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Laboratory of Technical Sciences for Laboratory Medicine  

Principal Investigator: Lorenzo Drago

Members: Cappelletti Laura, Gabrieli Arianna,  Toscano Marco, Vassena Christian


The group’s research activity is focused on:

  • Bacterial Biofilm
  • Microbiota study and Probiotics
  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Microbial Lab diagnosis
  • Experimental model in animals
  • New antimicrobials development


Recently, the main research activities are:

  • Biofilm correlated infections1

Biofilm is a complex microbial community protected by self-produced polymeric matrix. One of the biofilm main characteristic is the strong adhesion to various surfaces such as, for example, prosthetic materials used in the clinical setting. The aim of this project is to develop several techniques applicable on clinical samples to study the biofilm thickness. These techniques will also allow us to quantify dead and alive bacteria localized into the biofilm as well as to evaluate the interference of any antibiofilm substance.

  • Study of intestinal mucosa-adherent bacteria in patients affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)2 and evaluation of cutaneous and intestinal flora in patients affected by Atopy

Intestinal microflora is implicated in the etiopathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Several microbial populations colonize the human gastrointestinal tract establishing a heterogeneous community. The aim of this project is to study the main bacterial species associated to the intestinal mucosa of IBD patients. Cultural and molecular methods are used in this analysis.

One of the most important pathogenetic aspect of atopy, especially in atopic dermatitis (AD), is the presence of defective skin and gut barrier functions that play a critical role in inducing abnormal inflammation and activation of immune system upon exposure to ubiquitous environmental allergens and infectious pathogens. The aim of this study is to evaluate intestinal and cutaneous microflora of patients  affected by atopic dermatitis.

  •  Development of a biosensor for Staphylococcus aureus detection in biological samples3

Aptamers are nucleic acid sequences of a single strand that bind to different targets. The aim of this project is to develop a new cheap user-friendly biosensor targeting S. aureus. Our purpose is to immobilize, on a nanostructured support, aptamers hybridized with labeled-peptides that are displaced in the presence of S. aureus, inducing a colorimetric switch in the visible region.


Skills and tools:

  • Molecular biology (Real time PCR, Pyrosequencing)
  • Bacteriology and antibiotic therapy;
  • Phenotypical and genotypical microbial identification;
  • Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy.



Project funded:

  •  1FP7 - VII° EU Program – I.D.A.C. IDAC - Implant Disposable Antibacterial Coating: a Novel Approach to Implant-Related Infections in Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery.
  •  2 Italian Ministry of University -PRIN 2010 - entitled “New insights into the mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease and identification of new therapeutic targets.
  •   3Bando Fondazione Cariplo 2012- entitled: “Development of an innovative user-friendly colorimetric biosensor based on aptamer- functionalized nanomaterials for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus from different biological sources”
  • Bando Metadistretti Regione Lombardia 2009: ATP 2009 “ID 13587782 AMICROTEX – “Effect of novel antimicrobial textiles for hospital setting”


Recent/relevant Publications

Carlo Luca Romanò, Marco Toscano, Delia Romanò, Lorenzo Drago. Antibiofilm agents and implant-related infections in orthopedics: where are we? Journal of Chemioterapy. 2013 Apr; 5(2):67-80.

Drago L, Mattina R, De Vecchi E, Toscano M. Phenotypic and genotypic antibiotic resistance in some probiotics proposed for medical use. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2013 Apr;41(4):396-7.

Lorenzo Drago, Carlo Luca Romano`, Roberto Mattina, Valentina Signori, Elena De Vecchi.  Does Dithiothreitol Improve Bacterial Detection from Infected Prostheses? A Pilot Study. Clin Orthop Relat 2012 Oct; 470(10):2915-25.

Drago L, Toscano M, Rodighiero V, De Vecchi E, Mogna G. Cultivable and pyrosequenced fecal microflora in centenarians and young subjects. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct;46 Suppl:S81-4.

Drago L, Toscano M, De Vecchi E, Piconi S, Iemoli E. Changing of fecal flora and clinical effect of L. salivarius LS01 in adults with atopic dermatitis. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct;46 Suppl:S56-63.



Prof:  Lorenzo Drago tel. 02-66214839   e-mail lorenzo.drago@unimi.it

Dott.ssa Cappelletti Laura. tel. 02-66214080  e-mail laura.cappelletti@unimi.it

Dott.ssa Gabrieli Arianna. tel. 02-66214080  e-mail arianna.gabrieli@grupposandonato.it

Dott.Toscano Marco. tel. 02-50319833  e-mail toscano.marco1@gmail.com

Dott. Vassena Christian. tel. 02-66214080  e-mail vassvass87@gmail.com 

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