Associate Professor of [CHIM/02]
Office: Cittadella Universitaria, V.le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania. Edificio 1 corpo B piano 0 Stanza 23 (B0/23)
Phone: +39 095 738 5136
Fax: +39 095 580138
Office Hours: Monday from 09:00 to 10:00 | Thursday from 09:00 to 10:00 A causa della possibile sovrapposizione con impegni istituzionali e non, è consigliabile inviare una mail di preavviso.

Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry (CHIM02)

Main research topics:

  1. Surface functionalisation of materials for triggered interaction at the hybrid biointerface.
  2. Nano- and micro-patterning for applications in biomaterials and (bio)sensors
  3. Nanomedicine and theranostics

Researcher ID: A-3976-2012. ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5348-5863

  • Name: Cristina Satriano
  • Date and Place of birth: 13/04/1973, Potenza (Italy)
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Marital Status: married, two daughters.

Cristina SATRIANO is Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry (since 2014), Departmental Erasmus Coordinator (since 2017), Coordinator of the M.Sc. degree course of ‘Biomolecular Chemistry’ (since 2019), and Teaching Board member of the International Doctoral School in Chemical Sciences (since 2010) at the Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Catania. In 2017 she has got the National Scientific Qualification (ASN 2016) as full professor for the areas of 03/A2 (Physical Chemistry, Chemistry of Environment and Cultural Heritage), 03/B1 (General and Inorganic Chemistry) and 03/B2 (Chemical Fundamentals of Technologies).

  • Her multidisciplinary research track records, dealing with hybrid (nano)biointerfaces for biosensing, tissue engineering and nanomedicine, include >100 articles, >150 presentations at international conferences, various invited talks, an established international collaborations network, with both academic and industrial partners.
  • She is currently the lead lecturer of 3 master/undergraduate/post-graduate courses in the fields of physical chemistry of nanomaterials, biointerfaces and theranostics. In the last ten years, she supervised >30 students. 
  • Currently, she leads the Hybrid NanoBIoInterfaces Lab (NHBIL) and supervises 5 students (2 bachelors, 2 masters, 1 Ph.D.) and 2 researchers (one graduate and one post-doc). researchers. 
  • She is actively involved in the public engagement activities (Open Days, SHARPER European Researchers’ Nights, etc.) of UNICT. 
  • Her current funded projects include national (PRIN, Unit Responsible) and international (SmartHyCAR M-era.Net, Coordinator) actions.
  • She is the Responsible for UNICT of bilateral Erasmus agreements with Université de Mons-Hainaut (Belgium), Göteborgs Universitet (Sweden), University of Ulster (UK), Aix Marseille University (France), Technische Universität Dresden (Germany), Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (Austria).
  • Prof. Satriano is the Project Leader for UNICT of the Erasmus+ di European University 'EUNICE -European University for a Customized Education' (Call EAC-A02-2019).


Academic Year  

The research work by Prof. Satriano is focused on the preparation and physicochemical characterization of hybrid biointerfaces for biomaterials, biosensing and nanomedicine applications. Such an activity is reported in more than 95 articles, in collaboration, published in international scientific journals and has been disseminated in over 150 presentations, oral and poster, at national and international conferences, including various invited talks.

Prof. Satriano is the head of the NanoHybrid BIonterfaces Lab (NHBIL), leading a group of 6 undergraduate and graduate students, 1 Ph.D., 1 post-doc and 1 research fellow. She has an established network of collaborations, both national (Universities of Pisa, Bologna, Bari, Naples, National Council of Research, European Brain Research Institute) and international (Chalmers University and Gothenborg University, Sweden; Universitè Libre de Brussels and University of Mons, Belgium; Centre for Neural Science, New York University, US) research groups, including industrial partner (Fidia Farmaceutici, Eurofarm, IONICS Surface Technologies). Career breaks: in 2004 and 2009-2010, two maternity leaves, 10 months in total. 

In particular, Prof. Satriano has long-standing experience in: A) Functionalization of the surface of materials for controlled interaction with various systems of biological interest; B) Nano and microstructuring for applications in biomaterials and biosensing. In the last ten years, the research activity of Prof. Satriano has concerned: C) Nanomedicine (and theranostics)

A) Surfaces tailoring for triggered interaction with various systems of biological interest. The study of surface modifications – including the chemical structure, the surface charge, the surface free energy and the topography – induced by low energy ion beams (keV), cold plasmas, UV-ozone and/or wet chemistry treatments on: inorganic oxides (e.g., SiO2 and ZnO), polymers (both organic and inorganic) and nanomaterials (e.g., graphene, metal nanoparticles, ...) for the controlled modification of the interaction processes at the (bio)interface.


AFM height image of a single layer of graphene oxide grafted with pH-responsive poly(acrylic acid). See, e.g., G. Consiglio et al.  “Surface tailoring of polyacrylate-grafted graphene oxide for controlled interactions at the biointerface” J.Coll. Interface Sci. (2017) 506, 532-542. 


B) Nano- and micro-patterning for biomaterials and biosensors fields application. The application of integrated approaches of thin film deposition & surface modification (e.g., plasma, MOCVD, wet chemistry, casting, SAMs, etc.) and colloidal lithography for the topographic and chemical patterning of surfaces at the micrometer and nanometer scale. The study of protein adsorption, cell adhesion, peptide-lipid membrane interactions at the interface with the surface functionalized materials; the investigated bio-systems include various cell lines, lipids (liposomes and supported lipid membranes), proteins and peptides.

C) Nanomedicine. Multifunctional and smart nanoplatform for live imaging of biological processes in controlled drug delivery processes (theranostics). Development of nanoparticle-based sensors with fluorescence enhancement for real-time monitoring of intracellular metals dyshomeostasis.

Confocal microscopy images of neuroblastoma cells after incubation with gold nanoparticles (black arrow) decorated with a fluorescent neurotrophic peptide (green arrow). See, e.g., P. Di Pietro et al.  “Immobilization of Neurotrophin Peptides on Gold Nanoparticles by Direct and Lipid-Mediated Interaction: A New Multipotential Therapeutic Nanoplatform for CNS Disorders” ACS Omega (2017), 2, 4071−4079.


1. Other activities (training and education)

  • Coordinator of the M.Sc. course in Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Catania (since Dec 2019).
  • Erasmus Coordinator of the Department (since Nov 2017). 
  • Member of the Joint Committee of Professors and Students (CDPS) of the Department (2016-2020).
  • Tutor at the Scuola Superiore di Catania, SSC (2014-2019).
  • Teaching Board member of the International Doctoral School in Chemical Sciences, Catania University (since AY 2010-11).
  • Member of the PhD-thesis defence Committee at the Université Libre de Bruxelles: 1) Nicolas N Vandencasteele “Etude du rôle des espèces constitutives d'un plasma pour la fonctionnalisation de surfaces polymériques” Doctorat en Sciences (02/07/2008); 2) Bernard Nisol “Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Synthesis of Biocompatible Poly(Ethylene Glycol)-Like Coatings”, Doctorat en Sciences (26/05/2011). 

2. Other activities (conference organisation, editorial activity, Advisory Board)

  • Co-Chair for the Focus Topic ‘SM_Smart multifunctional materials for nanomedicine’, 67th Annual AVS International Symposium and Exhibition (AVS 67). **Postponed due to Covid-19 to October 2021 (Charlotte, 
  • Scientific committe member for the 5th International Conference on Materials Science and Engineering (ICMSE2016), Wuhan, China, Dec. 17-18, 2016. 
  • Advisory Board member for the EU(IRSES) project ‘NanoCF’ (2013-2017).
  • Organising committee member for the 16th International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry (ISPC-16)”, Taormina, Italy, Jun 22-27, 2003. 
  • Organising committee member for the 5th International Conference on Swift Heavy Ions in Matter (SHIM2002), Giardini Naxos-Taormina, Italy, May 21-25, 2002. 

Editorial Board member for: 

  • JSEMAT (Journal of Surface Engineered Materials and Advanced Materials) e di JMSSE (Journal of Material Science Surface Engineering) (since 2011);
  • Recent Patents on Materials Science, Bentham Science (since 2017);
  • Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417) (since 2019);
  • Associate Editor for Frontiers in Chemistry – Nanoscience (since 2020)

Guest Editor for the Special Issues on: 

3. Other activities (evaluation)

  • Vice-chair expert at European Commission – Research Executive Agency (REA) H2020-MSCA-IF-2020
  • Member of the expert panel for CHE (Chemistry) e PHY (Physics) of the European Commission, programme Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF-IOF-IIF and IF-2014-ST, programme Marie Curie Slodowska Action H2020-MSCA-IF (since 2015). 
  • Member of the SEN-1 Committee ‘Exact and Natual Sciences’ of FNRS founding agency (Fonds de la Reserche Scientifique), Brussel, Belgium (2010-2015).
  • Project evaluator for PRIN projects, MIUR (2008, 2011). 
  • Remote expert of the founding agency ERA Chemistry, Belgio (since 2010). 
  • Project evaluator for FNRS (Brussel, Belgium) (since 2015). 
  • Member of the External Experts Committee for Assessment Faculty of Engineering, Universitè Libre de Bruxels (ULB), Brussel, Belgium (2011).
  • - "Peer" reviewer in the evaluation of the research articles, VQR 2004-2010 (2012) and 2011-2014 (2016) (Gev 03). 
  • - Project evaluator for National Science Center, Krakow, Poland, in the founding program PRELUDIUM (since 2016). 
  • - Project evaluator for FAR2015_UNIMORE, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (2016). 
  • - Project evaluator for JOINT PROJECTS 2017, Università di Verona.

Referee activity for: ACS Nano; ACS Interfaces; Acta Biomaterialia; Advanced Functional Materials; Analytical Biochemistry; Annals of Biomedical Engineering; Applied Surface Science; BBA-General Subjects; Biomaterials; Colloids and Polymer Sciences; Colloids and Surfaces: Biointerfaces B; International Journal of Nanomedicine; International Journal of Pharmaceutics; Fibers and Polymers; Journal of Biosensors and Bioelectronics; Journal of Colloids and Interface Science; Journal of Nanomaterials; Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry; Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology; Journal of Material Chemistry; Journal of Physical Chemistry; Journal of Raman Spectroscopy; Journal of Royal Society Interface; Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A; JoVE; Langmuir; Materials Chemistry and Physics; Materials Science and Engineering C; Metals; New Journal of Chemistry; Surface and Interface Analysis; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics; Journal of Physical Chemistry; Soft Matter; Transaction on Biomedical Engineering.