Group Lader: Anna Chiara De Luca
Topics: Advanced Morphology, Molecular oncology and pathology, Biochemistry

Key words: Imaging; Cancer; biosensors


Our group is interested in the development of optical technologies based on Raman spectroscopy in order to provide fast and reliable procedures for the biochemical label-free characterization of single cells and molecules.
On a cellular scale, our group aim to provide specific information through optical fingerprinting of cells and tissues and the application of that information for the accurate detection and grading of cancers in biopsy specimens. There are three components to our approach:

  • Enhancement of Raman spectroscopy using advanced optics to remove the fluorescence background, increase the resolution and reduce acquisition time and noise;
  • Application of this methodology to clinical cell samples (tissue and liquid biopsy), with the ultimate aim of generating a laboratory device (in particular a compact Raman flow cytometer) that will improve cancer diagnosis
  • Integration/correlation of Raman microscopy with other microscopies (including surface-enhanced Raman microscopy, structured illumination, mass imaging, fluorescence microscopy, digital holography, electron microscopy) to univocally identify the label-free Raman signatures of molecules of interest and track them inside the samples;

On a molecular scale, we aim to detect low concentration of specific molecules (biosensing) that could be used as reliable biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis, or for applications in biotechnology. To realize this goal we are interested in developing and characterizing custom-made metallic nano-structures (SERS substrates) as well as in the combination of the SERS spectroscopy with advanced optical fibre technology.

Key Pubblications

A reliable Raman-spectroscopy-based approach for diagnosis, classification and follow-up of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Managò, C. Valente, P. Mirabelli, D. Circolo, F. Basile, D. Corda, A. C. De Luca*, Nature Sci. Rep. 6, 24821 (2016).

Bioderived three-dimensional hierarchical nanostructures as efficient surface-enhanced raman scattering substrates for cell membrane probing.
Managò, G. Zito, A. Rogato, M. Casalino, E. Esposito, A. C. De Luca*, E. De Tommasi. ACS Appl Mat Interf 10(15), 12406 (2018).

Nanosphere lithography on fiber: Towards engineered lab-on-fiber SERS optrodes
G Quero, G Zito, S Managò, F Galeotti, M Pisco, A.C. De Luca*, A Cusano, Sensors 18 (3), 680 (2018).

Internalization kinetics and cytoplasmic localization of functionalized diatomite nanoparticles in cancer cellsby Raman imaging.
S Managò, N Migliaccio, M Terracciano, M Napolitano, NM Martucci, L De Stefano, I Rendina, AC De Luca*, A Lamberti, I Rea, J Biophotonics 2018 11 (4), e201700207 (2018). COVER LETTER-

Reproducible Surface-Enhanced Raman Quantification of Biomarkers in Multicomponent Mixtures.
A.C. De Luca*, P. Reader-Harris, M. Mazilu, S. Mariggiò, D. Corda, A. Di Falco, ACS Nano 8, 2575 (2014).

Online fluorescence suppression in modulated Raman spectroscopy.
A.C. De Luca, M. Mazilu, A. Riches, C.S. Herrington, K. Dholakia, Anal. Chem. 82 (2), 738-745 (2010).

Research Group


Group Leader :

Anna Chiara De Luca (Researchers)

Stefano Managò

Post-doc fellows
Maria Mangini
Satheesh Elumalai
Gour Mohan Das :

Phd Student
Alessandro Verde



Napoli – Area di Ricerca NA1
+39 0816132612 (office)
+39 081 6132498 (Lab)

Program & Resources

2019-2024: National Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) IG grant “Correlative microscopies for cancer imaging”.

Role: Principal Investigator

2019-2022: PON Ricerca e Innovazione, NeON “Nanofotonica per nuovi approcci diagnostici e terapEutici in Oncologia e Neurologia” 

Role: Local coordinator

2019-2022: Progetto Ricerca Finalizzata, Ministero della Salute “Pharmacological targeting of CtBP1/BARS in cancer”

Role: Secondary unit coordinator

2018-2021: POR Campania, CIRO “Campania Imaging Infrastructure for Research in Oncology”

Role: Partecipant

2018-2021: POR Campania, PLATT “Piattaforma innovativa per lo sviluppo, di nuovi radiofarmaci per diagnosi e cura di neoplasie solide e nuovi potenti metodi non-invasivi per la diagnosi e gestione del cancro ai polmoni”

Role: Co-Investigator

2012-2018: National Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) Start-up grant “Advanced photonic techniques for efficient non-invasive cancer diagnosis at cellular and molecular scale”

Role: Principal Investigator

2013-2017 Futuro in ricerca (FIR 2012) project of the Italian Ministry of Research and University (MIUR).

Role: Principal Investigator

2010-2012 EPRSC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), UK Start-up grant

Role:Principal Investigator