Nanoelectronics for Cellular Interfaces (Diego Pallarola)

Our research is focus on the study of the interaction between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) as well as cell-cell interactions with a focus on how these interactions regulate the structure and dynamics of the cell. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these interactions is highly relevant for the investigation of biological processes such as cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and migration.

Biologically inspired materials that mimic the cell´s natural surrounding and have the ability to transduce cellular signaling activities are ideal for gaining insights into the chemical and physical cues regulating these events. Our approach builds upon real-time monitoring of cellular processes by simultaneous optical microscopy and electrochemical techniques on nanostructured surfaces with a defined spatial arrangement of adhesion sites for cells. The advantages of this approach can be summed up as follows: the chance to test cellular responses under specifically engineered environments in a highly sensitive, label-free, instantaneous and non-destructive manner.

The specific knowledge obtained from this interdisciplinary approach creates a better understanding of cell adhesion dynamics and lays the foundation for further developments in biosensing technologies.