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Prof. Luisa Torsi

Full professor of Analytical Chemistry and coordinator of the council for the degree courses in Materials Science and Technology at the University of Bari "A. Moro" (Italy).


Torsi Luisa; ResearcherID: G-9065-2011;  Nationality: Italian; Date of birth: 08.Oct.64;  Married (1991) and mother of Alessandro (1993) and Vincenzo (1997).


1993 - PhD in Chemical Sciences/Department of Chemistry/University of Bari, Italy

1989 - Laurea Degree (Master) in Physics/Department of Physics /University of Bari, Italy


2005 - Full professor of Analytical Chemistry/Department of Chemistry/University of Bari, Italy


1998 – 2004    Associate professor of Analytical Chemistry/Department of Chemistry/University of Bari

1993 – 1998    Assistant professor of Analytical Chemistry/Department of Chemistry/University of Bari


2014 - Nominated for the “Material Research Society Fellow” award by three MRS fellows 

2013 - Best Italian Inventor Women/ Italian Women Inventors & Innovators Network (Italy)

2010 - Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award /Merck (Germany)/First woman to win this prize

2010 - Rosamarina Prize to recognize excellences in the Italian region of Apulia/ Brindisi (Italy)

2008 - Second best lecture at the Italian Physical Society Meeting/Italian Physical Society (Italy)

2006 Jun-Jul - Visiting professor /Department of Chemistry/ University Denis Diderot, Paris VII (France)

2005.Jun - Visiting  professor/Department of Chemistry/University of Angers (France)

2000 Jul-Aug - Consultant for Bell Laboratories Lucent Technologies / Murray Hill -NJ (USA)

1994–1996 - Post-Doc Fellowship, Bell Laboratories Lucent Technologies / Murray Hill -NJ (USA)


1998 - Number of Postdocs (6)/ PhD (13)/ Master Students (34)/ all @ University of Bari


1998 - In charge of the course /Spectroscopic Analysis/BD in Material Science/Physics Department

1998 - In charge of the course/Surface Analysis/MD in Material Science &Tech./Chemistry Department


2015 - General Chair of the forthcoming Material Research Society Fall Meeting /USA

2012 - General Chair of the European Material Research Society Spring Meeting /France

2008 - Chair and Programme Committee member for the organization of a number of Symposia and Conference for E-MRS, MRS and SPIE


2014 - Coordinator of the “Sense-of-Care” ITN-European Industrial Doctorate FP7-People 2012

2012 - Scientific Coord. /Structural Reinforcement Project “Lab SISTEMA” of the Univ. of Bari

2011-13 - National Coord. “Biosensori Elettronici ed Elettrochim. ”/Italian PRIN-2009AZKNJ7

2009-13 - Coordinator of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) “FlexSMELL “FP7-Peopl

2006-08 - National Coordinator “Plastic bio-FET sensors” /Italian PRIN-2006037708 (152 K€)


2014 - Elected Vice-President of the European Material Research Society/First woman to hold this role

2013 - Member H2020 Programme Committee of the Italian Ministry for Education and Research

2013 - President of the Patent Committee at the University of Bari

2011-13 - Coordinator of the Scientific Commission of the Italian Chemical Society

2010 - Elected member of the Board of Delegates of the European Material Research Society

2010 - Elected member of the Analytical Division Council of the Italian Chemical Society

2010 - Coordinator of the Council - Undergraduate Programs (BD+MD) in Materials Science /UNIBA


2014 - Official Nominator for the “Japan Prize”

2014 - Member of the  ICT review panel/Swedish Research Council/Sweden

2014 - Member of the ICT review panel/Research Council - Academy of Finland/Finland

2013 - Member of an European Research Council panel for the evaluation of consolidator grants

2012 - Guest Co-Editor of the Analytical& Bioanalytical  Chemistry (Springer) Special Issue on “Surface Architectures for Analytical Purposes”.

2012 - Panel vice-chair for the Italian National Evaluation Agency (ANVUR)

2012 - Referee for a Full Professor position in Analytical Chemistry/Dep. Chem. /Abo Akademi/Finland

2011 - Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the iPack Swedish Excellence Centre/Sweden

2010-12 - Evaluation Panel Chair / European Commission - Marie Curie Actions –Research Fellowships   

2007-10 - National Coordinator of the Working Group “Sensors” of the Italian Chemical Society

2009-12 - European editor of “Science of Advanced Materials"American Scientific Publishers (IF: 3.308)

2009-12 - Member of the Scientific Council /VINN Excellence Center FunMat/Linköping Univ.(Sweden)

2006 - Guest Editor of the Analytical & Bioanalytical  Chemistry (Springer) Special Issue on “Organic thin-film transistors as analytical and bio-analytical sensors”.

2006-07 - irector of the Bari Unit/ INSTM national consortium for material science and technology

Selected patents (Overall six granted international patents)

- F. Babudri, G.M. Farinola, H.O: Hassan, F. Naso, F. Palmisano, M. C. Tanese, L. Torsi*, L. Valli, P. G. Zambonin; Organic Thin Film Transistors, Compounds and Procedures for their realization and their use gasseous phase sensors . FT/TS/GV/ds/06578D53 (07.02.07) – International extension  No. WO 2008/096239 – European Patent No. 2121647 granted on 24.09.2014

- L. Torsi*, G. Palazzo, D. Angione, N. Cioffi, M. Magliulo, S. Cotrone, G. Scamarcio, L. Sabbatini, A. Mallardi;. Field effect transistors based on multilayers of self-assembled biological systems covered by an organic semiconductor layer: processes for their realization and use as sensors; European Patent. EP 10425146.7 – European Patent application no. EP 10425146 filed on 03.05.2010 and Search Report submitted in November 2011.

- L. Torsi*, G. Palazzo, D. Angione, N. Cioffi, M. Magliulo, S. Cotrone, G. Scamarcio, L. Sabbatini, A. Mallardi. Method to realize electronic field-effect transistor sensors. Intern. Patent Application no. PCT/IT2011/000364 filed on October 2011.

*Reference Author for the University of Bari.

SELECTED INVITED PRESENTATIONS (Overall more than 100 invitations to give lectures worldwide)

- Plenary Lectures:  30th, CAS International Semiconductor Conference – Sinaia (2007);  6th conference on Analytical Sciences -  Dublin (2011);  Euroanalysis XVI  “challenges in modern analytical chemistry”– Belgrade (2011);  Spanish Society for Analytical Chemistry XVIII Meeting (2013) ; Organic Photonics + Electronics Symposium Plenary Session at the SPIE Optics + Photonics Annual Meeting, San Diego (2014); 8th ECNP International Conference on Nanostructured Polymers and Nanocomposites, Dresda (2014).

- Selected Key-note and Invited Lectures: Gordon  Conference “Electronic Processes in Organic Materials” (2014);  Faraday Discussion 174 “Organic Photonics & Electronics” (2014) ; International Conference on  Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals (Atlanta 2012, Turku 2014);  12th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors (USA, 2008); 9th  and 11th international Symposium on Functional p Systems (2011, 2013). Several times at symposia of the European Material Research Society, Material Research Society and International Society for Optic and Photonics ;

- Selected invited lectures to universities, research centers and companies: CNR-Istituto delle Macromolecole (I); CNR-Istituto di Spettroscopia Molecolare (I); CNR-Istituto Lamel; Dipatimento di Chimica Inoganica-Università di Padova; Microelectronics Research Center - University of Texas at Austin; Institut des Sciences et Technologies Moléculaires d'Angers; Dipartimento di Chimica – Università di Pisa; School of Materials Engineering - Nanyang Technological University; Institute of Material Research and Engineering, A*Star- Singapore; ITODYS-Paris VII; Department of Chemistry - University of California; Istitut of Hydrochemistry – Technical University of Munich; University of Groningen - The Physics Colloquium; University of Cambridge CAPE-CIKC Advanced Technology Lectures; Frontiere della Chimica, Seminari, Scuola Normale Supferiore, Pisa (Italy); Headquarters of the Merck Group, Merck KGaA, Darmstad.


“OFET biosensors for point-of-care applications – sense-of-care” ITN-EID Initial Training Network, European Industrial Doctorate FP7- People 2012 (Years 2012- 2016)- Project Coordinator;  Total Grant: 470 K€

"Laboratorio per lo Sviluppo Integrato delle Scienze e delle Tecnologie dei Materiali Avanzati e per dispositivi innovativi" "LABORATORIO SISTEMA" Italian MIUR ministry project PON Ricerca e Competitività 2007-2013 - Sostegno ai mutamenti strutturali-Potenziamento delle strutture e delle dotazioni scientifiche e tecnologiche-Rafforzamento strutturale (Years 2010- 2014)– Scientific Coordinator; – Total Grant: 13 M€

“Biosensori elettronici ed elettrochimici” Italian MIUR ministry PRIN 2009 Project - 2009AZKNJ7 (Years 2011- 2013)- Project Coordinator; – Total Grant: 454 K€

“Gas Sensors on Flexible Substrates for Wireless Applications - FLEXSmell” Marie Curie Initial Training Network FP7 PITN-GA-2009-238454 (Years 2010- 2013). Project Coordinator; – Total Grant: 4 M€


“Electrolyte-Gated Organic Field-Effect Biosensor – BioEGOFET Strep project FP7 - ICT-2009-3.3-Flexible, Organic and Large Area Electronics (Years 2010- 2012). Research Unit Principal Investigator;

- Grant for the Unit: 485K€

“Studio e sviluppo di materiali polimerici innovativi per applicazioni in chirurgia laser della cornea” - Strategic Project of the Apulian Region CIP: PS_046 (Years 2009-2012). Research Unit Principal Investigator; – Grant for the Unit: 233 K€ 

 “Tecnologie per il Packaging Bioattivo di Prodotti Lattiero Caseari Freschi Pugliesi- AgroBioPack” –  Italian MIUR-MEF ministry project for the Apulian Region DM 29040 (Years 2009-2012). Research Unit Principal Investigator;– Grant for the Unit: 119 K€

“Sensori e Micro-Lavorazioni Laser per Applicazioni Motoristiche e  Manifatturiere” Project DM01 connected with the Apulian Technological District on Mechatronics – MEDIS (Years 2009-2012). Research Unit Principal Investigator; - Grant for the Unit: 205 K€

“Plastic bio-FET sensors” Italian Ministry MIUR PRIN 2006 Project – 2006037708 (Years 2007-2008). Project Coordinator. - Total Grant: 152 K€.

"Characterization of the factors that influence the lapping of ceramic materials surfaces by means of diamond based abrasives" SAM Abrasivi srl industrial research project (Years 2006-2007). Project Coordinator; – Total Grant: 15 K€

“Appointment of low impact chemical methodologies” - Caripuglia Bank Foundation Project (Year 2006). Project Coordinator; - Grant: 70 K€.

“Organic Thin Film Transistor Based Sensors - Detection of toxic gas sensors (NOx, CO and H2S) at the 20-50 ppm level” - Singaporean Defense Science Organization, Temasek Labs  - JPP MD-NTU/06/0 (Year 2006)- Co-Principal Investigator; - Total grant: 120 K$.


Author of 138 ISI papers, including contributions published in Science, Nature Materials and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Co-inventor of 6 patents, a number of them awarded at the international level. Almost 5100 ISI (ca. 7000 in Google Scholar) citations resulting in an ISI h-index of 36 (40 in Google Scholar). Almost 100 invited lectures (including plenary and key notes) at European, USA and Asian universities, companies, international conferences, workshops.

 MAJOR SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS (with collaborators & co-workers)

- Capacitance modulated transistor detects odorant binding protein chiral interactions. (Nature Communication in press 2014)*.

- Interfacial electronic effects in functional biolayers integrated into organic field-effect transistors (PNAS 2013)*.

- Part per Trillion Label-Free Electronic Bioanalytical Detection (Analytical Chemistry 2013).

- A solid-state device capable of chiral differential detection at the part-per-million concentration. State-of-the-art detection limit improved by three orders of magnitude (Nat. Mat 2008)*.

 - Demonstration of field-effect amplified electronic responses. The current variation upon exposure to an analyte is seen to depend upon the gate bias and to increase by several orders of magnitude when the device is driven to the on-state (Nat. Mat. 2008)*.

 - Electronic sensing of vapors with organic transistors. The device are shown to have a response repeatable within few % over 400 subsequent exposures (Appl Phys Lett 78,2229,2001).

- Multi-parametric response in OFET sensors. Changes of the OFET characteristic figures of merits (field-effect mobility, current amplification ratio, threshold voltage and off-current) exploited as different parameters in sensing determinations (Sens. Act., B67, 2229, 2000)*.

 - Demonstration of two dimensional field-induced conductance in organic-field-effect transistors. The current flowing in the OFET channel region demonstrated to be independent of the thickness of the organic semiconductor  (Science, 268, 270, 1995).

 - Bi-polar organic field effect transistor. A p-type and n-type organic semiconductor stacking layers showing both electron and hole field-effect transport (Science, 269, 1560, 1995).

 - An analytical model for short channel field-effect transistor. For the first time a comprehensive model is proposed for transport in organic FET. (J. Appl. Phys. 78, 1088, 1995)*.

 - Glucose fast-response amperometric sensor based on glucose oxidase immobilized in an electropolymerized  cond. polymer film. The one step electrochemical enzyme immobilization results in a sensor with the lowest response time (Anal. Chem., 62, 2738, 1990).

*  L. Torsi first and/or senior author


Torsi’s contributions are mostly in the field of organic bio-electronic sensors. Besides the analytical applications, she has always paid attention to the fundamental understanding of sensing mechanisms. She has proven capable to span different fields by contributing to topics such as: electronic and electrochemical sensors, organic semiconductors, analytical chemistry, solid-state device physics, material chemistry and physics, bio-chemical interactions, gathering insights through the cross-contaminations from all these fields. This attitude stems directly from the interdisciplinary education path pursued. After the degree in physics (curriculum involving courses in spectroscopy, electronics and solid-state physics) she decided to get enrolled into a PhD course in Chemical Science. In 1989 this was an uncommon choice but, as a young physicist, she was attracted by the study of conducting polymers and their use as electrochemical sensors. As a methodological approach, while learning chemical disciplines such as Analytical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, she always leveraged on her physics background to get an interdisciplinary view. This was the starting point to study, by means of a combined electrochemical and electronic approach, the semiconducting, rather than the conducting, properties of conjugated polymers (mostly p-type materials) as well as of metal oxides such as titanium dioxides (n-type materials). In fact, the PhD thesis involved the study of the electrochemical and electronic rectifying properties of polymer(p-type)/Titanium-dioxide(n-type) semiconductor hetero-junctions (L. Torsi et. al., Surface Science 273 L409 1992, L. Torsi et. al., Advanced Materials 7 417 1995), eventually proposed also as sensors (L. Torsi et. al., J Electrochem Soc 141 2608 1994). After the PhD she wanted to have a strong international experience and thanks to her interdisciplinary background, she managed to be hired as a post-doc in a world-renowed place such as Bell Labs (NJ-USA) was in 1994. Here, already mother of Alessandro born in 1993, she joined a starting effort to study organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) electronic properties, contributing to the demonstration of the  two-dimensional (A. Dodabalapur, L. Torsi and H.E Katz, Science 268 270 1995) and bi-polar (A. Dodabalapur, H.E. Katz, L. Torsi and R. C. Huddon. Science 269 1560 1995) transport in such devices. Back in Bari she decided to engage OFETs for sensing applications and in 2000 her group pioneered the use of OFETs as multi-parametric chemical sensors (L. Torsi et. al. Sensors & Actuators B 312 67 2000, B. Crone et al., Applied Physics Letters 78 2229 2001). Afterwards, the OFETs were exploited for ultra-sensitive molecular assay by means of devices capable to perform chiral differential detection at unprecedented low concentration (L. Torsi et. al., Nature Materials 7 412 2008). Lately she engaged in her new frontier studying how to integrate fully functioning bio-recognition elements into OFET devices to study the properties of bio-organic interfaces by means of an extremely sensitive electronic tool capable to detect subtle changes. Thus her interests now are more devoted to the investigation bio-electronic interfaces (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109, 6429, 2012, Nature Communication in press).


She teaches a basic course of Spectroscopic Analysis to the students of the BS in Materials Science and a course on Surface Analysis to the Chemistry and Material Science MS students. She regularly gives lessons on electronic properties of organic semiconductor and electronic devices to the PhD students in Chemical Science. So far she has been supervising over 34 master, 13 PhD and 6 post doc students with different backgrounds (Chemists, Physicist, Material Scientists, Biotechnologists, Pharmaceutical Chemists). The overall gender balance larger than 50% female students, clearly above average probably because of a positive emulation effects.


The PI has given numerous TV, radio and several press interviews about electronic sensing and the potential societal impact of disposable strip-tests capable of delivering an electronic output. She explained how this could change the perspective in the screenings of large populations against infections such as malaria, HIV and even Ebola.  She also gave a number of dissemination talks to local cultural associations such as Rotary and Soroptimist.


Material Research Society, European Material Research Society, International Society for Optics and Photonics, Società Chimica Italiana


Luisa Torsi has a number of long standing collaborations with Italian, European and USA scientists.


1993 & 1997   On maternity leave for five months each.