Research topics
Nonlinear Spectroscopy and Microscopy for Biomedical applications

G. Chirico, M. Collini, L. D'Alfonso, L. Sironi

Development of new methods for optical non-linear microscopy to be applied to biophysics and medical physics in-vivo. In this field the Biophotonics group is developing two-photon excitation fluorescence imaging microscopy and second harmonic generation microscopy. One of the main application aims to the study of the motion of lymphocytes in lymph nodes in order to model the immune response of mice. This work is being carried out in collaboration with the Biotechnology group of our University.

Adaptive optics for imaging through tissues in-vivo

G. ChiricoM. BouzinM. Marini, L. Sironi

The formation of images through opaque media has applications ranging from engineering to electronics and medicine and biotechnology. The wave front of light is strongly modified by the inhomogeneities of the medium in which it propagates over a wide range of spatial frequencies. In order to correct these effects, various programmable reflective or diffractive elements such as deformable mirrors or spatial light modulators can be used. The purpose of the proposed theses is to couple these technologies, partly borrowed from observational astronomy, to optical microscopy techniques for the study of tissues both in vitro and in vivo.

Pozzi et al.  J. of Biomedical Optics, 19(6), 067007 (2014)

Laser micro-fabrication of hydrogels for biomedical applications

Photo- polymerization can be used to fabricate hydrogels for cell culturing and tissue engineering. In particular we develop protein based photo-resists to fabricate, by means of lasers or UV LEDs, microstructures with high axial ratio (3 to 5) and small size (from 30 μm to 50 μm). We employ both UV sources (385 nm) or near infrared pulsed (femtosecond pulse width) lasers to obtain high resolution writing. The laser is scanned on the resist to induce polymerization or a mask is used in front of the UV LED. These methods are used to fabricate microstructures that can host cells for cell culturing or be implanted in vivo for tissue engineering.


  1. hdl:10281/365124
  2. hdl:10281/359864
  3. hdl:10281/332299
Artificial Intelligence for digital pathology or Enviromental science

L. Sironi, L. Presotto

The physics of complex systems, from biophysics to Environmental Physics, requires the analysis of a considerable amount of data that depend on numerous parameters. There are therefore numerous areas in which Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence methods can be used advantageously to organize the data obtained and to try to formulate chemical-physical models. In addition to this, the attempt to numerically simulate complex systems, such as the immune system, must go through the use of active learning methods. The theses offered in this area range from the development of correction systems for images taken in the optical range (UV-NIR) both in tissue microscopy and in environmental monitoring and X-ray or PET images, to the development of active learning methods for the analysis of numerical simulations of the immune system.

PhD fellowship on: “Quantum-inspired image scanning microscopy for biophysical applications”

The aim of the project is to integrate an array of SPAD detectors in a scanning image fluorescence microscope in order to increase the spatial resolution for non-linear microscopy of biological samples. The timing resolving power of the detectors will also allow to implement cross-correlation  methods to increase the signal-to-noise ratio on the images also by exploiting the antibunching effect on the different elements of the detector. The project will also take advantage of the collaboration with Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento and is funded by the NQSTI (National Quantum Science and Technology Institute) which has been recently established.


Postdoc position on: “Simulation of immune-reaction to biomaterials”

Aim of the project: The objective of this project is to build a digital twin of the inflammatory response and fibrotic process in a foreign body reaction. With such a system validated, it will be possible to monitor continuously the evolution of the reaction by monitoring a limited set of parameters in only few timepoints.

Methodology: Different strategies will be compared: ordinary differential equations models and agent based models. Public database and literature searches will be performed to compile all relevant pathways and their reaction rates. Special care will be used to integrate mechano-transduction pathways together with the cytokines signaling related ones.

Requirements: degree in Physics or Biomedical Engineering and high motivation to work in an interdisciplinary environment; fluent English skills, both written and spoken; background in system biology; good programming skills in Matlab and Python. The candidate will work in a multidisciplinary environment between the Physics, Biotechnology and Experimental Medicine departments and introduced to an international collaboration with groups working on the same subject at the Tel Aviv University (IL) and at FORTH (Crete, GR).

Salary: 50 kEuro/year; duration of 2 years; starting date: September 2023. Location: Dept. of Physics, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano (I).

Project: European Union - NextGenerationEU through the Italian Ministry of University and Research under PNRR - M4C2-I1.3 Project PE_00000019 "HEAL ITALIA" to G.Chirico, Università di Milano-Bicocca. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.

Contacts: Giuseppe Chirico (, Luca Presotto (

PhD fellowship on: “Development of a setup and analysis methods for photo-thermal and photo-acoustic cells characterization”

The PhD proposal is funded by the Anthem (AdvaNced Technologies for Human-cEntered Medicine) project, which is aimed at the development of innovative sensors, digital-based advanced diagnostic, monitoring and therapeutics systems integrated with Artificial Intelligence methods to improve the territorial medicine approach. In particular, the PhD project goal is to implement a setup based on microfluidic channels coupled to photothermal and photoacoustic systems to detect different cell populations. Moreover, data/image analysis algorithms will be developed to detect and sort cells (healthy/infected) according to their different properties