The University of Southampton

Ilaria Sanzari

Postgraduate research student

I was born in Italy, on June 26th, 1987. I received my BSc degree and my MSc degree in biomedical engineering with specialization in robotics and biomechatronics from the University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, in 2010 and in 2013 respectively. In the year of 2010, I carried out my bachelor's thesis at the NEST (National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology) laboratory in Pisa which is a well recognized center for interdisciplinary research and training ( This work was  developed under the supervision of Dr Marco Cecchini. During this period I designed, developed and characterized a lab-on-a-chip with a sensing module based on surface acoustic wave (SAW) for both  delivering and detection of fluorescent nanoparticles. This experience was invaluable for me, because it helped me to learn the basics of practical research and appreciate what it is like to be a member of a research group. While working on this thesis project, I got excellent opportunities to interact with international and multidisciplinary environment and also, I realized the value of research and their applications for the community.

The stimulating environment at the NEST spurred me on to pursue my studies and I joined the Master program in Biomedical Engineering at University of Pisa.

In November 2012 for my Master thesis I decided to continue to work in the field of micro- and nanotechnologies and I started my Master thesis at Biorobotics Institute of "Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna" ( in collaboration with IIT ( During this time, I worked on a project about a multifunctional platform for cells stimulation in tissue engineering, where mainly I designed and developed a multifunctional device for scaffold stimulation and proteins electroadsorption. With my thesis work I got some interesting results for the scaffolds functionalization and the subsequent cells cultures. Thanks this work I have explored a new applications of electronics organic and I learned to use conductive polymers. During this time I got the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic and highly motivated group of people involved in bio-nanotechnology. I had also an opportunity to interact with several scientists and engineering working in different areas of interests, and these interactions made me realize the vastness and scope of applied micro- and nanotechnology. I have attended also a National Conference of Bioengineering in Rome (GNB), to open my mind to other fields.

From Martch 2014 to September 2014 I was a scientist collaborator at Science Material Research Group of University of Florence ( During this activities I have worked in simulation for electrodeposition from ionic liquids, and I got one paper on this work.

The aforementioned experiences has kindled a keen interest in research and trained me to think out of the box and view problems I encounter as developments leading me to the solution. I am very fascinated to work in tissue engineering sector and I think that PhD is important to complete my skills in Biomedical Engineering.

I am currently a PhD student in electronic and computer science under the supervision of Prof Hywel Morgan. The PhD project is focused on the investigation of smart hydrogels for cell cutring applications.


Research interests

Micro- and nansystems, Micro- and nanofabrication, Tissue engineering



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