiment. In particular, the photochromic molecules lose their photoisomerization ability faster if they are embedded in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with respect to poly(ethyl methacrylate-co-methyl acrylate) (PEMMA) and poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA). We propose several explanations based on the physico-chemical properties of the matrix and of the photochromic molecules. In the case of two-photon excitation, which is necessary for 3D optical writing, the fatigue resistance is found to be poorer than in the one-photon case. The accelerated photodegradation can be assigned to the non-linear nature of interaction between the polymeric composite material and light.
    Materials Science and Engineering: B. 06/2013; 178(10):730–735.
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    ABSTRACT: Point mutations in the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) gene are being increasingly recognized as important diagnostic and prognostic markers in cancer. In this work, we describe a rapid and low-cost method for the naked-eye detection of cancer-related point mutations in KRAS, based on gold nanoparticles. This simple colorimetric assay is sensitive (limit of detection in the low picomolar range), instrument-free, and employs non-stringent room temperature conditions, thanks to a combination of DNA-conjugated gold nanoparticles, a probe design which exploits cooperative hybridization for increased binding affinity, and signal enhancement on the surface of magnetic beads. Additionally, the scheme is suitable for point-of-care applications, as it combines naked-eye detection, small sample volumes, and isothermal (PCR-free) amplification.
    ACS Nano 05/2013; · 12.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Local heating can be produced by iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) when exposed to an alternating magnetic field (AMF). To measure the temperature profile at the nanoparticle surface with a subnanometer resolution, here we present a molecular temperature probe based on the thermal decomposition of a thermo-sensitive molecule, namely, azobis[N-(2-carboxyethyl)-2-methylpropionamidine]. Fluoresceineamine (FA) was bound to the azo molecule at the IONP surface functionalized with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) spacers of different molecular weights. Significant local heating, with a temperature increase up to 45 °C, was found at distances below 0.5 nm from the surface of the nanoparticle, which decays exponentially with increasing distance. Furthermore, the temperature increase was found to scale linearly with the applied field at all distances. We implemented these findings in an AMF-triggered drug release system in which doxorubicin was covalently linked at different distances from the IONP surface bearing the same thermo-labile azo molecule. We demonstrated the AMF triggered distance-dependent release of the drug in a cytotoxicity assay on KB cancer cells.
    Nano Letters 05/2013; · 13.03 Impact Factor
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    Loris Rizzello, Roberto Cingolani, Pier Paolo Pompa
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    ABSTRACT: The understanding of the interactions between biological systems and nanoengineered devices is crucial in several research fields, including tissue engineering, biomechanics, synthetic biology and biomedical devices. This review discusses the current knowledge of the interactions between bacteria and abiotic nanostructured substrates. First, the effects of randomly organized nanoscale topography on bacterial adhesion and persistence are described. Second, the interactions between microorganisms and highly organized/ordered micro- and nano-patterns are discussed. Finally, we survey the most promising approaches for the fabrication of silver polymeric nanocomposites, which have important applications as antimicrobial materials. The advantages, drawbacks and limitations of such nanotechnologies are critically discussed in view of potential future applications.
    Nanomedicine 05/2013; 8(5):807-21. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-quality core/shell CdSe/CdS colloidal nanocrystals are demonstrated to be efficient sources of non-classical light. As shown by Ferruccio Pisanello and co-workers on page 1974, the intrinsic anisotropy of these nanoparticles allows an independent tuning of shell length and thickness, resulting in a full control of photon statistics. This can be exploited to obtain non-blinking, room-temperature single-photon generation, thus bringing colloidal nanocrystals one step closer to non-classical light sources for quantum applications.
    Advanced Materials 04/2013; 25(14):1973. · 14.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study reports a simple method to control the mechanical and surface properties of cellulose fiber networks and to protect them from humidity, without altering their initial morphology. This is achieved by dip coating the fiber networks in solutions containing different amounts of ethyl cyanoacrylate monomer (ECA). Under ambient humidity and due to the presence of the -OH groups of the cellulose, the ECA polymerizes around each individual cellulosic fiber forming a thin poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate) (PECA) shell. PECA was found to interact with the cellulose surface via hydrogen bonding as evidenced by Fourier trans-form infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis measurements. The detailed surface character-ization reveals that only 3.5 wt% of ECA in solution is sufficient to form compact PECA cladding around every cellulose fiber. After the proposed treatment the cellu-lose sheets become hydrophobic, well protected from the environmental humidity and with increased Young's modulus.
    Cellulose 03/2013; 20:1501. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biodegradable polymeric materials based on blending aqueous dispersions of natural polymer sodium alginate (NaAlg) and povidone iodine (PVPI) complex, which allow controlled antiseptic release, are presented. The developed materials are either free standing NaAlg films or Ca(2+)-cross-linked alginate beads, which properly combined with PVPI demonstrate antibacterial and antifungal activity, suitable for therapeutic applications, such as wound dressing. Glycerol was used as the plasticizing agent. Film morphology was studied by optical and atomic force microscopy. It was found that PVPI complex forms well dispersed circular micro-domains within the NaAlg matrix. The beads were fabricated by drop-wise immersion of NaAlg/PVPI/glycerol solutions into aqueous calcium chloride solutions to form calcium alginate beads encapsulating PVPI solution (CaAlg/PVPI). Controlled release of PVPI was possible when the composite films and beads were brought into direct contact with water or with moist media. Bactericidal and fungicidal properties of the materials were tested against Escherichia coli bacteria and Candida albicans fungi. The results indicated very efficient antibacterial and antifungal activity within 48h. Controlled release of PVPI into open wounds is highly desired in clinical applications to avoid toxic doses of iodine absorption by the wound. A wide variety of applications are envisioned such as external and internal wound dressings with controlled antiseptic release, hygienic and protective packaging films for medical devices, and polymer beads as water disinfectants.
    Carbohydrate polymers. 01/2013; 92(1):176-83.
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    ABSTRACT: Blinking and single-photon emission can be tailored in CdSe/CdS core/shell colloidal dot-in-rods. By increasing shell thickness it is possible to obtain almost non-blinking nanocrystals, while shell length can be used to control single-photon emission probability.
    Advanced Materials 01/2013; · 14.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interaction of polyethylene oxide (PEO) with transition metal triflates is a newly emerging research area due to its numerous application fields, such as thin-film power conversion devices and sensors. In the present study, we demonstrate, for the first time, that PEO can solvate silver triflate organic salts in large quantities when formic acid is used as a common solvent for both. Nanocomposites with unique structural and electrical properties are fabricated by simply drop casting formic acid solutions of PEO and silver triflate salts. We present a detailed experimental study on the characterization of morphological and electrical properties of PEO-silver triflate nanocomposite films as a function of silver triflate concentration and discuss their potential applications as humidity sensors. In particular, by increasing the concentration of the salt in the initial solution the morphological features of the formed nanocomposites can be varied from well defined microcrystals to amorphous nanofibers. Of special interest are the nanocomposite films fabricated from a 1:1 (PEO-unit:Ag(+)) molar ratio, since they consist of self-assembled nanofibrillar structures, which exhibit good electrical conductivity as well as highly repeatable sensitivity towards humidity.
    Nanotechnology 01/2013; 24(5):055602. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A picosecond laser ablation approach has been developed for the synthesis of ligand-free AuAg bimetallic NPs where the relative amount of Ag is controlled in situ through a laser shielding effect. Various measurements, such as optical spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy combined with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, revealed the generation of homogenous 15 nm average size bimetallic NPs with different compositions and tunable localized surface plasmon resonance. Furthermore, ligand-free metallic nanoparticles with respect to chemically synthesized nanoparticles display outstanding properties, i.e. featureless Raman background spectrum, which is a basic requirement in many plasmonic applications such as Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Various molecules were chemisorbed on the nanoparticle and SERS investigations were carried out, by varying the laser wavelength. The SERS enhancement factor for AuAg bimetallic NPs shows an
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 01/2013; 15(9):3075-3082. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate the generation of natural polymeric structures of complex shapes and controlled composition, starting from the collision of aqueous drops of alginate with the surface of a calcium ion-based liquid. We prove that by tuning the impact velocity of the alginate drops on the target surface one can control the floating state of the drops inducing the formation of mushroom-like structures, upon alginate gelation. Besides the geometric peculiarity, the presented approach allows us to provide dual functionality to the polymeric objects, attaching different kinds of functional molecules onto their surface areas, which are immersed or not in the liquid, making such architectures attractive for the development of a novel class of bionanocomposites.
    Soft Matter 01/2013; · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although optical technology provides the best solution for the transmission of information, all-optical devices must satisfy several qualitative criteria to be used as logic elements. In particular, cascadability is difficult to obtain in optical systems, and it is assured only if the output of one stage is in the correct form to drive the input of the next stage. Exciton-polaritons, which are composite particles resulting from the strong coupling between excitons and photons, have recently demonstrated huge non-linearities and unique propagation properties. Here we show that polariton fluids moving in the plane of the microcavity can operate as input and output of an all-optical transistor, obtaining up to 19 times amplification and demonstrating the cascadability of the system. Moreover, the operation as an AND/OR gate is shown, validating the connectivity of multiple transistors in the microcavity plane and opening the way to the implementation of polariton integrated circuits.
    Nature Communications 01/2013; 4:1778. · 10.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
2,935.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
      • Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
    • STMicroelectronics
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1994–2012
    • Università del Salento
      • Department of Engineering for Innovation
      Lecce, Apulia, Italy
    • Hokkaido University
      • Research Institute for Electronic Science
      Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
    • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2010
    • Delft University of Technology
      • International Research Centre for Telecommunications and Radar
      Delft, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2005–2010
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Cybernetics “Eduardo Caianiello”
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2009
    • ENEA
      • Brindisi Research Centre
      Roma, Latium, Italy
    • Dalian University of Technology
      Lü-ta-shih, Liaoning, China
  • 2008
    • University of Surrey
      • Advanced Technology Institute (ATI)
      Guildford, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
      Saloníki, Central Macedonia, Greece
  • 1999–2008
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2003–2007
    • Università Politecnica delle Marche
      • • Department of Civil, Building Engineering and Architecture (DICES)
      • • Department of Information Engineering (DII)
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy
    • Arizona State University
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • 1988–2007
    • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
      • Laboratory NEST: National Enterprise for Nano-Science and Nano-Technology
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2006
    • Université de Montpellier 1
      Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • 2005–2006
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Center for Nanoscience (CeNS)
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1986–2006
    • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
      • Department of Chemistry
      Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 1997–2003
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
      • • Electrical Engineering
      • • Department of Physics
      Richmond, VA, United States
    • Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali
      Florens, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1998–1999
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Institute of Industrial Science
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan
    • Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart
      Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1994–1998
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Physics
      Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • Philipps-Universität Marburg
      • Faculty of Physics
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
  • 1993
    • Hiroshima University
      • Faculty of Engineering
      Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken, Japan
  • 1989–1992
    • Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
      Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany