Anna Chiara De Luca

Research areas: Advanced Morphology, Oncology, Biochemistry

Napoli – Area di Ricerca NA1
+39 0816132612 (office) | +39 081 6132498 (Lab)
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Biophotonics and Advanced Microscopies

Keywords: Imaging, cancer diagnosis, 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:

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) 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.


  • 2004 Master degree in Physics (cum laude), Department of Physics, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples.
  • 2008 PhD (with honour) in Novel technologies for materials, sensors and imaging, Department of Physics, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples.


  • 2012- Researcher at IBBC – National Research Council of Italy, Naples.
  • 2010-2012 Research fellow at the University of St. Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy, St Andrews, UK
  • 2009-2010 PostDoc at the University of St. Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy, St Andrews, UK.
  • 2005-2008: PhD student at Department of Physics, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples.
  • 2004-2005: Postgraduate fellow (CoCoCo) at INFM (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia), Naples.


  • 2019: Young Scientist Award PhotonIcs & Electromagnetics Research Symposium, PIERS Rome 2019
  • 2017: Scientific Award of the Department of Biomedical Sciences-CNR for the research activity in the field “Biological and Biomedical imaging” 


  • “Optical Eigenmode imaging”: Pub. No. WO/2011/128645 (2011)
  • “Metodo ed apparato per per discriminare tra spermatozoi X e Y basato sulla spettroscopia Raman” No. RM2013A000648 (2013)

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Stefano Managò

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



PhD student:

Alessandro Verde  

Graduate student:
Flavio Gargiulo






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

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

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

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

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”

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”

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

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

Cnr e Airc al Quirinale 25 Aprile 2014