Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche – Università degli studi di Catania
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche

Viale Andrea Doria, 6 Catania
tel. 095 738 5115 / 5125 - fax. 095 580138 direzione 095 738 5118



Lectures will be held during the period June – September. The Teaching Timetable will be furnished individually by each teacher.
• Examinations must be completed within October, 10th,

Proprietà ottiche della materia

Prof. Antonino Gulino

Meccanismo elettrico dipolare delle transizioni elettroniche. Momento di transizione. Simmetrie delle funzioni d’onda. Teoria dei gruppi e Tavole dei caratteri. Regola del Prodotto diretto in complessi ottaedrici. Principio di Franck-Condon. Accoppiamento spin-orbita. Configurazioni elettroniche, Numeri quantici, Termini e Microstati elettronici. Diagrammi di Tanabe Sugano e parametri di Racah. Studio di spettri in soluzione acquosa di ioni [M(H2O)6]n+. Esame degli spettri di ioni [ML6]n+ ad alto e basso spin. Spettri di complessi ottaedrici distorti e spettri di complessi tetraedrici. Serie spettrochimica e nefelauxetica. Spettri di trasferimenti di carica.

supramolecular chemistry
Prof. G. Arena

Introduction. Brief overview of basic concepts. Analytical Aspects
Methods to check guest and host purity. Thermal analysis, potentiometry, NMR
Techniques and methods employed to evaluate the stability of a supramolecular assembly. 1H NMR, Potentiometry, Titration Calorimetry. Applicability. Advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Synthesis of Bioactive natural compounds and their analogues
Prof. C. Spatafora

The course will be focused on the syntheses of bioactive natural compounds; in particular will be deal the following topics:
- Synthesis of compounds with antitumor activity inspired by Nature
- Synthesis of stilbenoids;
- Metal- and enzyme-mediated biomimetic synthesis of lignans;
The biological activity of these compounds will be discussed.

Prof. E. Ciliberto

Ceramics: fillosilicates and natural clay. Technology of furnace processes. Equivalent temperature of firing. Decoration of the pottery, Egyptian faiences, Attic vases, majolica.
Glasses: ores and technologies of glasses. Former oxides, modifiers oxides, chromatic elements and particles.
Metal and alloys: copper, bronze, brass and steel, ores and early technologies.
Mortar and concretes: lime, technologies and hardening process. Hydraulic limes: technologies and uses.

Molecular dynamics simulation
Prof. C. La Rosa

The Aims of Molecular Dynamics.
Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Thermodynamics.
Molecular Interactions: Non-bonded Interactions, Bonding Potentials, Force Calculation.
The MD Algorithm: The Verlet Algorithm, Constraints and Restrain.
Time Dependence: Propagators and the Verlet Algorithm, Multiple Time-steps.
Rigid Molecule Rotation and Harmonic Oscillator.
Molecular Dynamics in Different Ensembles
Explicit and Implicit Solvent
Force Field: CFF and CHARMM
Program: NAMD and VMD
Molecular Dynamics and Steered Molecular Dynamics: from simulations to thermodynamic functions.Computer tutorials

Surface mass Spectrometries
Prof. A. Licciardello

Aim of the course is to provide a survey on surface mass spectrometries, namely Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), Sputtered Neutrals Mass Spectrometry (SNMS) an Glow-Discharge Mass Spectrometry (GD-MS).
The first part of the course will provide the necessary background of ion-matter and plasma-matter interaction.
The second part of the course will deal with the application of such techniques in the study of inorganic and organic surfaces and thin films, and their impact in different fields of materials science and life science.

Chemical Nanotechnologies
Prof. G. Marletta

The Course will provide a synthesis of current advances in Nanotechnologies, merging a synthetic view of fundamental approaches with applications to specific case studies.
As to the fundamental approaches, the course will deal with three well-focused topics:
1) Patterning strategies at nanoscale,
2) Advances in self-organisation processes,
3a) Current trends in nanoscale molecular electronics.
As to the applications, the following case studies will be dealed with:
A) Nanobiotechnologies: cell and biomolecule response to nanosystems,
B) Nanosystems for molecular sensing and biosensing,
C) Carbon-based nanosystems: Nano-Micro integration: nanosystems for microscale platforms.
The applications will be discussed in view of understanding limits and advantages of nanotechnologies.

An Introduction to large-scale Mathematical models in Chemistry and Biology
Prof. A. Raudino

Mathematical tools: Ordinary Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations, Initial and Boundary Conditions, Eigenvalue Problems, Fourier Analysis.
Applications: Electrolytes, poly-electrolytes, gels and charged Membranes models. Theory of patterns formation and evolution, nucleation and growth of a new phase, Stability analysis of thin fluid films.

Fabrication and Phisico-chemical characterization of functional biological interfaces
Prof. C. Satriano

Preparation and characterization of functional surfaces for specific interactions with bio-systems, in vivo and in vitro. Studies of the molecular and kinetic processes occurring at such interfaces, ranging from small molecule and biomolecular interactions, to cell adhesion, differentiation and tissue formation at the interface. Case studies of biomimetic surface platforms, biomembrane and supramolecular materials, nanotechnology applications.

Catalysis for Energy production and enviromental protection
Prof. S. Sciré

Principles and objectives of Green Chemistry. Atom and energy efficient processes. Catalytic processes with low environmental impact.
Catalysis for environmental protection. Clean-up of emissions from industry. Catalytic abatement of NOx, SOx, VOCs, CFCs, particulate matter.
Catalysis and automotion. Gasoline, diesel, electric and hybrid engines. Clean-up of emissions from cars. Catalytic converters. Catalytic removal of diesel particulate.
Catalysis for hydrogen production. Fuel Cells Technologies.
Catalytic processes for fuel production and improvement.
Principles and applications of photocatalysis.

Photochemistry from basic priciples to pratical applications
Prof. S. Sortino

The aim of the course is twofold. In a first introductory part the basic principles of photochemical and photophysical processes will be provided. In a second part, the role of photochemistry as multidisciplinary science will be highlighted. In particular it will be shown the importance of the processes initiated and/or controlled by light in multifaceted applications in different fields, encompassing optoelectronics, environment, biology and medicine.

Strategies of Organic Synhesis
Prof. G. Tomaselli

In view of the required better use of feedstocks and the change in feedstocks, the role of selective catalysis will become even more important. The goal of the course is to familiarize the class participants with the design of supramolecular catalytic systems, which are smaller and structurally simpler than enzymes, but differently from enzymes allow to estimate the relative importance of different factors contributing to catalysis. Enzymes remain a source of inspiration, but more convenient routes to catalytic system based on organometallic catalysts and containing supramolecular features are needed. Several new approaches avoid the use of elaborate syntheses.
. Introduction to Supramolecular Catalysis
. Chiral Metallocycles for Asymmetric Catalysis
. Bioinspired Supramolecular Catalysis

Molecular bases of Pharmacological activity
Prof. C. Tringali

Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry – Drug Discovery and Drug Development – Natural Products and Drug Discovery – Lead Compounds – Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics – Structure-activity relationships (SAR) – Lipophylicity (Log P).
Receptors, Enzymes and Drugs. – Agonists and Antagonists – Enzyme inhibitors – Xenobiotics – Phase I and Phase II Enzymes – Cytochrome P 450 – Conjugates – Drug metabolism.
Cancer chemoprevention: anticarcinogenic, antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic agents.

Potentialities of Chemoinformatics in drug design and data mining
Prof. Giuseppe Musumarra

Multivariate analysis. Classification and regression methods. Principal component analysis. The SIMCA method. Latent variables: the PLS method. Partial and global molecular descriptors. Principal properties. Selection of informative molecules in drug design. Pharmacokinetic profiles and ADME properties. Multivariate methods for data mining and applications in genome-based cancer research.

Prof. Giuseppe Spoto

Basic features of biosensors. Biological receptors: Their classification; surface immobilization/entrapment of receptors; side effects (e.g. non-specific interactions), surface geometry design. Transducers: Optical, electrochemical, piezoelectric.
Assay design, sample requirement and manipulation, biosensor specifications. Microfluidics basic principles and use in biosensing.

Sterechemistry of coordination compounds
Prof. Roberto Purrello

Aim of this course is to present an overview of a part of stereochemistry usually not presented during the studies leading to Laurea, to give to the Ph.D. students a thorough vision of stereochemistry.The emergence and role of stereochemistry of coordination compounds; basic concepts: structure, geometry, symmetry; methods for the elucidation of the stereochemistry of coordination compounds, general concepts: the classification of ligands, isomerism, nomenclature; mononuclear and polynuclear coordination units

A Bioinorganic approach to neurodegenerative diseases
Prof. Giuseppe Grasso

Brief overview of neurodegenerative diseases: a bioinorganic point of view. Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson disease. Prion diseases. Catabolism of aggregation-prone proteins. Aβ, α-synuclein and prion protein. Protein-metal ions binding. Chemical factors regulating the clearance of proteins by metalloproteases: oxidative stress, small molecules and metal ions. Metal ions and metalloproteases at physiological conditions and in neurodegeneration. Some of the most commonly used experimental techniques to study metal binding to proteins

Peptide and protein design
Prof. Giuseppe Pappalardo

Aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of both solution and solid-phase peptide synthesis principles. From peptide synthesis, peptidomimetics and bioconjugated, to protein synthesis by chemical ligation, innovative methodologies for peptide purification characterization, monitoring as well as Microwave-assisted peptide synthesis will be discussed. Selective aminoacids’ protection and de-protection strategies, solid supports features, the use of effective coupling reagents and the analytical techniques generally used for the purification and structure determination will be discussed in detail. The course will also deal with the applicative aspects of designed peptides in chemistry and biology.

Protein (mis)folding and amyloid aggregation: classical principles and emerging approaches in the therapy of Neurodegenerative disorders
Dr. Danilo Milardi

The protein folding energy landscape. Sequence-based prediction of protein behavior. The amyloid phenomenon and its significance in human diseases. The kinetics and mechanisms of amyloid formation. Amyloid structures at the atomic level: insights from crystallography. Pathways of amyloid formation. Fibrillar Polymorphism. Structural and compositional information about pre-amyloid oligomers. Fluorescence spectroscopy and Statistical Differential Scanning Calorimetry: two tools to characterize amyloid and to probe folding/unfolding ensembles. Inhibitors of Amyloid and Oligomer Formation. Functional Amyloids. A study case: the role of Aβ in Alzheimer’s Disease.


Millesi Salvatrice, tema di ricerca “Covalent assembling of functional systems on substrates of technological interest for optical, electrical and/or for molecular recognition devices.”

Gangemi Chiara Maria Antonietta, tema di ricerca “Sintesi ed impiego di nuovi derivati porfinici”

Cardullo Nunzio, tema di ricerca: “Synthesis of natural-derived Polyphenols as potential anticancer agents”

Millesi Salvatrice tutor Prof. Antonino
Gangemi Chiara Maria Antonetta tutor Prof. Gaetano Tomaselli
Cardullo Nunzio tutor Prof. Corrado Tringali

Research Projects

XXIX ciclo
Aura Angela Margherita titolo del progetto di ricerca: Surface Plasmon Resonance Imagingbiosensors for the detection of pathogens and toxins food TUTOR PROF. SPOTO
Paternò Alessio titolo del progetto di ricerca: Progettazione, sintesi e applicazioni di Sali organici come mezzi di reazione innovativi ed eco-compatibili TUTOR PROF. MUSUMARRA
Vitale Stefania titolo del progetto di ricerca: Surface engineering via molecular self-assembly for nanotecnology applications TUTOR PROF. LICCIARDELLO
Cunsolo Alessandra titolo del progetto di ricerca: Interaction between Porphyrins and complex biological matrices TUTOR PROF. PURRELLO
Di Pietro Patrizia titolo del progetto di ricerca: Functionalized Silica – supported lipid bilayer nanoplatforms: TUTOR PROF. SATRIANO
synthesis, physicochemical characterization and delivery studies
Griffo Alessandra titolo del progetto di ricerca: Studio delle interazioni di cellule e biomolecole su superfici, attraverso caratterizzazioni Chimico-fisica al fine di fabbricare rivestimenti biocompatibili che abbiano una buona adesione cellulare e sfavoriscono la proliferazione batterica TUTOR PROF. MARLETTA