Cristiano Viappiani





teaching (Physics) (Pharmacy)


Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra
viale delle Scienze 7A, 43124, Parma, Italy

Tel. numbers
+39 0521 905208 (office)
+39 0521 906211,  906228, 905284 (labs)
Fax.  +39 0521 905223
Email: cristiano.viappiani AT

Research themes

Ligand migration through hemeprotein cavities

The presence of cavities and tunnels in the interior of proteins, in conjunction with the structural plasticity arising from the coupling to the thermal fluctuations of the protein scaffold, has profound consequences on the pathways followed by ligands moving through the protein matrix. Through an integrated approach using quantitative analysis of experimental rebinding kinetics from laser flash photolysis, trapping of unstable conformational states by embedding proteins within the nanopores of silica gels, and molecular simulations we try to gain insight into the migration mechanism of ligands.

Abbruzzetti, S.; Spyrakis, F.; Bidon-Chanal, A.; Luque, F. J.; Viappiani, C. Ligand migration through hemeprotein cavities: insights from laser flash photolysis and molecular dynamics simulations Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2013, 15, 10686-10701.

Photochromic fluorescent proteins

The development of genetically encoded photoswitchable fluorescent proteins is of greatest interest to expand the toolkit of fluorescent reporters suitable for super-resolution microscopy applications based on random activation of single molecules.
We are exploiting YtvA, a photochromicblue light photoreceptor from Bacillus subtilis, as a fluorescent probe for superresolution microscopy. Current efforst include novel GAF domains.

Losi, A.; Gärtner, W.; Raffelberg, S.; Zanacchi, F. C.; Bianchini, P.; Diaspro, A.; Mandalari, C.; Abbruzzetti, S.; Viappiani, C. A photochromic bacterial photoreceptor with potential for super-resolution microscopy Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 2013, 12, 231–235.

Protein based photosensitizer carriers

We exploit proteins as nanosized carriers for photosensitizers. The nanostructured materials are inherently theranostic devices, with built in terapeutic  (photosensitized production of singlet oxygen) and diagnostic (through their fluorescence emission) capabilities.

Comas-Barceló, J.; Rodríguez-Amigo, B.; Abbruzzetti, S.; Rey-Puech, P. d.; Agut, M.; Nonell, S.; Viappiani, C. A self-assembled nanostructured material with photosensitising properties RSC Advances 2013, 3, 17874-17879.