Research areas and methodologies

The Electronics for Sensory Systems Unit (ELSE) studies fundamental aspects of electronics (analogue and digital) in continuous interdisciplinary dialogue with different research fields and industrial sectors, making electronics a tool for addressing and solving problems relating to interfaces intelligent devices that can optimize the reception, storage and processing of data from sensors applied in various fields of interest (biomedical, agri-food, environmental). According to this criterion, in fact, its members and its activities belong to the two departmental faculties of Ingengineering and Sciences and Technologies for Sustainable Development and One Health. 

ELSE is characterized by the ability to solve problems of extracting signals from sensors even in unfavorable ratio conditions (s/n<1). In these conditions, the group's experience allows it to apply the most appropriate principles and implementation methodologies to filter, optimize and amplify the signal. In the biological-biochemical field, this aspect is of strategic importance as the information that can come from such systems must be extracted with low-noise electronic systems using innovative analysis strategies. Aspects of calibration and evaluation of the stability of sensor properties, as the basis for an itinerary that can be shared at a scientific level. Development and creation of sensors for chemical, physical and biological quantities. Sensitive materials: adsorption-desorption mechanisms; deposition on basic devices and transducers; study of the response dynamics. Operating principles: sensing mechanismsing and transducering based on conductometric, piezoelectric, and optical property variations. Basic devices and their interfaces: low noise amplifiers, voltage and current references, oscillators, dedicated analog circuits. Calibration and testing: creation of ad hoc stations for the calibration of sensors and related use procedures. Design of dedicated experimental set-ups and data analysis. Finalization in an embedded system: ingengineering, programming of microcontrollers, creation of a software interface.

ELSE has recently developed a multisensory platform that can be specialized for specific applications. This platform integrates several sensors that allow the qualitative and quantitative analysis of liquids, gases and vapors, through different transduction mechanisms (gravimetric, optical, conductometric). The interaction with the analytes is based on sensitive materials of biological origin. Such materials are used for the specialization of sensors for the analysis of compounds of interest. This system can be used for: E-health applications: monitoring, screening, follow-up, point of care; industrial applications: air quality, optimization of production processes, product innovation; food applications: supply chain management, quality and safety monitoring.

Collaborations with other Research Centers

  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - New York (USA)
  • Electrolux Italia SpA
  • CNR- Institute of Translational Pharmacology (IFT)
  • MESVA Department - University of L'Aquila
  • Department of Ingindustrial and information engineering and economics - University of L'Aquila
  • UOC of Urology of the Tor Vergata Polyclinic, Rome
  • UNAPROL - Italian Olive-growing Consortium
  • Coldiretti
  • GESTECO – Gruppo Luci
  • Airgloss srl
  • TEMA - Center for Mechanical Technology and Automation – University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • CNR – Institute on Atmospheric Pollution (IIA)


  • Santonico, M., Pennazza, G., Amadei, F., Punzo, G. - System For Characterization Of Pure And Ultrapure Water; EP3001193 (A1)
  • Pennazza, G., Santonico, M., Zompanti, A., Dachà, M., D'amico, A. - Device For Sampling Food Products; EP2962098 (A1)
  • Pennazza, G., Santonico, M., Antonelli Incalzi, R., D'amico, A., Petriaggi, M. - Auxiliary device for collection and sampling of exhaled air; EP2641537 (A1)


The ELSE Laboratory is located on the -1 floor of the PRABB Building of theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma. Prototyping of electronic devices and calibration of sensors takes place in the laboratory. Inside there are the instruments of interest for the electronic characterization of the devices (oscilloscopes, signal generators and benchtop power supplies, CAD electronic prototyping software, a chemical hood equipped with a chemical sensor calibration system).