Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D.

Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D. 

Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D.

Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D.

Senior Member
Interim Chair
Department of Translational Imaging
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

Chair, NanoCouncil
American Society of Mechanical Engineers

E-mail: pdecuzzi@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-7316
Fax: 713-793-7438


M.Sc.   Politecnico di Bari, Italy (Mechanical Engineering)
Ph.D.   University of Naples, Italy (Mechanical Engineering)

Postdoctoral Training

Visiting Researcher, Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Visiting Scientist, Princeton Materials Institute, University of Princeton, Princeton, NJ

Visiting Scientist, M. Doris Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Ohio State University, OH



Dr. Decuzzi earned his M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Politecnico di Bari, one of the three Politecnical Schools in Italy, and his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Naples - Federico II. His Ph.D. course was developed in collaboration with the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, where he worked on the multiscale modeling of adhesion and friction as a visiting scientist. He became Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Politecnico di Bari (IT) in 2003, and Associate Professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at the School of Medicine of the University of Magna Graecia (IT) in 2005. In the same year, he co-founded the Center of BioNanotechnology and Engineering for Medicine, one of the first Nanotechnology/NanoEngineering laboratories established in a medical school. In 2007, he moved to The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston as an Associate Professor. In 2010, Paolo Decuzzi joined The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, serving as an interim Co-Chair of the Department of Nanomedicine and on the Research Institute Scientific Council. In 2013 he was named interim Chair of the Department of Translational Imaging.

Dr. Decuzzi has been visiting professor at institutions including the Princeton Materials Institute of Princeton University, and the M. Doris Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute at Ohio State University. He has taught solid mechanics, machine design and computer aided design to undergraduate and graduate engineering students, and has developed a bioNanomechanics course for graduate students.

Dr. Decuzzi has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and conferences, and has contributed to more than five books and several special issues of journals. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and chairs the NanoCouncil of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has organized several workshops and international conferences, including the ASME 2010 First Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology in Houston, TX.

Description of Research

Dr. Decuzzi's research focuses on the synthesis, development and medical application of multifunctional nanoconstructs for biomedical imaging and therapy. These are intravenously injectable nanoparticles, rationally designed to recognize the diseased tissue, and deliver drug molecules and contrast agents. His research approach is based on the integration of in silico mathematical modeling, with microfluidic chips for in vitro and in vivo analysis. Dr. Decuzzi's research has received the support of the US National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Defense, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas and the European Science Foundation. In addition to cancer, this research has applications to regeneratove imedicine and the imaging and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.

Major Areas of Research

Nanomedicine, biomedical imaging, targeted nanoparticle delivery, mathematical modeling, MRI, thermal ablation

Recent Publications

Ananta JS, Godin B, Sethi R, Moriggi L, Liu X, Serda RE, Krishnamurthy R, Muthupillai R, Bolskar RD, Helm L, Ferrari M, Wilson LJ, Decuzzi P. Geometrical confinement of gadolinium-based contrast agents in nanoporous particles enhances T1 contrast. Nat Nanotechnol. 2010;5(11):815-21.

Driessen WH, Bronk LF, Edwards JK, Proneth B, Souza GR, Decuzzi P, Pasqualini R, Arap W. On the synergistic effects of ligand-mediated and phage-intrinsic properties during in vivo selection. Adv Genet. 2010;69:115-33.

Godin B, Driessen WH, Proneth B, Lee SY, Srinivasan S, Rumbaut R, Arap W, Pasqualini R, Ferrari M, Decuzzi P. An integrated approach for the rational design of nanovectors for biomedical imaging and therapy. Adv Genet. 2010; 69:31-64.

Gentile F, Tirinato L, Battista E, Causa F, Liberale C, di Fabrizio EM, Decuzzi P. Cells preferentially grow on rough substrates. Biomaterials. 2010;31(28):7205-12.

Ranganathan SI, Yoon DM, Henslee AM, Nair MB, Smid C, Kasper FK, Tasciotti E, Mikos AG, Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Shaping the micromechanical behavior of multi-phase composites for bone tissue engineering. Acta Biomater. 2010;6(9):3448-56.

Decuzzi P, Godin B, Tanaka T, Lee SY, Chiappini C, Liu X, Ferrari M. Size and shape effects in the biodistribution of intravascularly injected particles. J Control Release. 2010;141(3):320-7.

Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Modulating cellular adhesion through nanotopography. Biomaterials. 2010; 31(1):173-9.

Decuzzi P, Pasqualini R, Arap W, Ferrari M. Intravascular delivery of particulate systems: does geometry really matter? Pharm Res. 2009;26(1):235-43.

Lee SY, Ferrari M, Decuzzi P. Design of bio-mimetic particles with enhanced vascular interaction. J Biomech. 2009;42(12):1885-90.

Lee SY, Ferrari M, Decuzzi P. Shaping nano-/micro-particles for enhanced vascular interaction in laminar flows. Nanotechnology. 2009;20(49):495101.

Serda RE, Gu J, Bhavane RC, Liu X, Chiappini C, Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. The association of silicon microparticles with endothelial cells in drug delivery to the vasculature. Biomaterials. 2009;30(13):2440-8.

Tasciotti E, Liu X, Bhavane R, Plant K, Leonard AD, Price BK, Cheng MM, Decuzzi P, Tour JM, Robertson F, Ferrari M. Mesoporous silicon particles as a multistage delivery system for imaging and therapeutic applications. Nat Nanotechnol. 2008;3(3):151-7.

Gentile F, Chiappini C, Fine D, Bhavane RC, Peluccio MS, Cheng MM, Liu X, Ferrari M, Decuzzi P. The effect of shape on the margination dynamics of non-neutrally buoyant particles in two-dimensional shear flows. J Biomech. 2008;41(10):2312-8.

Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. The receptor-mediated endocytosis of nonspherical particles. Biophys J. 2008; 94(10):3790-7.

Gentile F, Curcio A, Indolfi C, Ferrari M, Decuzzi P. The margination propensity of spherical particles for vascular targeting in the microcirculation. J Nanobiotechnology. 2008 15;6:9.

Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. Design maps for nanoparticles targeting the diseased microvasculature. Biomaterials. 2008;29(3):377-84.

Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. The role of specific and non-specific interactions in receptor-mediated endocytosis of nanoparticles. Biomaterials. 2007;28(18):2915-22.

Decuzzi P, Ferrari M. The adhesive strength of non-spherical particles mediated by specific interactions. Biomaterials. 2006;27(30):5307-14.