• Bio-Nanomaterials


    Nanomedicine, “the application of nanotechnology to health” has been growing exponentially in the last two decades. In this regard, multifunctional nano-scaled materials have been developed for applications in fields such as drug delivery, diagnostics, biosensing and bioengineering.

  • Crystal Engineering

    Crystal Engineering

    Crystal Engineering (CE) aims at understanding intermolecular interactions in the context of the crystal packing and utilize such understanding in the design and synthesis of new solid-state functional structures with desired physical and chemical properties.

  • Fluorine Chemistry


    Fluorinated chemicals find widespread use in hundreds of applications, such as anti-corrosion or anti-icing coatings, liquid-repellent textiles, oil/water separation, fire-fighting foams, paints, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants.

  • Supramolecular Chemistry

    Supramolecular Chemistry

    Since its discovery, supramolecular chemistry has completely revolutionized the concept of synthesis, allowing for manipulation and production of nanostructured materials based on molecular components held together by noncovalent intermolecular forces.


SupraBioNano Lab

SupraBioNano Logo h147pxWelcome to the Laboratory of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials (SupraBioNanoLab) where we take inspiration from Nature to engineer the self-assembly and self-organization of biomimetic supramolecular and nanostructured materials with applications ranging from crystal engineering to nanomedicine.

The SupraBioNanoLab

Foto Gruppo new


  • 1st School of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials

    Almost all aspects of life are engineered at the molecular level, and without understanding molecules we can only have a sketchy understanding of life itself”  
    Francis Crick (1988)

    The SupraBioNano resreach group is glad to announce its 1st School of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials!

    The field of supramolecular systems and bio-nanomaterials is both timely and highly interdisciplinary and this School wishes to foster a collaborative, multidisciplinary, and dynamic “playground” for presenting and discussing the most recent research results in field of supramolecular chemistry and self-assembled materials.

    This School aims to provide a research-led overview of the current state-of-the-art in self-assembly phenomena, applied supramolecular chemistry, and bio-nanomaterials. Taking inspiration from Nature, the attendees will be guided through all aspects of chemistry underpinning the formation of hierarchical structures and complex functionalities.

    The School is designed for PhD students, Post-Docs, and young scientists with various fields of interest, who aim at mastering the phenomena associated with molecular recognition and self-assembly, and the design and preparation of functional molecules and materials for a wide-range of high-end applications. During an intense training week the attendees will learn how to design and develop functional materials through the combination and assembly of organic, inorganic, coordination, biological molecules, and higher-level building units.

    Welcome to the 1stSchool
    of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials

    School Website: https://sbn.lakecomoschool.org/
    When: 13-17 June, 2022
    Where: Villa del Grumello, Via per Cernobbio (CO), Italy
    Additional information: Flyer

  • High-resolution crystal structure of a 20 kDa superfluorinated gold nanocluster

    Dr. Claudia PIgliacelli, Prof. Valentina Dichiarante, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, Prof. Giancarlo Terraneo and others have recently published an article on Nature Communications about "High-resolution crystal structure of a 20 kDa superfluorinated gold nanocluster".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: High-resolution crystal structure of a 20 kDa superfluorinated gold nanocluster.

    Abstract. Crystallization of atomically precise nanoclusters is gaining increasing attention, due to the opportunity of elucidating both intracluster and intercluster packing modes, and exploiting the functionality of the resulting highly pure crystallized materials. Herein, we report the design and single-crystal X-ray structure of a superfluorinated 20 kDa gold nanocluster, with an Au25 core coated by a shell of multi-branched highly fluorinated thiols (SF27) resulting in almost 500 fluorine atoms, i.e., ([Au25(SF27)18]0). The cluster shows a switchable solubility in the fluorous phase. X-ray analysis and computational studies reveal the key role of both intracluster and intercluster F···F contacts in driving [Au25(SF27)18]0 crystal packing and stabilization, highlighting the ability of multi-branched fluorinated thiols to endow atomically precise nanoclusters with remarkable crystallogenic behavior.


    How to cite:
    Claudia Pigliacelli, Angela Acocella, Isabel Díez, Luca Moretti, Valentina Dichiarante, Nicola Demitri, Hua Jiang, Margherita Maiuri, Robin H. A. Ras, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Giulio Cerullo, Francesco Zerbetto, Pierangelo Metrangolo & Giancarlo Terraneo, High-resolution crystal structure of a 20 kDa superfluorinated gold nanocluster, Nat Commun, 2022, 13, 2607
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29966-2


  • Janus-Type Dendrimers Based on Highly Branched Fluorinated Chains with Tunable Self-Assembly and 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Properties

    Dr. Marta Rosati, Dr. Andrea Pizzi, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Prof. Gabriella Cavallo, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo and others have recently published an article on Macromolecules about "Janus-Type Dendrimers Based on Highly Branched Fluorinated Chains with Tunable Self-Assembly and 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Properties".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: Janus-Type Dendrimers Based on Highly Branched Fluorinated Chains with Tunable Self-Assembly and 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Properties.

    Abstract. Tuning the self-assembly of dendritic amphiphiles represents a major challenge for the design of advanced nanomaterials for biomimetic applications. The morphology of the final aggregates, in fact, critically depends on the primary structure of the dendritic building blocks as well as the environmental conditions. Here we report a new family of fluorinated Janus-type dendrimers (FJDs), based on a short-chain and branched fluorinated synthon with 27 magnetically equivalent fluorine atoms, linked to bis-MPA polyester dendrons of different generations. Increasing size, flexibility, and number of peripheral hydroxyl groups, we observed a peculiar self-assembly behavior in bulk and in aqueous media as a consequence of the subtle balance between their fluorinated and hydrophilic portions. The lowest generation FJDs formed spherical nanoparticles in water, e.g., micelles, showing a single 19F NMR peak with good signal-to-noise ratio and over time stability, making them promising as 19F-MRI traceable probes. The highest generation FJD, instead, presented an interesting morphological transition from multilamellar dendrimersomes to tubules as a consequence of a subtle balance of intra- and intermolecular forces that compete at the interface. Interestingly, a reduction of the local mobility of CF3 groups passing from dendrimersomes to tubules switches off the 19F NMR signal. The transition mechanism has been rationalized by coarse-grain simulations as well as demonstrated by using cosolvents of different nature (e.g., fluorinated) that promote conformational changes, ultimately reflected in the self-assembly behavior. Short and branched fluorinated chains have here been demonstrated as new moieties for the design of FJDs with tunable self-assembly behavior for potential applications as biocompatible 19F MRI probes in the construction of theranostic platforms.


    How to cite the article:
    Marta Rosati, Angela Acocella, Andrea Pizzi, Giorgio Turtù, Giulia Neri, Nicola Demitri, Nonappa, Giuseppina Raffaini, Bertrand Donnio, Francesco Zerbetto, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Gabriella Cavallo, and Pierangelo Metrangolo, Janus-Type Dendrimers Based on Highly Branched Fluorinated Chains with Tunable Self-Assembly and 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Properties, Macromolecules, 2022, 55, 7, 2486-2496
    DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c00129


  • Fibril Structure Demonstrates the Role of Iodine Labelling on a Pentapeptide Self-Assembly

    All the authors would like to express their gratitude to Prof. Ulf Diederichsen, whose premature departure left us with a deep sorrow.

    Alessandro Marchetti, Dr. Andrea Pizzi, Dr. Claudia Pigliacelli, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo and others have recently published an article on Chemistry A European Journal about "Fibril Structure Demonstrates the Role of Iodine Labelling on a Pentapeptide Self-Assembly".
    The full paper can be found at the following link: Fibril Structure Demonstrates the Role of Iodine Labelling on a Pentapeptide Self-Assembly.

    Abstract. Iodination has long been employed as a successful labelling strategy to gain structural insights into proteins and other biomolecules via several techniques, including Small Angle X-ray Scattering, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS), and single-crystal crystallography. However, when dealing with smaller biomolecular systems, interactions driven by iodine may significantly alter their self-assembly behaviour. The engineering of amyloidogenic peptides for the development of ordered nanomaterials has greatly benefitted from this possibility. Still, to date, iodination has exclusively been applied to aromatic residues. In this work, an aliphatic bis-iodinated amino acid was synthesized and included into a custom pentapeptide, which showed enhanced fibrillogenic behaviour. Peptide single crystal X-ray structure and powder X-ray diffraction on its dried water solution demonstrated the key role of iodine atoms in promoting intermolecular interactions that drive the peptide self-assembly into amyloid fibrils. These findings enlarge the library of halogenated moieties available for directing and engineering the self-assembly of amyloidogenic peptides.


    How to cite the article:
    Alessandro Marchetti, Andrea Pizzi, Greta Bergamaschi, Nicola Demitri, Ulrike Stollberg, Ulf Diederichsen, Claudia Pigliacelli, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Fibril Structure Demonstrates the Role of Iodine Labelling on a Pentapeptide Self-Assembly, ChemEurJ, 2022, e202104089
    DOI: 10.1002/chem.202104089


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