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Alessandro Grattoni, PhD

Associate Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Chair, Department of Nanomedicine
Houston Methodist


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.

Description of Research

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.

Areas Of Expertise

Nanomedicine Nanofluidics Drug Delivery Silicon Technologies Implantable Devices Space Medicine
Education & Training

MSc , Politecnico di Torino
PhD , Politecnico di Torino
Postdoctoral Fellowship , The University of Texas Health Science Center

Physicochemical properties of inclusion complexes of highly soluble ß-cyclodextrins with highly hydrophobic testosterone propionate
Celia, C, Scala, A, Stancanelli, R, Surdo, E, Paolino, D, Grattoni, A, Micale, N, Crupi, V, Majolino, D, Fresta, M, Tommasini, S, Venuti, V & Ventura, CA 2017, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol 534, no. 1-2, pp. 316-324. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.10.014

The Chicken Egg Chorioallantoic Membrane Model: A Swiss army knife for generating PDX, deriving vascularized 3-D tumors, and optimizing novel bioassays
Pathak, R, Liu, H-C, Villanueva, M, Patel, J, Dobrolecki, LE, Lewis, MT, San Martin, R, Rowley, D, Woodfield, SE, Vasudevan, SA, Filgueira, CS, Grattoni, A & Sikora, AG 2017, 2017 Innovations in Cancer Prevention and Research Conference
, Austin, United States, 11/13/17 - 11/14/17, .

Controlled Intrapericardial Delivery Of Prostaglandin Formulations For Heart Failure
Filgueira, CS, Igo, SR, Bruckner, BA, Ferraro, F, Shah, DJ, Estep, JD & Grattoni, A 2017, George and Angelina Kostas Research Center for Cardiovascular Medicine Annual International Meeting, Houston, United States, 10/24/17 - 10/25/17, .

A Novel Intratumoral Delivery System to Treat Lung Cancer
Ferraro, F, Pathak, R, Pandey, A, Nixon, A, Rhudy, JR, Mitra, S, Sikora, AG, Filgueira, CS, Halas, NJ & Grattoni, A 2017, Houston Methodist Cancer Symposium, 8/12/16, .

A pharmacokinetic study of GC-1 delivery using a nanochannel membrane device
Filgueira, CS, Ballerini, A, Nicolov, E, Chua, CYX, Jain, P, Smith, ZW, Gilbert, AL, Scaglione, F & Grattoni, A 2017, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol 13, no. 5, pp. 1739-1744. DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2017.02.012

Remote magnetic switch off microgate for nanofluidic drug delivery implants
Farina, M, Ballerini, A, Torchio, G, Rizzo, G, Demarchi, D, Thekkedath, U & Grattoni, A 2017, Biomedical Microdevices, vol 19, no. 2, 42. DOI: 10.1007/s10544-017-0180-5

Constant delivery of GC-1 from a nanochannel membrane device for metabolic syndrome
Filgueira, CS, Smith, Z, Nicolov, E, Ballerini, A, Bruno, G, Gilbert, A, Chua, CYX, Jain, P, Phillips, KJ & Grattoni, A 2017, GSK-CRS Long-Acting Injectables and Implantables Conference, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 4/18/17 - 4/19/17, .

Pioneering medical advances through nanofluidic implantable technologies
Hood, RL, Hood, GD, Ferrari, M & Grattoni, A 2017, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. DOI: 10.1002/wnan.1455

3D Printed Vascularized Device for Subcutaneous Transplantation of Human Islets
Farina, M, Ballerini, A, Fraga, DW, Nicolov, E, Hogan, M, Demarchi, D, Scaglione, F, Sabek, OM, Horner, P, Thekkedath, U, Gaber, OA & Grattoni, A 2017, Biotechnology Journal. DOI: 10.1002/biot.201700169

The active modulation of drug release by an ionic field effect transistor for an ultra-low power implantable nanofluidic system
Bruno, G, Canavese, G, Liu, X, Filgueira, CS, Sacco, A, Demarchi, D, Ferrari, M & Grattoni, A 2016, Nanoscale, vol 8, no. 44, pp. 18718-18725. DOI: 10.1039/c6nr06235k

Nanochannel implants for minimally-invasive insertion and intratumoral delivery
Hood, RL, Bruno, G, Jain, P, Anderson, J, Wolfe, T, Quini, C, Schmulen, J, Li, XC, Butler, EB, Krishnan, S & Grattoni, A 2016, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, vol 12, no. 10, pp. 1907-1915. DOI: 10.1166/jbn.2016.2288

Sustained zero-order delivery of GC-1 from a nanochannel membrane device alleviates metabolic syndrome
Filgueira, CS, Nicolov, E, Hood, RL, Ballerini, A, Garcia-Huidobro, J, Lin, JZ, Fraga, D, Webb, P, Sabek, O, Gaber, AO, Phillips, KJ & Grattoni, A 2016, International Journal of Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2016.129

The Emerging Role of Nanotechnology in Cell and Organ Transplantation
Tasciotti, E, Cabrera, FJ, Evangelopoulos, M, Martinez, JO, Thekkedath, UR, Kloc Stepkowska, M, Ghobrial, RM, Li, XC, Grattoni, A & Ferrari, M 2016, Transplantation. DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000001100

Three-dimensional printed polymeric system to encapsulate human mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into islet-like insulin-producing aggregates for diabetes treatment
Sabek, OM, Farina, M, Fraga, DW, Afshar, S, Ballerini, A, Filgueira, CS, Thekkedath, UR, Grattoni, A & Gaber, AO 2016, Journal of Tissue Engineering, vol 7, pp. 2041731416638198. DOI: 10.1177/2041731416638198

Local and Sustained Delivery of Tamoxifen for the Prevention of ER+ Breast Cancer Using a Nanochannel Delivery Platform
Filgueira, CS, Nicolov, E, Ballerini, A, Hood, RL, Jain, P, Bruno, G & Grattoni, A 2016, AACR Annual Meeting, New Orleans, United States, 4/16/16 - 4/20/16, .

The Nanochannel Delivery System for Constant Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Ferrati, S, Nicolov, E, Zabre, E, Geninatti, T, Shirkey, BA, Hudson, L, Hosali, S, Crawley, M, Khera, M, Palapattu, G & Grattoni, A 2015, Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol 12, no. 6, pp. 1375-1380. DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12897

Leveraging electrokinetics for the active control of dendritic fullerene-1 release across a nanochannel membrane
Bruno, G, Geninatti, T, Hood, RL, Fine, D, Scorrano, G, Schmulen, J, Hosali, S, Ferrari, M & Grattoni, A 2015, Nanoscale, vol 7, no. 12, pp. 5240-5248. DOI: 10.1039/c4nr06209d

Impedance characterization, degradation, and in vitro biocompatibility for platinum electrodes on BioMEMS
Geninatti, T, Bruno, G, Barile, B, Hood, RL, Farina, M, Schmulen, J, Canavese, G & Grattoni, A 2015, Biomedical Microdevices, vol 17, no. 1, pp. 24. DOI: 10.1007/s10544-014-9909-6

Delivering Enhanced Testosterone Replacement Therapy through Nanochannels
Ferrati, S, Nicolov, E, Bansal, S, Zabre, E, Geninatti, T, Ziemys, A, Hudson, L, Ferrari, M, Goodall, R, Khera, M, Palapattu, G & Grattoni, A 2015, Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 4, no. 3, pp. 446-451. DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201400348

Docetaxel/2-hydroxypropyl ß -cyclodextrin inclusion complex increases docetaxel solubility and release from a nanochannel drug delivery system
Ferrati, S, Nicolov, E, Bansal, S, Hosali, S, Landis, M & Grattoni, A 2015, Current Drug Targets, vol 16, no. 14, pp. 1645-1649.