Microfluidics for Lung Cancer Treatment


In this research activity we intend to create an innovative microfluidic-based technological platform aimed at supporting the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, using non-small cell lung cancer as a case study (NSCLC), as it is the most frequent type of histology and subjected to routine surgical resection when identified at an early stage.

The ongoing activities concern the development and integration of multiple innovative technologies to support the development of Lab-on-Chip and Organ-on-Chip technology demonstrators and biosensors for the early detection of tumor biomarkers.

A part of the prototypes will have diagnostic purposes, in particular it will be aimed at the early diagnosis of thoraco-pulmonary tumors through different strategies (liquid biopsy, detection of exosomes and tumor biomarkers with advanced high sensitivity biosensors based on electrochemical transduction methods). These strategies are implemented in Lab-on-Chip devices for the analysis of both biological fluids and organoid culture fluids.

A second aim is therapeutic, through the development of Organ-on-Chip prototypes dedicated to in vitro culture in 3D printed structures of organoids deriving from pathological patients, in order to carry out a screening of the currently available active drugs. The ambition is to prove that the organoids retain the characteristics of the primary tumor in the Organ-on-Chip to be used for diagnostic and classification purposes, as well as for future drug screening.


Contact information

Matteo Cocuzza
Tel. +39 011 090 7392

Simone Marasso
Tel. +39 011 911 4899



3D Printed Microfluidics


Since the introduction of Lab-On-Chip devices in the early 1990s, silicon and glass have been the dominant substrate materials for their fabrication. This was primarily driven by the fact that fabrication methods were well established and surface properties and functionalization methods were well characterized and developed. However, the cost of producing systems in silicon or glass was driving commercial producers to seek other materials like polymers that involve reduced costs and simplified manufacturing procedures (applicable to mass replication technologies). The introduction of polymer technology allows to overcome the disadvantages linked to the rigid silicon processing.

In this perspective, 3D printing promises to be an effective alternative to micromachining as it allows to print not only a single-layer microfluidic device with the desired geometry, but a multi-layered more complex microfluidic chip, eventually embedding external electrical/mechanical components.

We are currently working on this topic, implementing processes to build micro- and nano-fluidic structures with high-resolution additive manufacturing techniques. By Micro StereoLithography (SL) we fabricate microfluidics and Lab-On-a-Chip with the advantages to easily pass from the design to the device avoiding the implementation of high cost processes or micromachining technology. Novel printing strategies are on the way to integrate SL fabrication with two-photon polymerization (2PP) to build features with a spatial resolution down to 120 nm. 2PP is combined with faster techniques so that most of the device is obtained by a lower resolution and more efficient approach (SL), while the 3D micro-/nano- feature is printed by 2PP, thus shortening process times. The adopted novel printing strategy allows for maximizing the printing resolution with respect to printing velocity.

Ancillaries activities in this field are aiming to (i) exploit the flexibility of Additive Manufacturing with respect to the traditional rigid approach of silicon and polymer planar micromachining and (ii) to introduce functional and/or biocompatible materials in the 3D printing of microfluidic devices.

Contact information

Valentina Bertana
Tel. +39 011 911 4899



 Microfluidics for Oil Industry Applications


The characterization of reservoir fluids from the point of view of chemical composition and thermodynamic behavior is one of the key elements for the study, understanding and prediction of the production behavior of a hydrocarbon reservoir.
Samples of liquids from the reservoir come in the form of mixtures of hydrocarbons, often emulsified with water. However, the correct determination of the composition of the hydrocarbon mixture requires that it be pure, i.e. the aqueous phase is appropriately separated before chemical analysis such as infrared spectroscopy.
The analysis of the chemical composition of the reservoir fluids is carried out at different times both in specialized laboratories, and therefore in ideal working conditions, but also on-site and near the production plant. It is therefore particularly interesting to develop a small, and therefore transportable, instrument capable of performing the separation and characterization of the product oil reliably, in a short time and by using small volumes of fluid samples.

The aim of the research is to verify the feasibility, design, implementation and validation of a solution, based on microfluidic devices, aimed at the capillary separation of the oil and water phases for the subsequent characterization of the reservoir hydrocarbon mixture by infrared spectroscopy.



Contact information

Matteo Cocuzza
Tel. +39 011 090 7392

Simone Marasso
Tel. +39 011 911 4899






  1. "APEX protocol implementation on a Lab-on-a-chip for SNPs detection", S. Marasso, G. Canavese, S. Lobartolo, M. Cocuzza, A. Ferrarini, E. Giuri, D. Perrone, M. Quaglio, A. Ricci, I. Vallini, Microelectronics Engineering, 85 (2008), 1326-1329 (doi:10.1016/j.mee.2007.12.024)
  2. "Evaluation of different PDMS interconnection solutions for silicon, pyrex and COC microfluidic chips", G. Canavese, E. Giuri, S.L. Marasso, D. Perrone, M. Quaglio, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, J. Micromech. Microeng., 18 (2008) 055012
  3. "A Multilevel Lab On Chip platform for DNA analysis", S. L. Marasso, E. Giuri, G. Canavese, R. Castagna, M. Quaglio, I. Ferrante, D. Perrone, M. Cocuzza, Biomedical Microdevices, Volume 13, Issue 1 (2011), Page 19 (doi: 10.1007/s10544-010-9467-5)
  4. "Elastomeric nanocomposite based on Carbon Nanotubes for Polymerase Chain Reaction device", M. Quaglio, S. Bianco, R. Castagna, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, Microelectronic Engineering, Vol. 88(8), August 2011, Pages 1860-1863, doi:10.1016/j.mee.2011.01.032
  5. “Cost efficient master fabrication process on copper substrates”, S. Marasso, G. Canavese, M. Cocuzza, Microelectronic Engineering, Vol. 88(8), August 2011, Pages 2322-2324, doi:10.1016/j.mee.2011.02.023
  6. "Solid phase DNA extraction on PDMS and direct amplification", L. Pasquardini, C. Potrich, M. Quaglio, A. Lamberti, S. Guastella, L. Lunelli, M. Cocuzza, L. Vanzetti, C. F. Pirri, C. Pederzolli, Lab Chip, 2011, 11 (23), 4029 - 4035, DOI: 10.1039/c1lc20371a
  7. "Photopolymerization of a perfluoropolyether oligomer and photolithographic processes for the fabrication of microfluidic devices", A. Vitale, M. Quaglio, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, R. Bongiovanni, Eur Polym J, 2012, 48 (6), pp. 1118 - 1126, doi:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2012.03.016
  8. "Liposomes sensing and monitoring by Organic Electrochemical Transistors integrated in microfluidics", G. Tarabella, A.G. Balducci, N. Coppedè, S. Marasso, S. Barbieri, M. Cocuzza, P. Colombo, R. Mosca, F. Sonvico, S. Iannotta, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1830, 2013, pp. 4374-4380, 10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.12.018
  9. "Siloxane photopolymer to replace polydimethylsiloxane in microfluidic devices for Polymerase Chain Reaction", A.Vitale, M. Quaglio, S. Turri, M. Cocuzza, R. Bongiovanni, Polym. Adv. Technol., 24, 2013, pp. 1068–1074, DOI: 10.1002/pat.3189
  10. "Direct Photolithography of Perfluoropolyethers for Solvent-Resistant Microfluidics", A. Vitale, M. Quaglio, S. L. Marasso, A. Chiodoni, M.Cocuzza and R. M. Bongiovanni, Langmuir, 2013, 29 (50), pp 15711–15718, DOI: 10.1021/la402755q
  11. "A polymer Lab-on-a-Chip for genetic analysis using the arrayed primer extension on microarray chips", S.L. Marasso, D. Mombello, M. Cocuzza, D. Casalena, I. Ferrante, A. Nesca, P. Poiklik, K. Rekker, A. Aaspollu, S. Ferrero, C.F. Pirri, Biomed. Microdev., Vol. 16(5), 2014, pp.661-670, DOI: 10.1007/s10544-014-9869-x
  12. "OncomiR detection in circulating body fluids: a PDMS microdevice perspective", C. Potrich, V. Vaghi, L. Lunelli, L. Pasquardini, G.C.Santini, C. Ottone, M. Quaglio, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, M. Ferracin, M. Negrini, P. Tiberio, V. De Sanctis, R. Bertorelli and C. Pederzolli, Lab Chip, 14 (20), 2014, pp. 4067-4075, DOI:  10.1039/C4LC00630E
  13. "PDMS membranes with tunable gas permeability for microfluidic applications", A. Lamberti, S. Marasso, M. Cocuzza, RSC Adv., 4 (106), 2014, pp. 61415-61419, DOI: 10.1039/c4ra12934b
  14. Metal-elastomer nanostructures for tunable SERS and easy microfluidic integration", A. Lamberti, A. Virga, A. Angelini, A. Ricci, E. Descrovi, M. Cocuzza and F. Giorgis, RSC Adv., 5, 2015, pp. 4404-4410, DOI: 10.1039/C4RA12168F
  15. "Blue and UV combined photolithographic polymerization for the patterning of thick structures", E. Fantino, A. Vitale, M. Quaglio, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, R. Bongiovanni, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2015, Vol. 267, pp. 65-72, DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2014.12.088
  16. "On-chip purification and detection of hepatitis C virus RNA from human plasma", V. Vaghi, C. Potrich, L. Pasquardini, L. Lunelli, L. Vanzetti, E. Ebranati, A. Lai, G. Zehender, D. Mombello, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri, C. Pederzolli, Biophys. Chem., Jan. 2016, 208, pp.54-61,
  17. "Oxygen Inhibition Lithography for the Fabrication of Multi-Polymeric Structures", A. Vitale, M. Quaglio, A. Chiodoni, K. Bejtka, M. Cocuzza, C.F. Pirri and R. Bongiovanni, Advanced Materials, 2015, Vol.27(31), pp. 4560-4565, doi:10.1002/adma.201501737
  18. "Optimized design and fabrication of a microfluidic platform to study single cells and multicellular aggregates in 3D", S.L. Marasso, A. Puliafito, D. Mombello, S. Benetto, L. Primo, F. Bussolino, C.F. Pirri, M. Cocuzza, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, February 2017, 21:29, DOI: 10.1007/s10404-017-1872-0
  19. "miRNA purification with an optimized PDMS microdevice: toward the direct purification of low abundant circulating biomarkers", G. C Santini, C. Potrich, L. Lunelli, L. Vanzetti, S. L. Marasso, M. Cocuzza, C. F. Pirri, C. Pederzolli, Biophysical Chemistry, 2017, 229, pp. 142-150, doi: 10.1016/j.bpc.2017.04.009
  20. "3D-printed microfluidics on thin Poly(methyl methacrylate) substrates for genetic applications", V. Bertana, C. Potrich, G. Scordo, L. Scaltrito, S. Ferrero, A. Lamberti, F. Perrucci, C.F. Pirri, C. Pederzolli, M. Cocuzza, S.L. Marasso, Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 36(1), Jan/Feb 2018, 01A106-1/7, DOI: 10.1116/1.5003203
  21. "Optimization of a suspended Two Photon Polymerized microfluidic filtration system", F. Perrucci, V. Bertana, S.L. Marasso, G. Scordo, S. Ferrero, C.F. Pirri, M. Cocuzza, A. El-Tamer, U. Hinze, B.N. Chichkov, G. Canavese, L. Scaltrito, Microelectronic Engineering, 2018, 195, pp. 95-100, DOI: 10.1016/j.mee.2018.04.001


Partners & Collaborations


ENI S.p.A.

Tethis S.p.A.

Fondazione Bruno Kessler – Trento

IMEM-CNR - Parma

Istituto per la Ricerca contro il Cancro (IRCC) – Candiolo (TO)

Università degli Studi di Catania - Dipartimento di Scienze Microbiologiche e Ginecologiche

Università degli Studi di Genova - Dipartimento di Fisica

Università degli Studi di Milano - Dipartimento Scienze Cliniche “L. Sacco” - Istituto di Malattie Infettive e Tropicali

Center for Advanced Biomaterials for Healthcare at CRIB (CABHC@CRIB), Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Naples

Università degli Studi di Torino – Dipartimento di Scienze Oncologiche