I obtained a M.Sc. Degree (Laurea Specialistica) in Biomedical Engineering at University of Pisa in 2007 (full marks, cum laude). In 2008 I was hired as Research Assistant at the CRIM Lab (Center of Research In Micro-bio-robotics) of Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) and I obtained a Ph.D. in Biorobotics (full marks, cum laude) at the same institution, in 2012. During the Ph.D., I formally acquired the double affiliation at SSSA and at the Center for Micro-Bio-Robotics of the Italian Institute of Technology (http://mbr.iit.it/). I have been Postdoctoral fellow for two years and I am now Assistant Professor at the BioRobotics Institute at SSSA (http://sssa.bioroboticsinstitute.it/), where I carry on an intense research activity and a high-level education activity for B.Sc. and M.Sc. students in Biomedical Engineering and for Ph.D. students in Biorobotics.
My scientific activity has been characterized from the beginning by a strongly interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven approach. This allowed me to carry out innovative research efforts at the interface between different disciplines, such as robotics and mechatronics, materials science, molecular biology and biotechnologies.
At the beginning of my scientific path, I faced mathematical modeling issues, as well as the design of modular robots and the integration of mechatronic systems. This allowed me to acquire specific expertise related to the engineering and integration of complex systems and to contribute to the innovation of this research field with one patent and three publications.
At a later stage, I oriented my scientific interests towards the design and development of systems at the meso-, micro- and nanoscale, characterized by innovative materials and micro/nano-components, with the aim of achieving smart devices for minimally invasive therapy, nanomedicine and regenerative medicine. These efforts produced a significant number of scientific contributes and they allowed me to acquire the instruments and the key knowledge typical of materials science, molecular biology and biotechnologies. In parallel, my original “robotic/mechatronic” education allowed me to invent novel solutions concerning mechatronic systems for advanced medical/surgical therapies and monitoring systems for analyses about patients’ health conditions and athletes’ sport performances (these efforts have been valued by several scientific works and other three patents).
Furthermore, I have attempted, during my scientific path, to create innovative (and potentially disruptive) “match points” between the different mentioned disciplines. A paradigmatic example is the research line on bio-hybrid systems, for which I recently received numerous awards and that allowed me to have a solid and recognized reputation at International level.
In conclusion, my distinctive characteristic is the ability to promote a cross-fertilization between different disciplines, with the aim of creating innovative knowledge substrates from which generating novel technological solutions for diagnosis and therapy. This approach has the potential to open new scenarios and to expand the applications of Bioengineering and Biorobotics, and it represents the major contribute that I can bring to such fields.