Scuola superiore sant'anna

Associate Professors

Leonardo Ricotti


Leonardo Ricotti, Ph.D., (date of birth: 02/03/1982) is Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Biorobotics at SSSA and head of the “Micro-nano-bio systems and targeted therapies” Lab at the BioRobotics Institute. He holds a M.Sc. course on “Miniaturized therapeutic and regenerative technologies” and a PhD course on “Micro-nano-bio systems for medical and technological applications”. He has supervised or co-supervised 10 PhD students, working on therapeutic micro-devices, biomaterials and artificial organs, and 30 M.Sc. theses on bioengineering topics. He carries out innovative research efforts at the interface between different disciplines, such as robotics and mechatronics, materials science, molecular biology and biotechnology and he aims at creating innovative (and potentially disruptive) “match points” between different disciplines. He is co-author of ~90 scientific publications (60on ISI journals), 6 book chapters on micro-nano systems for biomedical applications. He is also inventor of 9 patents. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience and of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics. In 2012, he received the “Massimo Grattarola” award for the best PhD Thesis in bioengineering (Thesis title: “Development of bio-hybrid actuators”). In July 2014, he was awarded with the European Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Doctoral Award. In 2018, he received regional and national prizes as member of the spin-off company Relief s.r.l. He currently coordinates an European project (ADMAIORA - ADvanced nanocomposite MAterIals fOr in situ treatment and ultRAsound-mediated management of osteoarthritis), funded in the H2020 framework.

Papers published on peer-reviewed journals:


V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, E. Sinibaldi, G. Signore, F. Vistoli, and A. Menciassi. Intravascular magnetic catheter enables the retrieval of nanoagents from the bloodstream. Advanced Science. Doi: 10.1002/advs.201800807 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 12.441]

A.R. Salgarella, A. Zahoranová , P. Šrámková , M. Majerčíková , E. Pavlova , R. Luxenhofer , J. Kronek , I. Lacik, and L. Ricotti. Investigation of drug release modulation from poly(2-oxazoline) micelles through ultrasound. Sci. Rep. 8: 9893 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 4.122]

D. Trelova, A.R. Salgarella, L. Ricotti, G. Giudetti, A. Cutrone, P. Sramkova, A. Zahoranova, D. Chorvat, D. Hasko, C. Canale, S. Micera, J. Kronek, A. Menciassi, and I. Lacik. Soft hydrogel zwitterionic coatings minimize fibroblast and macrophage adhesion on polyimide substrates. Langmuir. Doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b00765 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 3.789]

R. Grifantini, M. Taranta, L. Gherardini, I. Naldi, M. Parri, A. Grandi, A. Giannetti, S. Tombelli, G. Lucarini, L. Ricotti, S. Campagnoli, E. De Camilli, G. Pelosi, F. Baldini, A. Menciassi, G. Viale, P. Pileri, and C. Cinti. Magnetically driven drug delivery systems improving targeted immunotherapy for colon-rectal cancer. J Contr Rel. Doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.04.052 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 7.877]

L. Marziale, G. Lucarini, T. Mazzocchi, E. Gruppioni, S. Castellano, A. Davalli, R. Sacchetti, D. Pistolesi, L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi. Artificial sphincters to manage urinary incontinence: a review. Artif Org. Doi: 10.1111/aor.13164 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 2.111]

L. Vannozzi, V. Iacovacci, A. Menciassi, and L. Ricotti. Nanocomposite thin films for triggerable drug delivery. Exp Opin Drug Deliv. Doi: 10.1080/17425247.2018.1451512 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 5.553]

L. Vannozzi, I.C. Yasa, H. Ceylan, A. Menciassi, L. Ricotti, and M. Sitti. Self-folded hydrogel tubes for implantable muscular tissue scaffolds. Macromol Biosci. Doi: 10.1002/mabi.201700377 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 3.392]

L. Paternò, M. Ibrahimi, E. Gruppioni, A. Menciassi, and L. Ricotti. Sockets for limb prostheses: a review of existing technologies and open challenges. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. Doi: 10.1109/TBME.2017.2775100 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 4.288]

G. Lucarini, V. Iacovacci, P.J. Gouveia, L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi. Design of a novel magnetic platform for cell manipulation. J Micromech Microeng. 28: 025009 (2018) [I.F. 2017: 1.888]


L. Ricotti, Barry Trimmer, Adam W. Feinberg, Ritu Raman, Kevin K. Parker, Rashid Bashir, Metin Sitti, Sylvain Martel, Paolo Dario, and Arianna Menciassi. Bio-hybrid actuators for robotics: a review of devices actuated by living cells. Science Robotics. 2(12): eaaq0495 (2017)

L. Vannozzi, L. Ricotti, T. Santaniello, T. Terencio, R. Oropesa-Nunez, C. Canale, F. Borghi, A. Menciassi, C. Lenardi, I. Gerges. 3D porous polyurethanes featured by different mechanical properties: characterization and interaction with skeletal muscle cells. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 75: 147-159; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 3.239]

P.J. Gouveia, S. Rosa, L. Ricotti, B. Abecasis, H.V. Almeida, L. Monteiro, J. Nunes, F. Sofia Carvalho, M. Serra, S. Luchkin, A. Leonidovitch Kholkin, P. Marques Alves, P. Jorge Oliveira, R. Carvalho, A. Menciassi, R. Pires Neves, L. Silva Ferreira. Flexible nanofilms coated with aligned piezoelectric microfibers preserve the contractility of cardiomyocytes. Biomaterials. Doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.05.048; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 8.806]

A. Salgarella, A. Cafarelli, L. Ricotti, L. Capineri, P. Dario, A. Menciassi. Optimal ultrasound exposure conditions for maximizing C2C12 muscle cell proliferation and differentiation. Ultrasound Med Biol. 43: 1452-1465; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 2.645]

L. Morelli, M.A. Cappelluti, L. Ricotti, C. Lenardi, I. Gerges. An injectable system for local and sustained release of antimicrobial agents in the periodontal pocket. Macromol Biosci. Doi: 10.1002/mabi.201700103; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 3.392]

L. Ricotti, T. Fujie. Thin polymeric films for building biohybrid microrobots. Bioinsp. Biomim. 12(2): 021001; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 2.727]

A. Cafarelli , A. Verbeni, A. Poliziani, P. Dario, A. Menciassi, and L. Ricotti. Tuning acoustic and mechanical properties of biomaterials for ultrasound phantoms and smart substrates for cell cultures. Acta Biomater. 49: 368-378; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 6.383]

T. Mazzocchi, L. Ricotti, N. Pinzi, and A. Menciassi. Magnetically controlled endourethral artificial urinary sphincter. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 45: 1181-1193; 2017 [I.F. 2017: 3.405]


L. Ricotti, G. Gori, D. Cei, J. Costa, G. Signore, A. Ahluwalia. Polymeric microporous nanofilms as smart platforms for in vitro assessment of nanoparticle translocation and Caco-2 cell culture. IEEE Trans. Nanobiosci. 15: 689-696; 2016 [I.F. 2017: 2.158]

V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, P. Dario. The bioartificial pancreas (BAP): biological, chemical and engineering challenges. Biochem. Pharmacol. 100: 12-27; 2016 [I.F. 2017: 4.235]

L. Vannozzi, L. Ricotti, C. Filippeschi, S. Sartini, V. Coviello, V. Piazza, P. Pingue, C. La Motta, P. Dario and A. Menciassi. Nanostructured ultra-thin patches for ultrasound-modulated delivery of anti-restenotic drug. Int. J. Nanomed. 11: 69-92; 2016 [I.F. 2017: 4.370]

I. Gerges, M. Tamplenizza, S. Lopa, C. Recordati, F. Martello, A. Tocchio, L. Ricotti, C. Arrigoni, P. Milani, M. Moretti, C. Lenardi. Creep-resistant dextran-based polyurethane foam as a candidate scaffold for bone tissue engineering: Synthesis, chemico-physical characterization, and in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. Int. J. Polym. Mater. Polym. Biomater. doi: 10.1080/00914037.2016.1163565; 2016 [I.F. 2017: 2.127]

I. Baldoli, T. Mazzocchi, C. Paoletti, L. Ricotti, P. Salvo, V. Dini, C. Laschi, F. Di Francesco, A. Menciassi. Pressure mapping with textile sensors for compression therapy monitoring. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part H: J. Eng. Med. 230(8): 795-808; 2016 [I.F. 2017: 1.124]


V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi. Design and development of a mechatronic system for noninvasive refilling of implantable artificial pancreas. IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics. 20(3): 1160-1169; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 3.936]

V. Iacovacci, G. Lucarini, C. Innocenti, N. Comisso, P. Dario, L. Ricotti and A. Menciassi. Polydimethylsiloxane films doped with NdFeB powder: magnetic characterization and potential applications in biomedical engineering and microrobotics. Biomed. Microdev. – 17(6): 112; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

L. Vannozzi, L. Ricotti, M. Cianchetti, C. Bearzi, C. Gargioli, R. Rizzi, P. Dario, A. Menciassi. Self-assembly of polydimethylsiloxane structures from 2D to 3D for bio-hybrid actuation. Bioinspir. Biomim. 10: 056001; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.727]

T. Mazzocchi, L. Ricotti, N. Pinzi, A. Menciassi. Parametric design, fabrication and validation of one-way polymeric valves for artificial sphincters. Sens. Act. A: Phys. 233: 184-194; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.311]

V. Iacovacci, G. Lucarini, L. Ricotti, P. Dario, P. Dupont, A. Menciassi. Untethered magnetic millirobot for targeted drug delivery. Biomed Microdev. 17(3): 9962; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

A.R. Salgarella, G. Giudetti, L. Ricotti, D. Camboni, G.L. Puleo, F. Ruini, C. Tonda-Turo, V. Chiono, G. Ciardelli, S. Micera, A. Menciassi, C.M. Oddo. A bio-hybrid mechanotransduction system based on ciliate cells. Microelectr Eng. 144: 51-56; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2,020]

G. Ciuti, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, P. Dario. MEMS sensor technologies for human centred applications in healthcare, physical activities, safety and environmental sensing: a review on research activities in Italy. Sensors. 15(3): 6441-6468; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.475]

L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi. Nanotechnology in biorobotics: opportunities and challenges. J Nanop Res. 17: 84; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.127]

L. Ricotti, A. Cafarelli*, V. Iacovacci*, L. Vannozzi*, A. Menciassi. Advanced micro-nano-bio systems for future targeted therapies. Curr Nanosci. 11(2): 144-160; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 1.306]


L. Ricotti*, G. Ciuti*, M. Ghionzoli, A. Messineo, and A. Menciassi. Metal/polymer composite Nuss bar for minimally invasive bar removal after Pectus Excavatum treatment: FEM simulations. Int J Num Meth Biomed Eng. 30(12): 1530-1540; 2014 [I.F. 2017: 2.338]

S. Betti*, G. Ciuti*, L. Ricotti*, M. Ghionzoli, F. Cavallo, A. Messineo, and A. Menciassi. A Sensorized Nuss Bar for Patient-Specific Treatment of Pectus Excavatum. Sensors. 14(10): 18096-18113; 2015 [I.F. 2017: 2.475]

M. Ghionzoli, G. Ciuti*, L. Ricotti*, F. Tocchioni, R. Lo Piccolo, A. Menciassi, and A. Messineo. Is a shorter bar an effective solution to avoid bar dislocation in Nuss procedure? Ann Thorac Surg. 97(3): 1022-1027; 2014 [I.F. 2017: 3.779]

L. Ricotti, R.P. das Neves, G. Ciofani, C. Canale, S. Nitti, V.Mattoli, B. Mazzolai, L. Ferreira, and A. Menciassi. Boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation modulates F/G-actin ratio and mechanical properties of human dermal fibroblasts. J Nanop Res. 16: 2247; 2014 [I.F. 2017: 2.127]


L. Ricotti, T. Fujie, H. Vazão, G. Ciofani, R. Marotta, R. Brescia, C. Filippeschi, I. Corradini, M. Matteoli, V. Mattoli, L. Ferreira, and A. Menciassi. Boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation of cell co-culture on micro-engineered hydrogels. PLoS ONE. 8(8): e71707; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 2.766]

L. Ricotti, J. Rigosa, A. Niosi, and A. Menciassi. Analysis of balance, rapidity, force and reaction times of soccer players at different levels of competition. PLoS ONE. 8(10): e77264; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 2.766]

L. Ventrelli, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli. Nanoscaffolds for guided cardiac repair: the new therapeutic challenge of regenerative medicine. J Nanomat. 108485; 2014 [I.F. 2017: 2,207]

L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi: Engineering stem cells for future medicine. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 60(3): 727-734; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 4.288]

G.G. Genchi, G. Ciofani, I. Liakos, L. Ricotti, L. Ceseracciu, A. Athanassiou, B. Mazzolai, A. Menciassi, and V. Mattoli: Bio/non-bio interfaces: a straightforward method for obtaining long term PDMS/muscle cell biohybrid constructs. Coll Surf B: Biointerf. 105: 144-151; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 3.997]

F. Greco, T. Fujie, L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli: Microwrinkled conducting polymer interface for anisotropic multicellular alignment. ACS Appl Mat Interf. 5(3): 573-584; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 8.097]

L. Ricotti, T. Assaf, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi: Wearable and implantable pancreas substitutes. J Artif Organs. 16(1): 9-22; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 1.224]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, C. Canale, D. D’Alessandro, S. Berrettini, B. Mazzolai, and V. Mattoli: Effects of barium titanate nanoparticles on proliferation and differentiation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. Coll Surf B: Biointerf. 102: 312-320; 2013 [I.F. 2017: 3.997]


L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, and K. Morishima: Guest editorial introduction to the special issue on bio-hybrid systems and living machines. Biomed Microdev. 14(6): 965-967; 2012 [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

L. Ricotti, and A. Menciassi: Bio-hybrid muscle cell-based actuators. Biomed Microdev. 14(6): 987-998; 2012 [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

L. Ricotti, A. Polini, G.G. Genchi, G. Ciofani, D. Iandolo, H. Vazão, V. Mattoli, L. Ferreira, A. Menciassi, and D. Pisignano: Proliferation and skeletal myotube formation capability of C2C12 and H9c2 cells on isotropic and anisotropic electrospun nanofibrous PHB scaffolds. Biomed Mater. 7: 035010; 2012 [I.F. 2017: 2.897]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, J. Rigosa, A. Menciassi, V. Mattoli, and M. Monici: Hypergravity effects on myoblast proliferation and differentiation. J Biosci Bioeng. 113(2): 258-261; 2012. [I.F. 2017: 2.015] – Cover Page


L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, I. Bernardeschi, V. Pensabene, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi: Quantification of growth and differentiation of C2C12 skeletal muscle cells on PSS-PAH-based polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer nanofilms. Biomed Mater. 6(3): 031001-031007; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 2.897]

F. Vozzi, D. Mazzei, B. Vinci, G. Vozzi, T. Sbrana, L. Ricotti, N. Forgione, and A. Ahluwalia: A flexible bioreactor system for constructing in vitro tissue and organ models. Biotechnol Bioeng. 108(9): 2129-2140 2011. [I.F. 2017: 3.952]

T. Fujie, L. Ricotti, A. Desii, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, and V. Mattoli: Evaluation of substrata effect on cell adhesion properties using freestanding poly(L-lactic-acid) nanosheets. Langmuir. 27(21): 13173-13182; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 3.789]

L. Ricotti, and A. Ravaschio: Break dance significantly increases static balance in 9 years-old soccer players. Gait Post. 33(3): 462-465; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 2.273]

V. Pensabene, S. Taccola, L. Ricotti, G. Ciofani, A. Menciassi, F. Perut, M. Salerno, P. Dario, and N. Baldini: Flexible polymeric ultrathin film for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Acta Biomater. 7(7): 2883-2891; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 6.383]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, and V. Mattoli: Preparation, characterization and in vitro testing of poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid / barium titanate nanoparticle composites for enhanced cellular proliferation. Biomed Microdev. 13(2): 255-266; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

G. Ciofani, S. Danti, L. Ricotti, D. D’Alessandro, S. Moscato, V. Mattoli, and A. Menciassi: Boron nitride nanotubes: production, properties, biological interactions and potential applications as therapeutic agents in brain diseases. Curr Nanosci. 7(1): 94-109; 2011. [I.F. 2017: 1.306]

L. Ricotti: Static and dynamic balance in young athletes. J Hum Sport Ex. 6(4): 616-628; 2011


G. Ciofani, S. Danti, D. D’Alessandro, L. Ricotti, S. Moscato, M. Petrini, and A. Menciassi: Enhancement of neurite outgrowth in neuronal-like cells following boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation. ACS Nano. 4(10): 6267-6277; 2010. [I.F. 2017: 13.709]

L. Ricotti, S. Taccola, V. Pensabene, V. Mattoli, T. Fujie, S. Takeoka, A. Menciassi, and P. Dario: Adhesion and proliferation of skeletal muscle cells on single layer poly(lactic acid) ultra-thin films. Biomed Microdev. 12: 809-819; 2010. [I.F. 2017: 2.077]

G. Ciofani, L. Ricotti, S. Danti, S. Moscato, C. Nesti, D. D’Alessandro, D. Dinucci, F. Chiellini, A. Pietrabissa, M. Petrini, and A. Menciassi: Investigation of interactions between poly-L-lysine-coated boron nitride nanotubes and C2C12 cells: up-take, cytocompatibility, and differentiation. Int J Nanomed. 5: 285-298; 2010. [I.F. 2017: 4.370]


Landi, A. Mazzoldi, C. Andreoni, M. Bianchi, A. Cavallini, M. Laurino, L. Ricotti, R. Iuliano, B. Matteoli, and L. Ceccherini-Nelli: Modelling and control of HIV dynamics. Comput Meth Progr Biomed. 89(2): 162-168; 2008. [I.F. 2017: 2.674]

Leonardo Ricotti focuses on the following research activity domains: regenerative medicine, biomaterials, artificial/bioartificial organs, bio-hybrid robotics, nanotechnology, advanced materials for bioengineering, targeted drug delivery systems