Maria Cristina Staiano


Name: Maria Cristina
Surname: Staiano
Skill: Researcher
Phone: (Office) +39 0825 299 101
Phone: (Lab) +39 0825 299 216/131
Fax: +39 0825 299 641
CNR People WEB Site:
Keywords: : Proteins, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Enzymology, Fuorescence, Food Safety and Food Security.
Curriculum EN: (click here to view it)

Researcher Activities


Dr. Maria Staiano is part of Laboratory for Molecular Sensing and she is involved in the study of structural and functional aspects of proteins isolated even from extremophile organisms by the use of advanced methodologies of fluorescence spectroscopy, linear and circular dichroism for the development of new optical biosensors for analytes of high social interest (food safety, clinical chemistry, environment, etc).

The main interest of the laboratory is on understanding the rules underlying the folding of proteins and how their structure is modified by the interaction with other proteins, nucleic acids and small ligand molecules. To approach these issues we use, and occasionally develop, new, advanced optical methodologies. The acquired knowledge in protein structure is used for the design of innovative diagnostic methods and for other biotechnology applications.

The focus is to develop and apply advanced luminescence methodologies and optical measurements to solve questions of biochemical and medical interests.
In particular, our interests are focused on the study at a molecular level of the interactions involving proteins, enzymes, nuclei acids as well as small ligand molecules for contributing to shed light to the fields of proteomics, post-proteomics, interatomic and bio/sensing.
Our lab is equipped with the state-of-art instrumentations for investigating biological interactions by means of FRET, time-resolved FRET, fluorescence polarization, anisotropy decays, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy for single molecule detection, surface plasmon resonance, circular dichroism in the far- and near-UV regions, stopped-flow methodologies, metal enhanced fluorescence.
In addition, the Lab has core collaborations in the fields of bioinformatics, atomic force microscopy, linear spectroscopy, material engineering, and nanotechnology that allow us to handle research projects until they are completely fulfilled.
The Lab is also active in the use of fluorescence to quantify structural features of biological molecules even at nano-scale, and, consequently, to design advanced optical biochips, Lab-on-Chip, or simple disposable biosensors for analyses of high social interest (POCT).
This capability in biophysical methodologies together with expertise in protein biochemistry, molecular genetics and microbiology allows the research team to challenge cutting-edge biochemical questions as well as to rapidly answer to biotechnological requests from SMEs and public institutions.


Key Publications


  • Photonic Label-Free Biosensors for Fast and Multiplex Detection of Swine Viral Diseases.
    Gómez-Gómez M, Sánchez C, Peransi S, Zurita D, Bellieres L, Recuero S, Rodrigo M, Simón S, Camarca A, Capo A, Staiano M, Varriale A, D’Auria S, Manessis G, Gelasakis AI, Bossis I, Balka G, Dénes L, Frant M, Nannucci L, Bonasso M, Giusti A, Griol A.
    Sensors (Basel). 2022 Jan 18;22(3):708. doi: 10.3390/s22030708.
  • Emergent Biosensing Technologies Based on Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance.
    Camarca, A. Varriale, A. Capo, A. Pennacchio, A. Calabrese, C. Giannattasio, C. Murillo Almuzara, S. D’Auria, Maria Staiano.
    Sensors (2021) 21, 906.
  • Spectroscopic Properties of Two 5′-(4-Dimethylamino) Azobenzene Conjugated G-Quadruplex Forming Oligonucleotides
    Imperatore, A. Varriale, E. Rivieccio, A. Pennacchio, Maria Staiano, S. D’Auria, M. Casertano, C. Altucci, M. Valadan, M. Singh, M. Menna, M. Varra.
    Int J Mol Sci (2020) Sep 26;21(19):7103.
  • Structural features of the glutamate-binding protein from Corynebacterium glutamicum
    Capo, A. Natalello, J. Marienhagen, A. Pennacchio, A. Camarca, S. Di Giovanni, Maria Staiano, S. D’Auria, A. Varriale
    Int J Biol Macromol (2020) Nov 1; 162:903-912.
  • Fluorescence polarization assay to detect the presence of traces of ciprofloxacin
    El Kojok , N. El Darra, M. Khalil, A. Capo , A. Pennacchio, Maria Staiano, A. Camarca, S. D’Auria, A. Varriale.
    Sci Rep (2020) Mar 12;10(1):4550.
  • Detection of naphthalene in sea-water by a novel optical biosensor
    Cennamo, L. Zeni, E. Ricca, R. Isticato, VM. Marzullo; A. Capo, Maria Staiano, S. D’Auria, A. Varriale
    Talanta (2019) 194:289-297
  • The porcine odorant-binding protein as molecular probe for benzene detection
    Capo, A. Pennacchio, A. Varriale, S. D’Auria, Maria Staiano
    PLOS ONE (2018) Sep 5;13(9): e0202630.
  • Cloning and bacterial expression systems for recombinant human heparanase production. Substrate specificity investigation by docking of a putative heparanase substrate
    Pennacchio, A. Capo, S. Caira, A. Tramice, A. Varriale, Maria Staiano, S. D’Auria
    Biotech Applied Biochem.  (2018) 65(1):89-98.
  • A High Sensitivity Biosensor to detect the presence of perfluorinated compounds in environment
    Cennamo, L. Zeni, P. Tortora, ME. Regonesi, A. Giusti, Maria Staiano, S. D’Auria, A. Varriale
    Talanta (2018) 178:955-961.
  • Osmolyte-like effect of low GdnHCl concentrations on D-glucose/D-galactose-binding protein
    Fonin, AD. Golikova, IA. Zvereva, S. D’Auria, Maria Staiano, VN. Uversky, IM. Kuznetsova, KK. Turoverov
    Int. J. Mol. Sci. (2017) 18, 2008
  • Enzymes as Sensors
    Maria Staiano, A. Pennacchio, A. Varriale, A. Capo, A. Majoli, C. Capacchione, S. D’Auria
    Methods Enzymol. (2017); 589:115-131