Associate Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Chair, Department of Nanomedicine
Dr. Alessandro Grattoni obtained his bachelors and masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the Politecnico of Torino, Turin, Italy in 2005. During his masters degree thesis, he studied the osmotic pressure of non-ideal solutions though nanoporous membranes. This work produced two publications and two patents. A few months after starting graduate school in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico of Torino in 2006, Alessandro Grattoni joined Dr. Mauro Ferrari’s research team as a visiting student in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In this new context, he engaged in the study of transport phenomena in silicon nanofluidic devices for drug delivery.
At the beginning of 2007, he began directing one of the four research platforms, the nanochannel Delivery System (nDS) project. Since then he has coordinated the work of his colleagues in the development and validation of nanochannel membranes for long-term administration of therapeutics from implantable capsules. His research focuses on the experimental and phenomenological analysis of concentration-driven transport in nanoconfinement tools and mathematical models of the nanofluidic system. Additionally he analyzes electrokinetic transport in nanochannels for the purpose of modulating the release of therapeutics from reservoirs. In collaboration with NanoMedical Systems Inc. of Austin, TX, Dr. Grattoni is working to translate innovations in nDS technology to clinical applications.
In April 2009 he was awarded the Heinlein Trust Microgravity Award to support diffusion experiments in microgravity conditions on-board the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in early 2011. In May 2009 he completed his Ph.D. studies with fifteen peer-reviewed publications and five patent applications. In October 2010, he became an Assistant Member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and an Interim Co-Chair of the Nanomedicine Program.
Dr. Grattoni's research focuses on the development and clinical translation of implantable nanofluidic technologies for drug delivery, molecular sieving and cell transplantation. Silicon-based nanochannel membranes are developed for the controlled delivery of therapeutics by exploiting nanoscale physics, achieving a constant or tunable sustained release of molecules for extended periods of time. Dr. Grattoni’s research relates to the experimental and theoretical analysis of molecular transport at the nanoscale and the in vivo investigation of long term, sustained delivery of therapeutics. Dr. Grattoni's research has received the support of NASA and State of Texas Emerging Technology Funds, as well as from NanoMedical Systems, Inc.