Researchers from Houston Methodist and Italian super sports car maker Automobili Lamborghini are working together on new carbon fiber materials for implantable devices used in therapeutic drug delivery and orthopedics.


The joint project is focused on a biocompatibility study of carbon fiber composite materials to be used mainly in prosthetic implants, but also in devices used to deliver medications. Over the next three years, the aim is to identify new materials that are lighter, moldable, well tolerated by the human body, and with better mechanical properties than what is currently available.


“Combining Automobili Lamborghini’s technology with nanomedicine applications could lead to innovative devices and surgical tools for biomedical uses,” said Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D., study principal investigator and chair of the department of nanomedicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute.


Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., president and CEO of Houston Methodist Research Institute, recently signed an agreement with Stefano Domenicali, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., officially launching the collaboration. Lamborghini’s Advanced Composite Lightweight Structures Department of Research & Development is the carmaker’s unit focused on the research and production of carbon fiber composite materials used in their vehicles.


Grattoni and the Houston Methodist team are already working on implantable nanochannel delivery systems to regulate the delivery of a variety of therapies for medical issues ranging from HIV-prevention to cancer. New devices could be created by using the materials Lamborghini has patented for use on the body of its cars.


To speak with Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D., contact Gale Smith, Houston Methodist, at 281.627.0439 or For more information about Houston Methodist, visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.