MONALISA - MOlecular NAnotechnology for LIfe Science Applications
slideshow 1 slideshow 2 slideshow 3


We are a highly multidisciplinary group composed by medical doctors, biologists, chemists, physicists, and enginees. The multidisciplinary environment is prompting a fast flow of ideas. We are working towards speeding up the development of novel clinical protocols and new diagnostic devices by integrating computational and experimental techniques for the design  of new nanotechnology solutions of problems of medical interest.


The project QUIDPROQUO"MOlecular NAnotechnology for LIfe Science Applications: QUantitative Interactomics for Diagnostics, PROteomics and QUantitative Oncology" has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 269051.

“Capire il cancro per curarlo oppure curare il cancro per capirlo?”

“Io vedo e conosco, leggo e ricordo, ma solo quando faccio capisco!" (Confucio).

Con questo breve intervento, vorrei sollevare un dibattito su come allinearsi e su cosa focalizzarsi nella lotta contro il cancro. Si tratta di uno spunto di riflessione mirato a capire se sia meglio INVESTIRE primariamente sulla comprensione delle BASI GENETICHE E MOLECOLARI DEL CANCRO, oppure se concentrarsi sul miglioramento delle tecniche moderne (come le NANOTECNOLOGIE), al fine di un maggiore beneficio in termini di DIAGNOSI PIU’ SENSIBILI E MENO COSTOSE e accuratezza delle terapie (CURE MIRATE).

Continua a leggere l'intervendo del Prof.Scoles su 500WORDS

New project - A CACTUS

We have been granted extra ERC funding for the PoC project:

"Antibody-free method for Counting All Circulating Tumour cellS while maintaining them alive
and intact (A CACTUS)"

Nanotechnology for better and faster detection of cancer Estimates show that 90% of cancer deaths
are due to the development of cancer metastases. In his PoC project, Prof. Giacinto Scoles investigates a new system to detect circulating tumour cells (CTCs), the cells that are likely responsible for cancer dissemination. The CTCs have been identified in bladder, gastric, prostate, lung, breast and colon cancer.
The chief goal of the project is to develop a CTC detection system that focuses on the metabolic features of these migratory cells, in particular both epithelial and mesenchymal cancer cells. The technique, which differs from traditional diagnostic methods based on antibodies, aims at separating cells into micro-droplets through water-in-oil emulsions and measuring changes of the pH in their surrounding environment due to their faster metabolism . It also provides a way to count and isolate the CTCs while maintaining them
alive and intact for further studies.

See the ERC  press release or their FACEBOOK announcement.

2014 Monalisa Quidproquo Midsummer Festival

Our yearly multidisciplinary workshop bringing toghether researchers and students of the MONALISA collaborative network will take place from the 8 to the 11 July 2014.

Each day wil be focused on one macroarea:

  • CTCs: Tuesday July 8, 2014 @CRO Aviano
  • STEM CELLS: Wednesday July 9, 2014 - Aula Interdipartimentale, Piazzale Kolbe 4
  • BIOSENSORS: Thursday July 10, 2014 - Aula Interdipartimentale, Piazzale Kolbe 4
  • THEORY: Friday July 11, 2014 – Aula Interdipartimentale, Piazzale Kolbe 4

For further information, download the Full Program or the Book of Abstracts.

Cover: coated nanoparticles

coated nanoparticles

Micronsized polymersomes armored with a mixture of large (green) and small (yellow) polystyrene latex particles. Encounter probabilities of small beads are 56%, and 91%, respectively. Insets show corresponding MC simulated packing patterns.

Further details:
R. Chen, D. J. G. Pearce, S. Fortuna, D. L. Cheung, and S. A. F. Bon - "Polymer Vesicles with a Colloidal Armor of Nanoparticles" - J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133 (7), pp 2151-2153

Cover: metal-phthalocyanines on gold

metal-phthalocyanines on goldMetal-phthalocyanines adsorbed on the Au(110) surface self-assemble into chains. Artistic view, POV-Ray image by Sara Fortuna.



Further details:
S. Fortuna, et al. "Molecule-Driven Substrate Reconstruction in the Two-Dimensional Self-Organization of Fe-Phthalocyanines on Au(110)" - J. Phys. Chem. C, 2012, 116 (10), pp 6251-6258

Cover: Maltose Binding Protein

Maltose Binding Protein

Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) is responsible for the uptake and catabolism of maltodextrins. MBP can exist either in open (left) or closed (right) states.

Monalisa Group

Department of Medical and Biological Sciences - University of Udine - Piazzale Kolbe, 4 - 33100 Udine - Italy

WEBMASTER: Sara Fortuna (sara.fortuna at

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer. Modified and adapted by Sara Fortuna.