Roberto Fiammengo

Team Leader



1998-2002        Ph. D. in Chemistry University of Twente, The Netherlands.

1991-1997        Degree in Chemistry (grade 110/110) University of Padova, Italy.

Professional Experience

03/12-now        Team Leader - Researcher, Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies, Italian Institute of Technology, Lecce.

Peptide and oligonucleotide modified gold nanoparticles, multifunctional nanoparticles.

11/2006-02/2012   Group leader, Department of New Materials and Biosystems, Max-Planck-Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart, (Prof. Joachim Spatz).

Preparation of peptide-modified gold nanoparticles for the site-selective targeting of NMDA-receptors. PEG-based hydrogels as artificial extracellular matrix.

03/2003-11/2006   Post-doctoral researcher, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB), University of Heidelberg, Germany (Prof. Andres Jäschke).

Synthesis of modified nucleosides and nucleic acids. Hybrid catalysts and study of organometallic transformations in aqueous medium.

07/2002-03/2003   Post-doctoral researcher, Organic Chemistry Department, University of Padova, Italy (Prof. Paolo Scrimin).

Synthesis and study of synthetic metallonucleases.

09/1998-06/2002   Ph. D., Laboratory of Supramolecular Chemistry and Technology and MESA+ Research Institute, University of Twente, The Netherlands (Prof. David N. Reinhoudt).

Supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly in aqueous solutions, synthesis of biomimetic O2 binders and activators.

11/1997-08/1998   Research fellow, Organic Chemistry department, University of Padova (Prof. Giorgio Modena, Dr. Giulia Licini, Dr. Lucia Pasquato).

Peptide chemistry and synthesis of novel conformationally constrained peptides as ligands for enantioselective metal-catalyzed reactions.

06/1996-10/1997   Master thesis research project, degree in Chemistry + four months research project at the Organic Chemistry department, University of Padova (Prof. Fulvio di Furia, Dr. Giulia Licini)

Ti-catalyzed sulfoxidation reactions and cycloaddition reactions.

Languages            Italian (mother tongue), English (fluent), German (fluent)


Current research projects:

Development of functionalizable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based coatings for nanoparticles

Application of biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles:

  1. in diagnostics: quantification of microRNAs in sample of extracted total RNA.
  2. in nanomedicine: selective targeting of receptors on the cell surface (NMDA receptor, leptin receptor); development of nanoparticle-based anticancer vaccines (in collaboration with Dr. Westerlind, ISAS Dortmund).

Development of silver-nanoparticle-based conductive inks.

External funding:

2014 - 2015 ISSF Network of Excellence scheme award (Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund) with Dr Iain Dunlop, Professor David Dexter, Dr Alexandra Porter (Departments of Materials and Medicine, Imperial College London, UK).

2017 - 2020 CoPI PRIN project 2015RNWJAM " Nanoplatforms for enhanced immune responses " financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (total 329 k€)

Selected Publications

29. Perinot, A.; Kshirsagar, P.; Malvindi, M.A.; Pompa, P. P.; Fiammengo, R.;Caironi, M. Direct-written polymer field-effect transistors operating at 20 MHz. Sci. Rep. 2016, 6, 38941.

28. Fiammengo, R. Can nanotechnology improve cancer diagnosis through miRNA detection? Biomark. Med. 2017, 11, 69-86.

27. Gonzalez-Carter, D.; Goode, A. E.; Fiammengo, R.; Dunlop, I. E.; Dexter, D. T.; Porter, A. E. Inhibition of leptin-ObR interaction does not prevent leptin translocation across a human blood-brain barrier model. J. Neuroendocrinol. 2016, 28, doi:10.1111/jne.12392.

26. Cai, H.; Degliangeli, F.; Palitzsch, B.; Gerlitzki, B.; Kunz, H.; Schmitt, E.; Fiammengo, R.; Westerlind, U. Glycopeptide-functionalized gold nanoparticles for antibody induction against the tumor associated mucin-1 glycoprotein. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2016, 24, 1132-1135.

25. Degliangeli, F.; Pompa, P.P.; Fiammengo, R. Nanotechnology-based strategies for the detection and quantification of microRNA. Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 9476–9492.

24. Degliangeli, F.; Kshirsagar, P.; Brunetti, V.; Pompa, P.P.; Fiammengo, R. Absolute and direct microRNA quantification using DNA–gold nanoparticle probes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136 (6), 2264-2267.

23. Valentini, P.; Fiammengo, R.; Sabella, S.; Gariboldi, M.; Maiorano, G.; Cingolani, R.; Pompa, P.P. Gold-nanoparticle-based colorimetric discrimination of cancer-related point mutations with picomolar sensitivity. ACS Nano 2013, 7(6), 5530-5538.

22. Brunetti, V.; Chibli, H.; Fiammengo, R.; Galeone, A.; Malvindi, M.A.; Vecchio, G.; Cingolani, R.; Nadeau, J.L.; Pompa, P.P. InP/ZnS as a safer alternative to CdSe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots: in vitro and in vivo toxicity assessment. Nanoscale 2013, 5, 307-317.

21. Lee-Thedieck, C.; Rauch, N.; Fiammengo, R.; Klein, G.; Spatz, J.P. Impact of substrate elasticity on human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell adhesion and motility. J. Cell Sci. 2012, 125(16), 3765-3775.

20. Maus, L.; Dick, O.; Bading, H.; Spatz, J. P.; Fiammengo, R. Conjugation of Peptides to the Passivation Shell of Gold Nanoparticles for Targeting of Cell-Surface Receptors. ACS Nano 2010, 4(11), 6617-6628.

19. Aydin, D.; Louban, I.; Perschmann, N.; Blummel, J.; Lohmueller, T.; Cavalcanti-Adam, E. A.; Haas, T. L.; Walczak, H.; Kessler, H.; Fiammengo, R., Spatz, J. P. Polymeric Substrates with Tunable Elasticity and Nanoscopically Controlled Biomolecule Presentation. Langmuir 2010, 26 (19), 15472-15480.

18. Maus, L.; Spatz, J. P.; Fiammengo, R. Quantification and reactivity of functional groups in the ligand shell of PEGylated gold nanoparticles via a fluorescence-based assay.Langmuir 2009, 25 (14), 7910-7917.

17. Fournier, P.; Fiammengo, R.; Jaeschke, A. Allylic Amination by a DNA-Diene-Ir(I) Hybrid Catalyst.Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48 (24), 4426-4429.

16. Caprioara, M.; Fiammengo, R.; Engeser, M.; Jaeschke, A. DNA-based phosphane ligands. Chem. Eur. J. 2007, 13 (7), 2089-2095.

15. Pfander, S.; Fiammengo, R.; Kirin, S. I.; Metzler-Nolte, N.; Jaeschke, A. Reversible site-specific tagging of enzymatically synthesized RNAs using aldehyde-hydrazine chemistry and protease-cleavable linkers. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007, 35 (4), e25/1-e25/8.

14. Martin, M.; Manea, F.; Fiammengo, R.; Prins, L. J.; Pasquato, L.; Scrimin, P. Metallodendrimers as Transphosphorylation Catalysts. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129 (22), 6982-6983.

13. Helm, M.; Petermeier, M.; Ge, B.; Fiammengo, R.; Jaeschke, A. Allosterically Activated Diels-Alder Catalysis by a Ribozyme. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127 (30), 10492-10493.

12. Fiammengo, R.; Jaeschke, A. Nucleic acid enzymes. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 2005, 16 (6), 614-621.

11. Fiammengo, R.; Musilek, K.; Jaeschke, A. Efficient Preparation of Organic Substrate-RNA Conjugates via in Vitro Transcription. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127 (25), 9271-9276.

10. Fiammengo, R.; Crego-Calama, M.; Timmerman, P.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Recognition of caffeine in aqueous solutions. Chem. Eur. J. 2003, 9 (3), 784-792.

9. Fiammengo, R.; Wojciechowski, K.; Crego-Calama, M.; Timmerman, P.; Figoli, A.; Wessling, M.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Heme-Protein Active Site Models via Self-Assembly in Water. Org. Lett. 2003, 5 (19), 3367-3370.

8. Fiammengo, R.; Bruinink, C. M.; Crego-Calama, M.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Noncovalent Secondary Interactions in Co(II)Salen Complexes: O2 Binding and Catalytic Activity in Cyclohexene Oxygenation. J. Org. Chem. 2002, 67 (24), 8552-8557.

7. Corbellini, F.; Fiammengo, R.; Timmerman, P.; Crego-Calama, M.; Versluis, K.; Heck, A. J. R.; Luyten, I.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Guest Encapsulation and Self-Assembly of Molecular Capsules in Polar Solvents via Multiple Ionic Interactions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124 (23), 6569-6575.

6. Fiammengo, R.; Timmerman, P.; Huskens, J.; Versluis, K.; Heck, A. J. R.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Non-covalent synthesis of calix[4]arene-capped porphyrins in polar solvents via ionic interactions. Tetrahedron 2002, 58 (4), 757-764.

5. Fiammengo, R.; Crego-Calama, M.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Synthetic self-assembled models with biomimetic functions. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2001, 5 (6), 660-673.

4. Michels, J. J.; Fiammengo, R.; Timmerman, P.; Huskens, J.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Complexation of porphyrin-appended guests by calix[4]arene-appended cyclodextrins. J. Incl. Phenom. Macro. 2001, 41 (1-4), 163-172.

3. Fiammengo, R.; Licini, G.; Nicotra, A.; Modena, G.; Pasquato, L.; Scrimin, P.; Broxterman, Q. B.; Kaptein, B. Duality of Mechanism in the Tetramethylfluoroformamidinium Hexafluorophosphate-Mediated Synthesis of N-Benzyloxycarbonylamino Acid Fluorides. J. Org. Chem. 2001, 66 (17), 5905-5910.

2. Fiammengo, R.; Timmerman, P.; de Jong, F.; Reinhoudt, D. N. Highly stable cage-like complexes by self-assembly of tetracationic Zn(II) porphyrinates and tetrasulfonatocalix[4]arenes in polar solvents. Chem. Commun. 2000, (23), 2313-2314.

1. Peggion, C.; Flammengo, R.; Mossel, E.; Broxterman, Q. B.; Kaptein, B.; Kamphuis, J.; Formaggio, F.; Crisma, M.; Toniolo, C. Mag: a Cα-methylated, side-chain unsaturated α-amino acid. Introduction into model peptides and conformational preference. Tetrahedron 2000, 56 (22), 3589-3601.


Spatz, J. P.; Perschmann, N.; Schmieder, A.-K.; Fiammengo, R. Sorting biological samples on nanostructured surfaces functionalized with ligands. International patent application (WO 2010075934).

Spatz, J. P.; Perschmann, N.; Schmieder, A.-K.; Fiammengo, R. Substrates for the selection and specific interaction of cell function. International patent application (WO 2010075933).

25. Degliangeli, F.; Pompa, P.P.; Fiammengo, R. Nanotechnology-based strategies for the detection and quantification of microRNA. Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 9476–9492.


2017  Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN) as full professor in Organic Chemistry (from 06/12/2017 until 06/12/2023)

2014  Italian National Scientific Habilitation (ASN) as associate professor in Organic Chemistry (from 14/11/2014 until 14/11/2020)