Laboratory of Biophysics of Ionic Liquids

Neutron Scattering, Atomic Force Microscopy and Computer Simulations

Biography
Antonio Benedetto, born in Padua, Italy, in August 1984, is a physicist with interest in biophysics and neutron scattering instrumentation. In July 2005 and 2007, respectively, he was awarded the BSc and MSc Degrees in Physics by the University of Messina, Italy, both with a final mark of 110/110 cum Laude. During his academic studies, he passed 51/53 exams with the full mark of 30/30, out of which 25 exams with the "Cum Laude" distinction. In 2011, he obtained his Ph.D. in Physics (University of Messina, Italy) defending a thesis on protein dynamics, which experimental component was carried out at the Institute Laue-Langevin (Grenoble, France). His results confirmed the existence of a fragile-to-strong dynamical crossover in protein hydration water. His Ph.D. work was awarded two national prizes: (i) the "2011 Giovanni Semerano Prize" by the Physical Chemistry division of the Italian Chemical Society for the best Ph.D. work nationally in the field of physical chemistry, and (ii) the "2012 Borsellino-Menestrina Prize" by the Pure and Applied Italian Biophysical Society for the best Ph.D. work in the field of biophysics in Italy. In 2012, supported by an Individual Endeavour Research Fellowship of the Australian Government, he moved to “Oz”, joining the University of Sydney and the Bragg Institute. It was back at that time that he consolidated his work on the development of a new neutron scattering method for dynamics based on “elastic scattering”, which receives attention by some neutron scattering large-scale facilities. Since 2013, supported by several individual fellowships and "starting"-type research grants (including two Marie-Curie fellowships) he carries out his independent research activity at the University College Dublin (Ireland), the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), and the University of Roma Tre (Italy). The main focus of his research is the study of the interaction of room-temperature ionic liquids with biomolecules and cells by means of neutron scattering, atomic force microscopy, computer simulations and other complementary approaches. In 2016, he was selected to give a talk at the "Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting" and awarded a "Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Award" by the Irish Research Council. As an invited scientist, he regularly visits several of the largest neutron scattering facilities worldwide, including the National Institute of Standards & Technology (USA), the Oak-Ridge National Laboratory (USA), the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), the Institute Laue-Langevin (France), the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (Germany) and the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering (Australia).
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Awards:
  1. Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Award awarded in 2016 by the Irish Research Council (October 2016, Dublin) for scientific merit & achievements at postdoctoral research level;
  2. EBSA Bursary awarded in 2015 by the European Biophysical Societies’ Association;
  3. Borsellino-Menestrina Prize awarded in 2012 by the Pure and Applied Italian Biophysical Society to the best national PhD thesis in the field of biophysics;
  4. Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Medicine, University of Sydney (Australia);
  5. Giovanni Semerano Prize awarded in 2011 by the Italian Chemical Society to the best national PhD thesis in the field of physical chemistry;
  6. Scientist Travel Award awarded in 2011 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics;
  7. Gilberto Bernardini Prize awarded in 2008 by the Italian Physics Society for “excellence in research”;
  8. Galluzzi Prize for Physics awarded in 2007 by the University of Roma Tre for academic merits during BSc and MSc;
  9. Luigi Freddara Italian National Fellowship (2002-2007) awarded by De Agostini Group for academic merits during BSc and MSc.
Publications:
Since the starting of my Ph.D. in 2008, I published 50+ papers in peer-review scientific journals of high impact in my fields of research that are Biophysics, Experimental Physics, and Physical Chemistry. Including conference abstracts and other written contributions, I authored 65+ documents.
For the complete list of publicans, please, refer to my Google Scholar:
>>>> LINK TO THE FULL PUBLICATION LIST <<<<
20 selected publications:
Controlling Amyloid Fibril Properties Via Ionic Liquids: The Representative Case of Ethylammonium Nitrate and Tetramethylguanidinium Acetate on the Amyloidogenesis of Lysozyme
V. Pillai, P. Kumari, S. Kolagatla, V.G. Sakai, S. Rudić, B. Rodriguez, M. Rubini, K. Tych, A. Benedetto, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 13, 7058, (2022)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
>>>> Featuring on the JOURNAL COVER <<<<
Absorption of the [bmim][Cl] Ionic Liquid in DMPC Lipid Bilayers Across Their Gel, Ripple, and Fluid Phases
A. Benedetto, E. Kelley, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 126, 3309, (2022)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
>>>> Featuring on the JOURNAL COVER <<<<
Stiffening Effect of the [Bmim][Cl] Ionic Liquid on the Bending Dynamics of DMPC Lipid Vesicles
P. Kumari, A. Faraone, E. Kelley, A. Benedetto, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 125, 7241, (2021)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
>>>> Featuring on the JOURNAL COVER <<<<
The transition from salt-in-water to water-in-salt nanostructures in water solutions of organic ionic liquids relevant for biological applications
P. Kumari, V. Pillai, D. Gobbo, P. Ballone, A. Benedetto, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 125, 7241, (2021)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Experimental demonstration of the novel “van-Hove integral method (vHI)” for measuring diffusive dynamics by elastic neutron scattering
A. Benedetto and G.J. Kearley, Scientific Reports, 11, 14093, (2021)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Sub-Toxic Concentrations of Ionic Liquids Enhance Cell Migration by Reducing the Elasticity of the Cellular Lipid Membrane
P. Kumari, V. Pillai, B.J. Rodriguez, M. Prencipe, A. Benedetto, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 11, 7372, (2020)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
A Quantitative Comparison of the Counting Significance of van Hove Integral Spectroscopy and Quasielastic Neutron Scattering
A. Benedetto and G.J. Kearley, Scientific Reports, 10, 6350, (2020)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Dynamics from Elastic Neutron-Scattering via Direct Measurement of the Running Time-Integral of the van Hove Distribution Function
A. Benedetto and G.J. Kearley, Scientific Reports, 9, 11284, (2019)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids and Bio-Membranes: Setting the Stage for Applications in Pharmacology, Bio-Medicine and Bio-Nano-Technology
A Benedetto and P. Ballone, Langmuir, 34, 9579, (2018)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
>>>> Featuring on the JOURNAL COVER <<<<
Low-Temperature Decoupling of Water and Protein Dynamics Measured by Neutron Scattering
A. Benedetto, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 8, 4883, (2017)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Hydrogen-Bond Dynamics at the Bio-Water Interface in Hydrated Proteins: a Molecular Dynamics Study
P. Nandi, N. English, Z. Futera, and A. Benedetto, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19, 318, (2017)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids Meet Bio-Membranes: The State-of-the-Art
A. Benedetto, Biophysical reviews, 9, 309, (2017)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Room Temperature Ionic Liquids Meet Bio-Molecules: a Microscopic View of Structure and Dynamics
A. Benedetto and P. Ballone, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 4, 392, (2016)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
>>>> Featuring on the JOURNAL COVER <<<<
Elastic Scattering Spectroscopy (ESS): An Instrument-Concept for Dynamics of Complex (Bio-) Systems from Elastic Scattering
A. Benedetto and G.J. Kearley, Scientific Reports, 6, 34266, (2016)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Structure and Dynamics of POPC Bilayers in Water Solutions of Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids
A. Benedetto. R.J. Bingham, P. Ballone, Journal of Chemical Physics, 142, 124706, (2015)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Structure and Stability of Phospholipid Bilayers Hydrated by a Room-Temperature Ionic Liquid/Water Solution: A Neutron Reflectivity Study
A. Benedetto, F. Heinrich, M. Gonzalez, G. Fragneto, E. Watkins, P. Ballone, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118, 12192, (2014)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Elastic Incoherent Neutron Scattering Operating by Varying Instrumental Energy Resolution: Principle, Simulations and Experiments of the Resolution Elastic Neutron Scattering (RENS)
S. Magazù, F. Migliardo, A. Benedetto, Review of Scientific Instruments, 82, 105115, (2011)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Puzzle of Protein Dynamical Transition
S. Magazù, F. Migliardo, A. Benedetto, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115, 7736, (2011)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Mean Square Displacements from Elastic Incoherent Neutron Scattering Evaluated by Spectrometers Working with Different Energy Resolution on Dry and Hydrated (H2O and D2O) Lysozyme
S. Magazù, F. Migliardo, A. Benedetto, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 114, 9268, (2010)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Biomolecular Motion Characterization by Self- Distribution-Function Procedure in Elastic Incoherent Neutron Scattering
S. Magazù, G Maisano, F. Migliardo, A. Benedetto, Physical Review E, 79, 041915, (2009)
>>>> LINK TO THE PAPER <<<<
Recent invited talks:
Water at Bio-Interfaces: From Biomembranes to Proteins and Amyloids
WaterX – Exotic Properties of Water Under Extreme Conditions, La Maddalena, Italy, 28th May - 2nd June 2022
An Elastic Neutron Scattering Approach for Dynamics
QENS 2022 - International Workshop on Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering, San Sebastian, Spain, 23rd - 27th May 2022
Mechanism of Action of Ionic Liquids on Cell Membrane Mechano-Elasticity, Cell Migration & Protein Amyloidogenesis
13th EBSA European Biophysics Congress of the European Biophysical Societies' Association, Vienna, Austria, 24th - 28th July 2021
Experimental Techniques in Biophysics at Neutron Sources
XXIV International School of Pure and Applied Biophysics on "Applications of X-Ray and Neutron Scattering in Biology" organised by the Pure and Applied Italian Biophysical Society, Venenice, Italy, 27th - 31st January 2020
Ionic Liquids in Bio-Systems: from Model Biomembranes to Living Cells
12th EBSA European Biophysics Congress of the European Biophysical Societies' Association, Madrid, Spain, 20th - 24th July 2019
Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering - Is There Another Way?
ECNS European Conference on Neutron Scattering of the European Neutron Scattering Society, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 30th June - 5th July 2019
Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids and Biomembranes: Setting the Stage for Applications in Pharmacology, Biomedicine, and Bionanotechnology
8th International Congress on Ionic Liquids (COIL-8), Beijing, China, 13th - 17th May 2019
Ionic Liquids and Biomolecules: from Fundamental Research to Applications
ChemTrends 2018: International Conference on Organic & Hybrid Functional Materials and Additive Technologies by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, 23rd - 28th September 2018
Biomolecules, Water, and Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids: Challenges and Opportunities in Basic Science and Applications
2nd Gordon Research Conference on Neutron Scattering, Hong-Kong, China, 6th - 11th August 2017
Ionic Liquids Meet Biomolecules
19th IUPAB and 11th EBSA Congress of the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics and the European Biophysical Societies' Association, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 16th - 20th July 2017
Recent invited seminars:
Van Hove Integral Neutron Scattering
Laboratory for Neutron Scattering & Imaging, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland, Fall 2022
Protein dynamics by Neutron Scattering: From Protein to Ionic Liquids"
International Webinar Series on "Biomolecules Dynamics and Kinetics", Chemistry Department, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India, 27th August 2020
An Approach to Measure Diffusive Dynamics via "Elastic Scattering" (normally accessed by Quasi-Elastic, QENS)
Italian Neutron Scattering Society (SINS) "Zoom" Seminar Series, 24th June 2020
Ionic Liquids and Bio-Systems: from model biomolecules to living cells
Department of Chemistry, Florence University, Firenze, Italia, 18th February 2020
Do We Need to Measure Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering, or Is There a Better Way to Measure the Underlying Dynamics?
Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France, 4th September 2019
Which Instrument Can Measure Diffusive Dynamics Without Measuring Quasi-Elastic Scattering?
European Spallation Source, Lund, Sweden, 21st August 2019
Ionic Liquids and Biomembranes: from Chemical-Physics of Model Systems to Bio-Nano-Technology of Living Cells
Institute for Physical Chemistry, University of Münster, Münster, Germany, 23rd May 2019
The Effect of Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids on (model) Bio-Membranes"
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, 23rd August 2017
An Instrument-Concept for Dynamics of Complex (Bio-) Systems from Elastic Scattering"
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, 22nd August 2017
>>>> SKETCHNOTE BY ROB DIMEO <<<<
The Effect of Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids on (model) Bio-Membranes
University of Notre-Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA, 23rd August 2017
An Instrument-Concept for Dynamics from Elastic Scattering - Would it Work?
Spallation Neutron Source, Oak-Ridge National Laboratories, Tennessee, USA, 12th December 2015