Dr Massimo Vassalli

  • Reader (Biomedical Engineering)

Research interests

Biography

I graduated in Physics at the University of Florence (Italy) in 1999, including an instructive 1 year Erasmus experience at the University of Mainz (Germany). After the degree, I initially moved to the industry, working in the area of informatics and supporting the birth of a small company in the field. I quickly realized I would better enjoy the academic pathway and I decided to enroll in a cross-disciplinary PhD program between physics, engineering and biology at the University of Florence, and working at the Biophotonics Lab of the National Institute of Applied Optics. I then spent few years as research fellow inside different Italian national research institutes, learning and exploiting advanced optical microscopy and force spectroscopy techniques for the study of biological systems (molecules and cells). During 2009 I moved to the Institute of Biophysics ot the National Research Council in Genova, where I had the opportunity to cultivate my interest on "mechanics in biology". In the meantime, I never gave up the industrial experience and I supported technology transfer and innovation, leading to an increased network of interactions with national and international companies.

Since October 2019 I joined the School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow, to participate to the scientific activities of the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment led by Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez and Prof Matthew Dalby.  

Research Directions

My general research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which physical forces are transduced into biologically relevant signals (mechanotransduction), and their role in the homoeostasis of key physiological processes whose alteration eventually leads to pathology or degeneration, such as in cancer or ageing (mechanobiology). Moreover, exploiting my technical background in physics and engineering, I'm also committed in developing enabling microscopy and spectroscopy tools to measure mechanical properties, image and manipulate biological objects at the level of cells and molecules (nanoengineering).

Potential PhD projects

PhD projects and opportunities are available. Please have a look at the additional information section below if you are interested in more details.


Publications

Selected publications

Hammarström, B., Vassalli, M. and Glynne-Jones, P. (2019) Acoustic focussing for sedimentation-free high-throughput imaging of microalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology, (doi:10.1007/s10811-019-01907-5) (Early Online Publication)

Cacace, T., Bianco, V., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Fraldi, M., Mensitieri, G. and Ferraro, P. (2018) Retrieving acoustic energy densities and local pressure amplitudes in microfluidics by holographic time-lapse imaging. Lab on a Chip, 18(13), pp. 1921-1927. (doi:10.1039/C8LC00149A) (PMID:29878010)

Palazzolo, G., Moroni, M., Soloperto, A., Aletti, G., Naldi, G., Vassalli, M. , Nieus, T. and Difato, F. (2017) Fast wide-volume functional imaging of engineered in vitro brain tissues. Scientific Reports, 7, 8499. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08979-8) (PMID:28819205) (PMCID:PMC5561227)

Ossola, D., Dorig, P., Voros, J., Zambelli, T. and Vassalli, M. (2016) Serial weighting of micro-objects with resonant microchanneled cantilevers. Nanotechnology, 27(41), 415502. (doi:10.1088/0957-4484/27/41/415502) (PMID:27608651)

All publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
Number of items: 22.

2020

Bartolozzi, A., Viti, F., De Stefano, S., Sbrana, F., Petecchia, L., Gavazzo, P. and Vassalli, M. (2020) Development of label-free biophysical markers in osteogenic maturation. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 103, 103581. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.103581)

2019

Gambardella, C., Piazza, V., Vassalli, M. , Sbrana, F., Lavorano, S., Garaventa, F. and Faimali, M. (2019) Microplastics ingestion in the ephyra stage of Aurelia sp. triggers acute and behavioral responses. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, (Accepted for Publication)

Alfieri, R., Vassalli, M. and Viti, F. (2019) Flow-induced mechanotransduction in skeletal cells. Biophysical Reviews, 11(5), pp. 729-743. (doi:10.1007/s12551-019-00596-1) (PMID:31529361)

Ferrari, A., Capitanio, M., Vassalli, M. and Martinac, B. (2019) Science by the sea: how nanoengineering met mechanobiology in Camogli. Biophysical Reviews, 11(5), pp. 659-661. (doi:10.1007/s12551-019-00598-z) (PMID:31529357)

Hammarström, B., Vassalli, M. and Glynne-Jones, P. (2019) Acoustic focussing for sedimentation-free high-throughput imaging of microalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology, (doi:10.1007/s10811-019-01907-5) (Early Online Publication)

Baldini, F., Bartolozzi, A., Ardito, M., Voci, A., Portincasa, P., Vassalli, M. and Vergani, L. (2019) Biomechanics of cultured hepatic cells during different steatogenic hits. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 97, pp. 296-305. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.05.036) (PMID:31151002)

Caponi, S., Canale, C., Cavalleri, O. and Vassalli, M. (2019) Characterization tools for mechanical probing of biomimetic materials. In: Kumar, C. S.S.R. (ed.) Nanotechnology Characterization Tools for Tissue Engineering and Medical Therapy. Springer, pp. 69-111. ISBN 9783662595954 (doi:10.1007/978-3-662-59596-1_2)

Margheri, G., Tiribilli, B., Trigari, S. and Vassalli, M. (2019) Switchable lensed linear micro axicon in plasmonic structures for all optical light processing. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 31(18), pp. 1518-1521. (doi:10.1109/LPT.2019.2934583)

2018

Cacace, T., Bianco, V., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Fraldi, M., Mensitieri, G. and Ferraro, P. (2018) Retrieving acoustic energy densities and local pressure amplitudes in microfluidics by holographic time-lapse imaging. Lab on a Chip, 18(13), pp. 1921-1927. (doi:10.1039/C8LC00149A) (PMID:29878010)

Bloise, N. et al. (2018) The effect of pulsed electromagnetic field exposure on osteoinduction of human mesenchymal stem cells cultured on nano-TiO2 surfaces. PLoS ONE, 13(6), e0199046. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199046) (PMID:29902240) (PMCID:PMC6002089)

2017

Alloisio, S. et al. (2017) Generation of a functional human neural network by NDM29 overexpression in neuroblastoma cancer cells. Molecular Neurobiology, 54(8), pp. 6097-6106. (doi:10.1007/s12035-016-0161-3) (PMID:27699601)

Palazzolo, G., Moroni, M., Soloperto, A., Aletti, G., Naldi, G., Vassalli, M. , Nieus, T. and Difato, F. (2017) Fast wide-volume functional imaging of engineered in vitro brain tissues. Scientific Reports, 7, 8499. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08979-8) (PMID:28819205) (PMCID:PMC5561227)

Cacace, T., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Ferraro, P., Fraldi, M. and Mensitieri, G. (2017) Digital holography as 3D tracking tool for assessing acoustophoretic particle manipulation. Optics Express, 25(15), pp. 17746-17752. (doi:10.1364/OE.25.017746) (PMID:28789266)

Cacace, T., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Fraldi, M., Mensitieri, G. and Ferraro, P. (2017) Investigation on Microfluidic Particles Manipulation by Holographic 3D Tracking Strategies. In: SPIE Optical Metrology, Munich, Germany, 24-27 Jun 2019, (doi:10.1117/12.2271829)

Sbrana, F., Landini, E., Gjeci, N., Viti, F., Ottoviani, E. and Vassalli, M. (2017) OvMeter: an automated 3D-integrated opto-electronic system for Ostreopsis cf. ovata bloom monitoring. Journal of Applied Phycology, 29(3), pp. 1363-1375. (doi:10.1007/s10811-017-1069-7)

2016

Ossola, D., Dorig, P., Voros, J., Zambelli, T. and Vassalli, M. (2016) Serial weighting of micro-objects with resonant microchanneled cantilevers. Nanotechnology, 27(41), 415502. (doi:10.1088/0957-4484/27/41/415502) (PMID:27608651)

2004

Quercioli, F., Tiribilli, B. and Vassalli, M. (2004) Wavefront-division lateral shearing autocorrelator for ultrafast laser microscopy. Optics Express, 12(18), pp. 4303-4312. (doi:10.1364/OPEX.12.004303) (PMID:19483977)

2003

Vassalli, M. and Giannelli, M. (2003) Effect of Nd: YAG laser on titanium dental implants studied by AFM. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 108(4), pp. 195-203. (PMID:14974502)

2002

Formigli, L. et al. (2002) Sphingosine 1-phosphate induces Ca2+ transients and cytoskeletal rearrangement in C2C12 myoblastic cells. American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 282(6), C1361-C1373. (doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00378.2001) (PMID:11997251)

2001

Bartoli, A., Poggi, P., Quercioli, F., Tiribilli, B. and Vassalli, M. (2001) Optical profilometer with a standalone scanning sensor head. Optical Engineering, 40(12), pp. 2852-2859. (doi:10.1117/1.1417494)

2000

Giacomelli, G., Hegger, R., Politi, A. and Vassalli, M. (2000) Convective Lyapunov exponents and propagation of correlations. Physical Review Letters, 85(17), 3616. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.85.3616)

Giardinà, C., Livi, R., Politi, A. and Vassalli, M. (2000) Finite thermal conductivity in 1D lattices. Physical Review Letters, 84(10), 2144. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.84.2144)

This list was generated on Fri Dec 13 10:01:55 2019 GMT.
Number of items: 22.

Articles

Bartolozzi, A., Viti, F., De Stefano, S., Sbrana, F., Petecchia, L., Gavazzo, P. and Vassalli, M. (2020) Development of label-free biophysical markers in osteogenic maturation. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 103, 103581. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.103581)

Gambardella, C., Piazza, V., Vassalli, M. , Sbrana, F., Lavorano, S., Garaventa, F. and Faimali, M. (2019) Microplastics ingestion in the ephyra stage of Aurelia sp. triggers acute and behavioral responses. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, (Accepted for Publication)

Alfieri, R., Vassalli, M. and Viti, F. (2019) Flow-induced mechanotransduction in skeletal cells. Biophysical Reviews, 11(5), pp. 729-743. (doi:10.1007/s12551-019-00596-1) (PMID:31529361)

Ferrari, A., Capitanio, M., Vassalli, M. and Martinac, B. (2019) Science by the sea: how nanoengineering met mechanobiology in Camogli. Biophysical Reviews, 11(5), pp. 659-661. (doi:10.1007/s12551-019-00598-z) (PMID:31529357)

Hammarström, B., Vassalli, M. and Glynne-Jones, P. (2019) Acoustic focussing for sedimentation-free high-throughput imaging of microalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology, (doi:10.1007/s10811-019-01907-5) (Early Online Publication)

Baldini, F., Bartolozzi, A., Ardito, M., Voci, A., Portincasa, P., Vassalli, M. and Vergani, L. (2019) Biomechanics of cultured hepatic cells during different steatogenic hits. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 97, pp. 296-305. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.05.036) (PMID:31151002)

Margheri, G., Tiribilli, B., Trigari, S. and Vassalli, M. (2019) Switchable lensed linear micro axicon in plasmonic structures for all optical light processing. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 31(18), pp. 1518-1521. (doi:10.1109/LPT.2019.2934583)

Cacace, T., Bianco, V., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Fraldi, M., Mensitieri, G. and Ferraro, P. (2018) Retrieving acoustic energy densities and local pressure amplitudes in microfluidics by holographic time-lapse imaging. Lab on a Chip, 18(13), pp. 1921-1927. (doi:10.1039/C8LC00149A) (PMID:29878010)

Bloise, N. et al. (2018) The effect of pulsed electromagnetic field exposure on osteoinduction of human mesenchymal stem cells cultured on nano-TiO2 surfaces. PLoS ONE, 13(6), e0199046. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199046) (PMID:29902240) (PMCID:PMC6002089)

Alloisio, S. et al. (2017) Generation of a functional human neural network by NDM29 overexpression in neuroblastoma cancer cells. Molecular Neurobiology, 54(8), pp. 6097-6106. (doi:10.1007/s12035-016-0161-3) (PMID:27699601)

Palazzolo, G., Moroni, M., Soloperto, A., Aletti, G., Naldi, G., Vassalli, M. , Nieus, T. and Difato, F. (2017) Fast wide-volume functional imaging of engineered in vitro brain tissues. Scientific Reports, 7, 8499. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08979-8) (PMID:28819205) (PMCID:PMC5561227)

Cacace, T., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Ferraro, P., Fraldi, M. and Mensitieri, G. (2017) Digital holography as 3D tracking tool for assessing acoustophoretic particle manipulation. Optics Express, 25(15), pp. 17746-17752. (doi:10.1364/OE.25.017746) (PMID:28789266)

Sbrana, F., Landini, E., Gjeci, N., Viti, F., Ottoviani, E. and Vassalli, M. (2017) OvMeter: an automated 3D-integrated opto-electronic system for Ostreopsis cf. ovata bloom monitoring. Journal of Applied Phycology, 29(3), pp. 1363-1375. (doi:10.1007/s10811-017-1069-7)

Ossola, D., Dorig, P., Voros, J., Zambelli, T. and Vassalli, M. (2016) Serial weighting of micro-objects with resonant microchanneled cantilevers. Nanotechnology, 27(41), 415502. (doi:10.1088/0957-4484/27/41/415502) (PMID:27608651)

Quercioli, F., Tiribilli, B. and Vassalli, M. (2004) Wavefront-division lateral shearing autocorrelator for ultrafast laser microscopy. Optics Express, 12(18), pp. 4303-4312. (doi:10.1364/OPEX.12.004303) (PMID:19483977)

Vassalli, M. and Giannelli, M. (2003) Effect of Nd: YAG laser on titanium dental implants studied by AFM. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 108(4), pp. 195-203. (PMID:14974502)

Formigli, L. et al. (2002) Sphingosine 1-phosphate induces Ca2+ transients and cytoskeletal rearrangement in C2C12 myoblastic cells. American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 282(6), C1361-C1373. (doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00378.2001) (PMID:11997251)

Bartoli, A., Poggi, P., Quercioli, F., Tiribilli, B. and Vassalli, M. (2001) Optical profilometer with a standalone scanning sensor head. Optical Engineering, 40(12), pp. 2852-2859. (doi:10.1117/1.1417494)

Giacomelli, G., Hegger, R., Politi, A. and Vassalli, M. (2000) Convective Lyapunov exponents and propagation of correlations. Physical Review Letters, 85(17), 3616. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.85.3616)

Giardinà, C., Livi, R., Politi, A. and Vassalli, M. (2000) Finite thermal conductivity in 1D lattices. Physical Review Letters, 84(10), 2144. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.84.2144)

Book Sections

Caponi, S., Canale, C., Cavalleri, O. and Vassalli, M. (2019) Characterization tools for mechanical probing of biomimetic materials. In: Kumar, C. S.S.R. (ed.) Nanotechnology Characterization Tools for Tissue Engineering and Medical Therapy. Springer, pp. 69-111. ISBN 9783662595954 (doi:10.1007/978-3-662-59596-1_2)

Conference Proceedings

Cacace, T., Paturzo, M., Memmolo, P., Vassalli, M. , Fraldi, M., Mensitieri, G. and Ferraro, P. (2017) Investigation on Microfluidic Particles Manipulation by Holographic 3D Tracking Strategies. In: SPIE Optical Metrology, Munich, Germany, 24-27 Jun 2019, (doi:10.1117/12.2271829)

This list was generated on Fri Dec 13 10:01:55 2019 GMT.

Professional activities & recognition

Research fellowships

  • 2016: Endeavour Research Fellowship, Australian Government
  • 2014: Swiss National Science Foundation

Grant committees & research advisory boards

  • 2014: FABCrea, President of the advisory board
  • 2018 - 2019: Regional life science pole (PLSV), Liguria, Italy, Scientific Board
  • 2016 - 2018: Regional Biotechnology Pole, Liguria, Italy, Scientific board

Editorial boards

  • 2016: Scientific Reports
  • 2018: Biophysical Reviews

Professional & learned societies

  • 2018 - 2020: Secretary, Italian Society for Pure and Applied Biophysics
  • 2016 - 2018: Member, Optical Society of America
  • 2014 - 2017: Member, Italian Society of Physics
  • 2014 - 2016: Secretary, Italian Society for Pure and Applied Biophysics
  • 2012 - 2020: Member, Italian Society for Pure and Applied Biophysics
  • 2019: Member, British Biophysical Society

Selected international presentations

  • 2018: Invited Lecturer at the International Biophysics School "Academician Radoslav K.Andjus" (NERKA) on Mechanobiology (Kotor, Montenegro)
  • 2018: Plenary speaker at the Regional Biophysics Conference (Zrece, Slovenia)
  • 2017: Technical Lecturer at the International School on Computational Microscopy (Amalfi, Italy)
  • 2015: Invited lecturer at the Nano-bio imaging workshop (Bologna, Italy)
  • 2014: Invited lecturer at the Fall Meeting of the European Materials Research Society (Warsaw, Poland)

Additional information

Potential PhD projects

Please find below a list of ideas for potential PhD projects, to be carried out at the School of Engineering, in the context of the CeMi, and in collaboration with national and international academic and industrial partners (see details in the specific description). Other arguments in th context of mechanobiology and experimental biophysics are also available. If you are interested and you want additional information, please contact me via email to schedule a dedicated meeting.

Exploiting piezo1 as a driver in osteogenic differentiation

High throughput single cell mechanosensitivity assay

Identification of label-free biomarkers in visceral myopathy

  • Aim: identification of robust single cell label-free biomarkers providing support for diagnosis in visceral myopathy, a rare and life threatening disease with poor genetic markers.
  • Involved techniques: high content screening, imaging flow cytometry, high throughput mechanotyping, traction force microscopy 
  • In collaboration with: children's hospital Giannina Gaslini, Genova, Italy