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Alessandro Grattoni, PhD

Professor of Nanomedicine, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Chair, Department of Nanomedicine
Frank J. and Jean Raymond Centennial Chair, 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 Implantable devices Silicon technologies Space medicine
Education & Training

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

Electrostatically gated nanofluidic membrane for ultra-low power controlled drug delivery
Di Trani, N, Silvestri, A, Sizovs, A, Wang, Y, Erm, DR, Demarchi, D, Liu, X & Grattoni, A 2020, Lab on a Chip, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 1562-1576.

Finite-Size Charged Species Diffusion and pH Change in Nanochannels
Di Trani, N, Pimpinelli, A & Grattoni, A 2020, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 12246-12255.

2-Hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrin-enhanced pharmacokinetics of cabotegravir from a nanofluidic implant for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
Pons-Faudoa, FP, Sizovs, A, Di Trani, N, Paez-Mayorga, J, Bruno, G, Rhudy, J, Manohar, M, Gwenden, K, Martini, C, Chua, YX, Varchi, G, Marzinke, MA & Grattoni, A 2019, Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 306, pp. 89-96.

Remotely controlled nanofluidic implantable platform for tunable drug delivery
Di Trani, N, Silvestri, A, Bruno, G, Geninatti, T, Chua, YX, Gilbert, A, Rizzo, G, Filgueira, CS, Demarchi, D & Grattoni, A 2019, Lab on a Chip, vol. 19, no. 13, pp. 2192-2204.

Advanced implantable drug delivery technologies: transforming the clinical landscape of therapeutics for chronic diseases
Pons-Faudoa, FP, Ballerini, A, Sakamoto, J & Grattoni, A 2019, Biomedical Microdevices, vol. 21, no. 2, 47.

Nanofluidic microsystem for sustained intraocular delivery of therapeutics
Di Trani, N, Jain, P, Chua, CYX, Ho, JS, Bruno, G, Susnjar, A, Pons-Faudoa, FP, Sizovs, A, Lyle Hood, R, Smith, ZW, Ballerini, A, Filgueira, CS & Grattoni, A 2019, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol. 16, pp. 1-9.

Cell encapsulation: Overcoming barriers in cell transplantation in diabetes and beyond
Farina, M, Alexander, JF, Thekkedath, U, Ferrari, M & Grattoni, A 2019, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 139, pp. 92-115.

Technologies for intrapericardial delivery of therapeutics and cells
Filgueira, CS, Igo, SR, Wang, DK, Hirsch, M, Schulz, DG, Bruckner, BA & Grattoni, A 2019, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.

Farina, M, Hood, RL & Grattoni, A 2018, , Patent No. US2018280617, IPC No. A61M 5/ 142 A I.

Transcutaneously refillable nanofluidic implant achieves sustained level of tenofovir diphosphate for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
Chua, CYX, Jain, P, Ballerini, A, Bruno, G, Hood, RL, Gupte, M, Gao, S, Di Trani, N, Susnjar, A, Shelton, K, Bushman, LR, Folci, M, Filgueira, CS, Marzinke, MA, Anderson, PL, Hu, M, Nehete, P, Arduino, RC, Sastry, JK & Grattoni, A 2018, Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 286, pp. 315-325.

Nanofluidic drug-eluting seed for sustained intratumoral immunotherapy in triple negative breast cancer
Chua, YX, Jain, P, Susnjar, A, Rhudy, J, Folci, M, Ballerini, A, Gilbert, A, Singh, S, Bruno, G, Filgueira, CS, Yee, C, Butler, EB & Grattoni, A 2018, Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 285, pp. 23-34.

Transcutaneously refillable, 3D-printed biopolymeric encapsulation system for the transplantation of endocrine cells
Farina, M, Chua, YX, Ballerini, A, Thekkedath, U, Alexander, JF, Rhudy, JR, Torchio, G, Fraga, D, Pathak, RR, Villanueva, M, Shin, CS, Niles, JA, Sesana, R, Demarchi, D, Sikora, AG, Acharya, GS, Gaber, AO, Nichols, J & Grattoni, A 2018, Biomaterials, vol. 177, pp. 125-138.

Efficacy of sustained delivery of GC-1 from a Nanofluidic system in a spontaneously obese non-human primate: a case study
Filgueira, CS, Bruno, G, Smith, ZW, Chua, YX, Ballerini, A, Folci, M, Gilbert, AL, Jain, P, Sastry, JK, Nehete, PN, Shelton, KA, Hill, LR, Ali, A, Youker, KA & Grattoni, A 2018, Biomedical Microdevices, vol. 20, no. 2, 49.

Adipocytes impair efficacy of antiretroviral therapy
Couturier, J, Winchester, LC, Suliburk, JW, Wilkerson, GK, Podany, AT, Agarwal, N, Xuan Chua, CY, Nehete, PN, Nehete, BP, Grattoni, A, Sastry, KJ, Fletcher, CV, Lake, JE, Balasubramanyam, A & Lewis, DE 2018, Antiviral Research, vol. 154, pp. 140-148.

Grattoni, A, Butler, EB & Palapattu, G 2018, , Patent No. US2018125780, IPC No. A61M 37/ 00 A I.

Unexpected behaviors in molecular transport through size-controlled nanochannels down to the ultra-nanoscale
Bruno, G, Di Trani, N, Hood, RL, Zabre, E, Filgueira, CS, Canavese, G, Jain, P, Smith, Z, Demarchi, D, Hosali, S, Pimpinelli, A, Ferrari, M & Grattoni, A 2018, Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 1682.

Mechanical characterization and numerical simulation of a subcutaneous implantable 3D printed cell encapsulation system
Adamo, F, Farina, M, Thekkedath, UR, Grattoni, A & Sesana, R 2018, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, vol. 82, pp. 133-144.

Nanofluidics for cell and drug delivery
Di Trani, N, Grattoni, A & Ferrari, M 2018, . in 2017 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM 2017. vol. Part F134366, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. pp. 40.6.1-40.6.4, 63rd IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, IEDM 2017, San Francisco, United States, 12/2/17.

Gas Flow at the Ultra-nanoscale: Universal Predictive Model and Validation in Nanochannels of Ångstrom-Level Resolution
Scorrano, G, Bruno, G, Di Trani, N, Ferrari, M, Pimpinelli, A & Grattoni, A 2018, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

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.

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