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Silvia Giordani

Visiting scientist
Founder and Leader of the Nano Carbon Materials Lab


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In September 2013 Prof. Silvia Giordani founded the Nano Carbon Materials Research Lab at the Italian Institute of Technology.

Silvia Giordani received a Laurea in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Milan, Italy and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Miami, USA. Supported by Marie Curie Fellowships she studied various aspects of nanotechnology as a post-doctoral fellow at both Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland and the University of Trieste, Italy.  She has been awarded the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA) and from 2007 to 2013 she has been a Research Assistant Professor at TCD where she run an international and interdisciplinary research group. She was awarded the 2012 L’Oreal-UNESCO UK and Ireland for Women in Science Fellowship and has been a visiting scientist at the Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy.  In 2014 she has been invited to give a “Women in Science” Masterclass at the Royal Irish Academy.  In 2018 she was awarded the William Evans Visiting Fellowship from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and is Visiting Professor at Toyo University (Japan). 

Since April 2016 she is the Working Group Leader and Management Committee Member for the COST Action CA15107 “Multi‐Functional Nano‐Carbon Composite Materials Network” (MultiComp).

In 2012 she applied and received the Habilitation for Full Professor of Organic Chemistry; Models and Methodologies for Chemical Science; Chemical Fundaments of Technologies by the Italian Ministry of Education.  In December 2016 she was appointed Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Turin and in October 2018 Full Professor Chair of Nanomaterials at DCU. 

Prof. Giordani research interests are on the design, synthesis, and characterization of a range of nanomaterials that are intended for applications in smart and responsive nanotechnologies. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in International journals from 2001 to date, including Chemistry Society Reviews, Nature Nanotechnology, PNAS, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and J. Am. Chem. Soc. that collectively have received over 6,000 citations and her results have been highlighted in journals such as Science, Nature, and New Scientist. Dr. Giordani has also presented her work at numerous conferences around the world e.g. in United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, India, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and across most of Europe.

List of invited presentations at international research conferences and symposium (last five years):

  1. 9th International Symposium On Photochromism (ISOP2019), Paris, France, 23-27 Sept. 2019
  2. 4th International Conference on Energy Engineering and Smart Materials (ICEESM 2019) & 4th International Conference on Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials in Energy (ICNNE 2019), TCD, Dublin, Ireland 30 June – 2 July 2019 (Keynote)
  3. European Materials Research Society (EMRS) spring meeting, Symposium L: New strategies for smart biointerfaces, Nice, France, 26-31 May 2019 (Keynote)
  4. Institute of Chemistry of Ireland Annual Congress 2019 ‘Molecular Sensing and Imaging’, Maynooth, Ireland 20 May 2019
  5. 4thChina Italy Bilateral Symposium on Organic Chemistry (CISOC), Bologna, Italy, 16-17 April 2019 
  6. 9th international conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AMN9), Wellington, New Zealand, 10-14 Feb. 2019
  7. 6th International Conference Novel Functional Carbon Nanomaterials, CIMTEC, Perugia, Italy, 13 June 2018 
  8. Nanotechnologies in pharmaceutical sciences symposium, University of Milan, 21-23 May 2018
  9. NanoteC17, Carbon Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Conference, Nantes, France, 30 Aug-2 Sept. 2017 (Keynote)
  10. European Materials Research Society (EMRS) spring meeting, SymposiumK: Bioinspired and biointegrated materials as new frontiers nanomaterials, Strasbourg, France, 22-26 May 2017 (Keynote)
  11. Sensors: Diagnostics for Sustainable Healthcare CSCT Symposium, University of Bath, UK 12 April 2017
  12. 8th international conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AMN8), Queenstown, New Zealand, Feb. 2017 (Keynote)
  13. COST Action CA 15107, Multi-Functional Nano-Carbon Composite Materials, Heraklion, Crete, 20 October 2016  (Work Group Leader)
  14. "Stato dell’arte della ricerca oncologia e prospettive future: il contributo dei chimici alla ricerca", Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Genova, Genova, Italy, 7 October 2016 (Keynote)
  15. 35thItalian Society of Chemistry Congress (TUMA 2016), Giulianova, Italy, 25 - 27 September 2016 (Keynote)
  16. 16thEuropean Microscopy Congress (EMC2016), Lyon, France, 28 Aug-2 Sept. 2016
  17. Living Materials Workshop, Tufts European Center, Taillores, France, 17-20 July 2016
  18. ChemOnTubes 2016, International meeting on the chemistry of graphene and carbon nanotubes, Brussells, Belgium 3-7 April 2016
  19. International Seminar on Bioscience and Nanotechnology, Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre, Toyo University, Japan 22 March 2016
  20. International Workshop on International Collaborative Research on Interplay between Nanocarbon, Supramolecule, and Biochemistry, Okayama, Japan 14-16 March 2016.
  21. 9thInternational Congress on Chemical Sciences, Technology and Innovation, Quimicuba 2015, Nano and Supramolecular Chemistry symposium, Havana, Cuba, 13-16 Oct. 2015
  22. NanoteC15, Carbon Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Conference, Oxford, UK, 14-17 Sept. 2015
  23. International Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials, Bad Homburg, Germany, 6-10 Sept. 2015 (Keynote)
  24. AIV XXII Conference, Biointerfaces, Genova, 20-22 May 2015 (Keynote)
  25. SPIE Photonics West – BiOS Biomedical Optics Conference2015, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications X, San Francisco, CA, USA, 9 Feb. 2015
  26. Olimpia Summer School- Optogenetics and Neural Interfaces, Sestri Levante, Italy, 22-24 Sept. 2014
  27. Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting, Nanodiamonds symposium, ID: PP2.01, San Francisco, CA, USA, 22 April 2014 


carbon nanomaterials graphene molecular switches materials chemistry supramolecular chemistry


Research Area and Interests:

Supramolecular Chemistry: design, synthesis and characterization of photoactive molecules for sensing and light-activated delivery

Nanoscience: synthesis, functionalization and characterization of carbon nanomaterials for imaging, sensing, drug delivery, catalysis, environmental and energy applications. Nanosafety.


  • Prof. Toru Maekawa, Biomedical Engineering, Bio-Nano Inst., Toyo University, Japan
  • Prof. Francisco M. Raymo, Chemistry Dept., Univ. of Miami, FL, USA
  • Dr. Olga Shenderova, CEO Adámas Nanotechnologies, Inc, Raleigh, NC, USA
  • Prof. Eoin Scanlan, Chemistry Dept., Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Prof. Paula Colavita, Chemistry Dept., Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Prof. Donal O’Shea, Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry Dept., Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, Ireland
  • Dr. Raffaella Tonini, Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Dept., IIT, Genova, Italy
  • Dr. Tiziano Bandiera, Drug Discovery and Development Dept., IIT, Genova, Italy
  • Prof. Fabrizio Pirri, Center for Sustainable Future Technologies, IIT Turin, Italy 



Juergen Bartelmess              Postdoc                                               2013 - 15

Marco Frasconi                     Postdoc                                               2014 - 15

Michele Baldrighi                  Postdoc                                               2014 - 17

Angelo Signorelli                   trainee                                                  2014

Giulia Locatelli                       trainee                                                 2014 - 15

Michele Becce                       intern                                                   2014 - 15

Irene Rosina                          intern                                                    2015 - 16

Francesca Cardano              intern                                                    2015 - 16

Gesmi Milcovich                   Postdoc                                                2016 - 17

Marina Rodio                        Fellow                                                   2016 - 17

Francisco Morales Lara        Postdoc                                                2016 - 17

Giuseppina Pace                  Postdoc                                                2017 - 18

Viviana Maffeis                      PhD (graduated March 2018)              2014 - 18

Adalberto Camisasca            PhD (graduated March 2019)              2015 - 18

Francesca Cardano               PhD (graduation March 2020)             2016 - 19

Stefania Lettieri                     Postdoc                                               2016 - 19


Marta d’Amora                      Postdoc                                               2017 - 20

Mirtha Lourenco                   Postdoc                                                2018 - 20

Selected Publications

List of NACM Research Publications:

  1. M. A. Mazza, F. Cardano, J. Cusido, J. D. Baker, S. Giordani and F. M. Raymo* (2019) “Ratiometric Temperature Sensing with Fluorescent Thermochromic Switches” Chemical Communications 55 (8), 1112-1115 (IF=6.29)

  2. F. Cardano, E. Del Canto, and S. Giordani* (2019) “Spiropyran for light-controlled drug delivery” Dalton Transactions, AdvanceArticle DOI:10.1039/C9DT02092F (SG invited)

  3. d’Amora, V. Maffeis, R. Brescia, D. Barnes, E. Scanlan* and S. Giordani* (2019) “Modification of CNOs with Glycopeptides, Glycoproteins and Antibodies: a targeted platform approach to Nanomedicine” Nanomaterials, 9, 19, 1069-1081 (IF = 4.0)

  4. Giordani,* A. Camisasca, V. Maffeis (2019) “Carbon Nano-onions: a versatile tool for Nanomedicine” Current Medicinal Chemistry  in press (IF=3.249) (SG invited for mini-thematic issue “Perspective of graphene-like structures in biomedical applications”)

  5. Maffeis, L. Moni, D., S. Giordani* and R. Riva* (2019) “Diversity-oriented synthesis of blue emissive nitrogen heterocycles and their conjugation with carbon nano-onions” Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering 1- 14 (IF: 2.809) (SG invited for Special Issue on “Fluorescent Probes”)

  6. Trusel, M. Baldrighi, R. Marotta, F. Gatto, M. Pesce, M. Frasconi, T. Catelani, F. Papaleo, P. Pompa, R. Tonini*, S. Giordani* (2018) "Internalization of Carbon Nano-onions by hippocampal cells preserves neuronal circuit function and recognition memory, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10 (20), 16952-16963.(IF= 8.907)
  7. Camisasca, A. Sacco*, R. Brescia and S. Giordani* (2018) “Boron/Nitrogen Co-Doped Carbon Nano-Onion Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction” ACS Applied Nanomaterials 1(10), 5763-5773.
  8. Maffeis, R. O. Mc Court, R. Petracca, O. Laethem A. Camisasca, P. Colavita*, S. Giordani*, E. Scanlan* (2018)“Photocatalytic Initiation of Radical Thiol-Ene Reactions Using Carbon-Bi2O3 Nanocomposites” ACS Applied Nanomaterials 1 (8)4120-4126.
  9. d’Amora, D. Cassano and S. Pòcovi-Martinez, S. Giordani*, V. Voliani* (2018) "Biodistribution and biocompatibility of passion fruit-like nano-architectures in zebrafish" Nanotoxicology DOI: 10.1080/17435390.2018.1498551 (IF = 6.5
  10. M. d’Amora and S. Giordani* (2018) The utility of zebrafish as a model for screening developmental neurotoxicity” Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 976 (IF= 3.877) doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00976 (SG invited section of Neural Technology)
  11. Cardano, M. Frasconi* and S. Giordani*(2018) “Photo-Responsive Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes to Control and Tackle Biological Systems” Invited Feature Article for Research Topic on "Functional Hybrid Nanostructures in Theranostics" hosted by Dr(s) Nanasaheb D Thorat, Frontiers in Chemistry, section Nanoscience, 6, article n. 102. (IF= 3.994)
  12. Nunn, M. d’Amora, N. Prabhakar, A.M. Panich, N. Froumin, M.D. Torelli, I. Vlasov, P. Reineckm B. Gibson, J.M. Rosenholm, S. Giordani,*O. Shenderova* (2018) “Fluorescent, Single-Digit Carboxylated Detonation Nanodiamond for Biological Applications”Methods Appl. Fluoresc.6 (3), 035010 (IF=2.7)
  13. d’Amora, A. Camisasca, S. Lettieri and S. Giordani* (2017) "Zebra fish as a vertebrate model for carbon nanomaterials toxicity" Nanomaterials,Invited paper, 7 (12), 414 (IF= 3.553, cit. 10) 
  14. Lettieri, A. Camisasca M. d’Amora, A. Diaspro, T. Uchida, Y. Nakajima, K. Yanagisawa, T. Maekawa and S. Giordani* (2017) “Far-red fluorescent carbon nano-onions as biocompatible platform for cellular imaging” RSC Advances7, 45676-45681 (IF= 3.108)
  15. Lettieri, M. d’Amora, A. Camisasca, A. Diaspro and S. Giordani* (2017) "Carbon Nano-Onions as fluorescent on/off modulated theranostic nanoprobe" Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology,Invited special issue, 8, 1878-1888 (IF=3.1) 
  16. Camisasca and S. Giordani*(2017) “Carbon nano-onions in biomedical applications: promising theranostic agents” Invited for special issue dedicated to Prof. Echegoyen, Inorganica Chimica Acta, 468, 67-76 (IF=2.046)
  17. Milcovich, S. Lettieri, F. E. Antunes, B. Medronho, A. C. Fonseca, J. F. J. Coelho, P. Marizza, F. Perrone, R. Farra, B. Dapas, G. Grassi, M. Grassi and S. Giordani* (2017)“Recent advances in smart biotechnology: hydrogels and nanocarriers for tailored bioactive molecules depot” Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, in press DOI: 10.1016/j.cis.2017.05.009 (IF=7.813)
  18. Sun, F. Morales-Lara, A. Klechikov, A. V. Talyzin*, I. Baburin, G. Seifert, F. Cardano, M. Baldrighi, M. Frasconi* and S. Giordani* (2017) "Porous graphite oxide pillared with tetrapod-shaped molecules" Carbon 120, 1465-156(IF=6.198)
  19. d’Amora, M. Rodio, J. Bartelmess, G. Sancataldo, F. Cella Zanacchi, A. Diaspro and S. Giordani* (2016)“Biocompatibility and biodistribution of functionalized carbon nano-onions (f-CNOs) in a vertebrate model” Scientific Reports, 6, 33923. (IF=5.228)
  20. Baldrighi, G.Locatelli, J.Desper, C.B. Aakeroy and S. Giordani*(2016) “Probing Metal Ion Complexation of Ligands with Multiple Metal Binding Sites: The Case of Spiropyrans” Chem. Eur. J. 22 (39), 13976-13984(IF=5.731)
  21. Baldrighi, M. Trusel, R. Tonini and S. Giordani* (2016) “Carbon Nanomaterials interfacing with neurons: an in vivoperspective” Invitedfor the Research Topic “Current challenges and new avenues in neural interfacing: from nanomaterials and microfabrication state-of-the-art, to advanced control-theoretical and signal-processing principles” Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10, 1–27 doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00250. (IF=3.398)
  22. Baptista, S.A. Belhout, S. Giordaniand S.J. Quinn* (2015) “Recent Developments in Carbon Nanomaterial Sensors” Chem Soc Rev.44 (13), 4433-4453 (IF=38.6) Invited for theme collection on Sensor Targets
  23. Bartelmess, S. Quinn and S. Giordani* (2015) “Carbon Nanomaterials: Multi-Functional Agents for Biomedical Fluorescence and Raman Imaging”Chem Soc Rev.44 (14), 4672-4698 (IF=38.6) Invited for theme collection on Imaging Agents
  24. Frasconi, R. Marotta, L.Markey, K. Flavin, V. Spampinato, G. Ceccone, L. Echegoyen, E. Scanlan and S. Giordani*(2015) “Multi-Functionalized Carbon Nano-onions as Imaging Probes for Cancer Cells” Chem. Eur J.21 (52), 19071-19080 (IF=5.731)
  25. Bartelmess, M. Baldrighi, V. Nardone, E. Parisini, D. Buck, L. Echegoyen and S. Giordani* (2015)“Synthesis and characterization of far-red/NIR-fluorescent BODIPY dyes, solid-state fluorescence and application as fluorescent tags attached to carbon nano-onions“ Chem. Eur J.21, 9727- 9732 (IF=5.731)
  26. Bartelmess, M. Frasconi, P. Balakrishnan,A. Signorelli, L. Echegoyen, T. Pellegrino and S. Giordani* (2015)“Non-Covalent Functionalization of Carbon Nano-Onions with Pyrene-BODIPY Dyads for Biological Imaging“ RSC Advances5, 50253- 50258 (IF=3.708)
  27. Frasconi, V. Maffeis, J. Bartelmess, L. Echegoyen and S. Giordani*(2015) “Highly surface functionalized carbon nano-onions for bright light bioimaging” Invited for Special Issue Methods Appl. Fluoresc.3, 044005 (IF=3.1) Highlighted paper and video
  28. Marchesano, A. Ambrosone, J. Bartelmesss, F. Strisciante, A. Tino, L. Echegoyen, C. Tortiglione* and S. Giordani*(2015) “Impact of Carbon Nano-Onions on Hydra vulgaris as Model Organism for Environmental Ecotoxicology“ Invited for Special Issue Advancements in Nanotoxicology, Nanomaterials (3), 1331-1350 (IF=3.556) 
  29. Spampinato, G. Ceccone, S. Giordani (2015) “Surface analysis of zinc-porphyrin functionalized carbon nano-onions” Biointerphases10 (1), 019006, (IF=2.677)
  30. Bartelmess and S. Giordani* (2014) “Carbon Nano-onions (multi-layer fullerenes): chemistry and applications“ Beilstein J. Nanotechnol.5, 1980–1998. (IF=3.1)
  31. Bartelmess,E. De Luca, A. Signorelli, M. Baldrighi, M. Becce, R. Brescia,V. Nardone, E. Parisini, L. Echegoyen, P.P. Pompa and S. Giordani*(2014) “Boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) Functionalized Carbon Nano-Onions for High Resolution Cellular Imaging” Nanoscale 6, 13761 – 13769 (IF=7.394)
  32. Giordani*, J. Bartelmess, M. Frasconi, I. Biondi, S. Cheung, M. Grossi, D. Wu, L. Echegoyen, D. F. O’Shea* (2014) “NIR Fluorescence Labelled Carbon Nano-Onions: Synthesis, Analysis and Cellular Imaging“J. Mater. Chem. B2, 7459 – 7463 (IF=4.872)
  33. Ventura, P. Thornton, S. Giordani, A.Heise* (2014) “Synthesis and photochemical properties of spiropyran graft and star polymers obtained by ‘click’ chemistry” Polymer Chem.5, 6318-6324. (IF=5.368


  1. Lettieri and S. Giordani* (2018) “Carbon Nanomaterials for Deep Tissue Imaging in the NIR Spectral Window”, Carbon Nanomaterials for Bioimaging, Bioanalysis and Therapy, Wiley, edited by Yuen Y Hui, Xueji Zhang, Haifeng Dong, Huang-Cheng Chang, Chapter 5, pp. 87-114.
  2. d’Amora and S. Giordani* (2018) "Carbon Nanomaterials for Nanomedicine" Smart Nanoparticles for Biomedicine, Micro and Nano Technologies, Elsevier, Chapter 7, pp. 103-113.
  3. Camisasca and S. Giordani* (2018) “Carbon Nano-onions for bioimaging and cancer therapy applications”. Nanooncology: Engineering nanomaterials for cancer therapy and diagnosis, Springer- International Publisher, 417-455.
  4. Lettieri, M. d’Amora and S. Giordani* (2020) "Nano-Carbon Materials for biological imaging", Supramolecular Chemistry and biological imaging, Monographs in Supramolecular Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry, edited by S. Faulkner, T. Gunnlaugsson, G. O Maille, in press
  5. d’Amora and S. Giordani* (2020) "Zebrafish models of nanotoxicity - A comprehensive account", “Nanomaterials Biointeractions – At the Cellular, Tissue and Organism level” Springer- International Publisher, in press



2012 National habilitation as Full Professor for the area of "Organic Chemisty“ from 23/11/2013 (Docente di prima fascia)

2012 National habilitation as Full Professor for the area of "Models and Methodologies for Chemical Sciences” from 29/1/2014 (Docente di prima fascia)

2012 National habilitation as Full Professor for the area of " Chemical Fundamentals of Technologies” from 17/2/2014 (Docente di prima fascia)


2018                William Evans Visiting Fellow Award, University of Otago, New Zealand

2018                Visiting Professor, Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre / Graduate School of Interdisciplinary New Science, Toyo University, Japan

2015                Our research highlighted in Methods and Applications in Fluorescence Highlights “Fluorescent labels and probes”

                        Video Abstract

2014                Invited to give a “Women in Science” Masterclass, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin    

2012                Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award, International Rotary Club

2012                Premio alla professionalita’, Rotary Club, Bergamo Ovest

2012                L’Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowship For Women in Science, L’Oréal, UNESCO & Royal Society

2012                Leonardo-UGIS award for a young researcher/communicator, Italian National Museum of Science and Technology, Italian Scientific Journalists Union, Federchimica Plastics Europe Italia

2011                Invited contributor to the “Role models for mobility of MCFA women scientists” brochure, Marie Curie Fellows Association

2010                Listed as one of the 10 rising stars, Science Foundation Ireland

2009                Biogenous Ceramics Project Award, Okayama University, Japan

2008                7th R.O.S.A. Award, First price, Canova Club Roma, Italy

2007                President of Ireland Young Researcher Award, Science Foundation Ireland

2007                Invited contributor to the “Marie Curie Success Story” brochure, Irish University Association

2006-07           Marie Curie Re-integration Grant, European Commission

2003–06          Marie Curie Fellowship, European Commission

2004                Award of Academic Merit, University of Miami, Graduate School

2001–04          Robert E. Maytag Fellowship, University of Miami, College of Art and Science

2002                Outstanding Overall Performance in Research-Academics-and Teaching Award

2002                Elected into Alpha Epsilon Lambda Graduate Honour Society

2002                Outstanding Senator Award, University of Miami, Graduate Student Association

2002                First Place Graduate Student Research and Creativity Forum, University of Miami

2001                Award of Academic Merit, University of Miami, Graduate School

2001                Achievement in Research Award, University of Miami, School of Chemistry

2001                First Publication Award, University of Miami, School of Chemistry

2001                Best GPA Award, University of Miami, School of Chemistry

1989                Best Student Award (top 5 in all high school), Banca Provinciale di Bergamo, IT

1988, 1989      Selected for the Chemistry Olympiads, Italian Chemical Society


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