address: Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Lorenzo Clemente Spinelli was born in 1970; he obtained his master degree in Physics in 1994 and the Ph.D. in Physics in 1999 from Università degli Studi of Milan. He is a researcher at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN) of the National Research Council (CNR) since 2001. Furthermore he spent a period of one year at the Institute for Pharmacological Research “Mario Negri” of Milan in 1996, and two periods of one week at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Berlin, Germany, as “Visiting Scientist” in 2003 and 2007.
The Lorenzo Clemente Spinelli’s research activity at IFN is focused on the study of photon migration, i.e. light propagation in highly scattering media, in the time domain. In the general framework of time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy, he is involved, in particular, in the study of the physics of photon migration, with original outcomes such as the proposal of time-resolved reflectance at null source-detector distance, the development of innovative instrumentations for photon migration measurements in time domain, the development of new analysis methods and, finally, their application to different research fields.
In particular, Lorenzo Clemente Spinelli is working on the application of time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy in the field of biomedical diagnostics. Indeed, imaging capabilities of this technique have a large impact on the applicative viewpoint, as it paves the way to the non-invasive diagnostic of breast tumors, “optical mammography”, and to monitoring of the brain activity, “functional imaging”. To this extent, Lorenzo Clemente Spinelli worked to the development of a prototype of time-domain optical mammograph for non-invasive detection and characterization of breast tumors. Furthermore, he contributed to the project and the following construction of a multi-channel time-resolved oximeter for monitoring the brain cortex activity. Both these instrumentations obtained the Ministry of Health approval for being used in clinical environment. Then, they have been used in different clinical trials concerning pathologies like breast tumor and epilepsy, in the framework of two European project: “OptiMamm” and “nEUROPt”.
Another important application of time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy, with potential industrial returns, concerns the ability of this technique to monitor non-destructively the internal quality of fruit and vegetables. Lorenzo Clemente Spinelli has contributed to the achievement of a prototype developed for quality control of the fruit (maturity index, post-harvest selection, storage in controlled atmospheres). The main advantage of this technique, compared to optical techniques that use CW light sources, is the possibility to estimate independently the chemical characteristics, related to presence of chromophores (such as chlorophyll, water, sugar), and the structural ones (such as firmness).