Dr. Luca Bertinetti
Independent Researcher
Phone:+49 331 567-9411Fax:+49 331 567-9402

Dr. Luca Bertinetti

Dr. Luca Bertinetti

Research Interests :

Natural materials are constituted by molecular/supramolecular building blocks, assembled at several hierarchical levels, which in most cases interact molecularly with water. From the point of view of a living organism, in an evolutionary perspective, a choice has to be made about how to tailor a material with respect to this interaction. Interestingly, in nature, a high variety of material’s responses to water and changes in moisture content or environmental relative humidity can be observed.

My main goal is to describe, from the molecular level upward, the effect of water “crowding” around the molecular components of some selected natural materials and to understand what molecular mechanisms are responsible for the observed responses as well as to extract biomimetic principles to be applied in several different fields, but especially for energy harvesting and conversion. To describe those interactions at the various hierarchical levels I use a multi-technique approach, developing environmental setups allowing the control of temperature and water chemical potential (either from the gas phase or with osmotic stress techniques) and following the changes occurring in the materials from the molecular level (vibrational spectroscopies), to higher supramolecular levels (X-Ray scattering, electron microscopy), to the macroscopic size (micromechanical testing) possibly measuring molar free energy and enthalpy changes (through microgravimetric and calorimetric techniques) at the same time. The experimental data are then compared with thermodynamic and mechanical modeling of the considered material.




MSc in Materials Science (110/110 cum Laude) – Department of Inorganic, Physical and Materials Chemistry Department -Torino University (Italy)

Thesis title: “From solvated atoms to nanoparticles: a study on hydrogenation catalysts”

PhD Degree in Chemical Sciences – Department of Inorganic, Physical and Materials Chemistry -Torino University (Italy)

Thesis title: “Nanomaterials for biomedical applications: synthesis and surface characterization"


Professional Positions:

09/06 - 12/09

Research Technician, Torino University - Department of Inorganic, Physical and Materials Chemistry.

In charge of setting up and managing the electron microscopy (HRTEM and Environmental SEM) facilities of the department and of the Enterprises Incubator of the University of Torino and coordinator of the High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy research activities of the Structural and Functional Nanomaterials research Group.

01/02 - 08/06

PhD student, Post-Doc, ISTEC - CNR

PhD student and Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Science and Technology of Ceramics (ISTEC-CNR, Bioceramics Group headed by Dr. Anna Tampieri) on physico-chemical characterisation of biomaterials (calcium phosphates) for bone substitution and metal oxides (MgO).


Academic Career:

2003 – 2009

Torino University  - Instructor in Physical Chemistry for the Faculty of Mathematical Physical and Natural Sciences and board member of the following exams:

Physical Chemistry (First Level Biotechnology course)

Photochemistry (First Level Advanced Chemical Methodologies course)
2008 - 2009

Torino University  - Instructor in Physical Chemistry for the Faculty of Pharmacy and board member of the following exams:

Physical Chemistry (First Level Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology course)

Torino University - Lab assistant for the following courses:

Structural Chemistry (First Level Biotechnology degree)

Molecular Spectroscopy (Second Level Clinical, Sport and Forensic)

Spectrochemistry (First Level Chemistry degree)

Electron Microscopy (Second Level Clinical, Sport and Forensic Chemistry degree)
2004 - 2009 Torino University - Instructor on principles and applications of atomic force microscopy (Physical Chemistry course in the Second Level Molecular Biotechnology degree)


Selected Publications:


Masic, A., Bertinetti, L., Schuetz, R., Chang, S.-W., Metzger, T. H., Buehler, M. J., & Fratzl, P.
"Osmotic pressure induced tensile forces in tendon collagen".
Nature Communications, 6, 5942 (2105). doi:10.1038/ncomms6942


Razghandi, K., Bertinetti, L., Guiducci, L., Dunlop, J. W. C., Fratzl, P.,  Neinhuis, C., Burgert, I. 
"Hydro-actuation of ice plant seed capsules powered by water uptake.
Bioinspired, Biomimetic and Nanobiomaterials, 1–33 (2014). doi:10.1680/bbn.14.00016

Bertinetti, L., Hangen, U. D., Eder, M., Leibner, P., Fratzl, P., & Zlotnikov, I.
"Characterizing moisture-dependent mechanical properties of organic materials: humidity-controlled static and dynamic nanoindentation of wood cell walls.
Philosophical Magazine, 0(0), 1–7 (2014). doi:10.1080/14786435.2014.920544

Amini, S. et al.
"Textured fluorapatite bonded to calcium sulphate strengthen stomatopod raptorial appendages”.
Nat Commun 5, (2014).

 Agostini, G. et al.
"The Effect of Different FCC Nanoparticle Distributions on Particle Size and Surface Area Determination: A Theoretical Study".
J Phys Chem C 140114132017002 (2014). doi:10.1021/jp4091014


Bertinetti, L., Fischer, F. D. & Fratzl, P.
“Physicochemical Basis for Water-Actuated Movement and Stress Generation in Nonliving Plant Tissues”.
Phys Rev Lett 111, 238001 (2013).

 Schütz, R., Bertinetti, L., Rabin, I., Fratzl, P. & Masic, A.
“Quantifying degradation of collagen in ancient manuscripts: the case of the Dead Sea Temple Scroll”.
Analyst (2013). doi:10.1039/c3an00609c

 Habraken, W. J. E. M. et al.
“Ion-association complexes unite classical and non-classical theories for the biomimetic nucleation of calcium phosphate”.
Nat Commun 4, 1507 (2013).


Bauer, F., Bertinetti, L., Masic, A. & Scheibel, T.
“Dependence of mechanical properties of lacewing egg stalks on relative humidity”.
Biomacromolecules (2012). doi:10.1021/bm301199d

 Bolis, V. et al.
“Coordination chemistry of Ca sites at the surface of nanosized hydroxyapatite: interaction with H2O and CO”.
Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci 370, 1313–1336 (2012).



      Y. Sakhno, L. Bertinetti, M. Iafisco, A. Tampieri, N. Roveri, G. Martra,

Surface Hydration and Cationic Sites of Nanohydroxyapatites with Amorphous or Crystalline Surfaces: A Comparative Study.
      J Phys Chem C 2010,114, 16640-16648.

      F. Carniato, C. Bisio, G. Gatti, E. Boccaleri, L. Bertinetti, S. Coluccia, O. Monticelli, L. Marchese,

Titanosilsesquioxanes Embedded in Synthetic Clay as a Hybrid Material for Polymer Science,
      Angew Chem Int Edit 2009, 48(33), 6059–6061, DOI 10.1002/anie.200901927.

      L. Bertinetti, C. Drouet, C. Combes, C. Rey, A. Tampieri, S. Coluccia, G. Martra,

Surface Characteristics of Nanocrystalline Apatites: Effect of Mg Surface Enrichment on Morphology, Surface Hydration Species, and Cationic Environments,
      Langmuir 2009, 25(10), 5647–5654, DOI 10.1021/la804230j.

      G. Agostini, R. Pellegrini, G. Leofanti, L. Bertinetti, S. Bertarione, E. Groppo, A. Zecchina, C. Lambertit,

Determination of the Particle Size, Available Surface Area, and Nature of Exposed Sites for Silica-Alumina-Supported Pd Nanoparticles: A Multitechnical Approach,
      J Phys Chem C 2009, 113(24), 10485–10492, DOI 10.1021/jp9023712.

      B. Palazzo, D. Walsh, M. Iafisco, E. Foresti, L. Bertinetti, G. Martra, C. L. Bianchi, G. Cappelletti, N. Roveri,

Amino acid synergetic effect on structure, morphology and surface properties of biomimetic apatite nanocrystals,
      Acta Biomater 2009, 5(4), 1241–1252, DOI 10.1016/j.actbio.2008.10.024.

      C. Bisio, G. Gatti, E. Boccaleri, L. Marchese, L. Bertinetti, S. Coluccia,

On the acidity of saponite materials: A combined HRTEM, FTIR,. and solid-state NMR study,
      Langmuir 2008, 24(6), 2808–2819, DOI 10.1021/la703308b.

      L. Bertinetti, A. Tampieri, E. Landi, C. Ducati, P. A. Midgley, S. Coluccia, G. Martra,

Surface structure, hydration, and cationic sites of nanohydroxyapatite: UHR-TEM, IR, and microgravimetric studies,
      J Phys Chem C 2007, 111(10), 4027–4035, DOI 10.1021/jp066040s.

      M. Takeuchi, L. Bertinetti, G. Martra, S. Coluccia, M. Anpo,

States of H2O adsorbed on oxides: An investigation by near and mid infrared spectroscopy,
      Appl Catal A-Gen 2006, 307(1), 13–20, DOI 10.1016/j.apcata.2006.03.002.

      L. Bertinetti, A. Tampieri, E. Landi, G. Martra, S. Coluccia,

Punctual investigation of surface sites of HA and magnesium-HA,
      J Eur Ceram Soc 2006, 26(6), 987–991, DOI 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2004.12.037.

      G. Celotti, A. Tampieri, S. Sprio, E. Landi, L. Bertinetti, G. Martra, C. Ducati,

Crystallinity in apatites: how can a truly disordered fraction be distinguished from nanosize crystalline domains?,
      J Mater Sci-Mater M 2006, 17(11), 1079–1087, DOI 10.1007/s10856-006-0534-7.

Participation in EU Projects:

2009 - 2012

Magister - FP7 "Magnetic Scaffolds for in vivo Tissue Engineering"

2005 - 2008

NanoFire - FP6 "Environmentally friendly multifunctional fire retardant polymer hybrids and nanocomposite"

2005 - 2008

StabiLight - FP6 "Novel Inorganic Nanostructured Materials and Devices with Enhanced Photoemission Activity and Thermal Stability"

2004 - 2007

AutoBone - FP6 "production unit for the decentralised engineering of autologous cell-based osteoinductive bone substitute"


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