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of Bio-inspired, Bionic, Nano, Meta
Materials & Mechanics
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Nicola Pugno

Professor of Solid and Structural Mechanics at the University of Trento;
Professor of Materials Science at the Queen Mary University of London (part-time);
Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford.

Family photo Photo

Address: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Meccanica
Università di Trento, via Mesiano, 77 I-38123 Trento (Italia)
Office location: III piano, Stanza 328
Tel: +39 0461 282525
Mob: +39 338 6275625
Fax: +39 0461 282599
E-mail: nicola.pugno@unitn.it
Skype: nicola.pugno


Full list of publications

  1. A. Carpinteri, N. Pugno. Are the scaling laws on strength of solids related to mechanics or to geometry?, NATURE MATERIALS (2005), 4, 421-423.
  2. S.W. Cranford, A. Tarakanova, N. Pugno, M.J. Buehler. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs, NATURE (2012), 482, 72-78. Cover Story and 18 pages of Supplementary Information, DOI 10.1038/nature10739.
  3. P. H. Tan, W. P. Han, W. J. Zhao, Z. H. Wu, K. Chang, H. Wang, Y. F. Wang, N. Bonini, N. Marzari, N. Pugno, G. Savini, A. Lombardo, A. C. Ferrari. The shear mode of multi-layer graphene, NATURE MATERIALS (2012), 11, 294-300.
  4. J. Zang, Q. Wang, Q. Tu, S. Ryu, N. Pugno, M. Buehler, X. Zhao. Multifunctionality and control of the crumpling and unfolding of large-area graphene, NATURE MATERIALS (2013), 12, 321-325.
  5. S. Lin, S. Ryu, O. Tokareva, G. Gronau, M.M. Jakobsen, W. Huang, D.J. Rizzo, D. Li, C. Staii, N. Pugno, J.Y. Wong, D.L. Kaplan, M.J. Buehler. Predictive modelling-based design and experiments for synthesis and spinning of bioinspired silk fibres. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2015) 6, 6892.
  6. R. Meija, S. Signetti, A. Schuchardt, K. Meurisch, D. Smazna, M. Mecklenburg, K. Schulte, D. Erts, O. Lupan, B. Fiedler, Y.K. Mishra, R. Adelung, N. Pugno. Nanomechanics of individual aerographite tetrapods. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2017), 8, 14982.
  7. G. Nardone, J.O.-De La Cruz, J. Vrbsky, C. Martini, J. Pribyl, P. Skládal, M. Pešl, G. Caluori, S. Pagliari, F. Martino, Z. Maceckova, M. Hajduch, A. Sanz-Garcia, N. Pugno, G.B. Stokin, G. Forte. YAP regulates cell mechanics by controlling focal adhesion assembly. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2017), 8, 15321.
  8. F. Schütt, S. Signetti, H. Krüger, S. Röder, D. Smazna, S. Kaps, S.N. Gorb, Y.K. Mishra, N. Pugno, R. Adelung. Hierarchical self-entangled carbon nanotube tube networks. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2017), 8, 1215.
  9. I. Polishchuk, A.A. Bracha, L. Bloch, D. Levy, S. Kozachkevich, Y. Etinger-Geller, Y. Kauffmann, M. Burghammer, C. Giacobbe, J. Villanova, G. Hendler, C.-Y. Sun, A.J. Giuffre, M.A. Marcus, L. Kundanati, P. Zaslansky, N. Pugno, P.U.P.A. Gilbert, A. Katsman, B. Pokroy. Coherently aligned nanoparticles with a biogenic single crystal: A biological prestressing strategy. SCIENCE (2017), 358, 1294-1298.
  10. S. Elsharkawy, M. Al-Jawad, M.F. Pantano, E. Tejeda-Montes, K. Mehta, H. Jama, S. Agarwal, K. Shuturminska1, A. Rice, N.V. Tarakina, R.M. Wilson, A.J. Bushby, M. Alonso, J.C. Rodriguez-Cabello, E. Barbieri, A. del Río Hernández, M.M. Stevens, N. Pugno, P. Anderson, A. Mata. Protein disorder-order interplay to guide the growth of hierarchical mineralized structures. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2018), 9, 2145.
  11. D.G. Purdie, N. Pugno, T. Taniguchi, K. Watanabe, A.C. Ferrari, A. Lombardo. Cleaning interfaces in layered materials heterostructures. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2018), 9, 5387.
  12. Y. Wu, B. O. Okesola, J. Xu, I. Korotkin, A. Berardo, I. Corridori, F. L. Pellerej di Brocchetti, J. Kanczler, J. Feng, W. Li, Y. Shi, V. Farafonov, Y. Wang, R. F. Thompson, M. Titirici, D. Nerukh, S. Karabasov, R. O. C. Oreffo, J. C. Rodriguez-Cabello, G. Vozzi, H. S. Azevedo, N. Pugno, W. Wang, A. Mata.

    Disordered protein-graphene oxide co-assembly and supramolecular biofabrication of functional fluidic devices.

    Nature Communications (2020), 11, 1182

  13. F. Schütt, M. Zapf, S. Signetti, J. Strobel, H. Krüger, R. Röder, J. Carstensen, N. Wolff, J. Marx, T. Carey, M. Schweichel, M. Terasa, L. Siebert, H. Hong, S. Kaps, B. Fiedler, Y. K. Mishra, Z. Lee, N. Pugno, L. Kienle, A. C. Ferrari, F. Torrisi, C. Ronning, R. Adelung.

    Conversionless efficient and broadband laser light diffusers for high brightness illumination applications.

    Nature communications (2020), 11, 1437

Copertina Nature   


Frontiers in Materials: Special Issues

Recent past and future invited lectures




  • Prof. Pugno talk at the Solvay Library for the celebration of the 5000th ERC Grantee, 17 June 2015, Bruxelles, Belgium.


Curriculum vitae

Research topics

  1. Bio-inspired hierarchical super nanomaterials (e.g. self-healing)
  2. Super-strong graphene, nanotubes and related bundles and composites (e.g. flaw tolerant)
  3. Smart adhesion of insects, spiders and geckos and related gecko-inspired nanostructured surfaces (e.g. peeling theories)
  4. Self-cleaning & anti-adhesive super-hydrophobic leaves and related lotus-inspired nanostructured surfaces (e.g. anti-ice)
  5. Spider-silk and web and related spider-inspired super-tough materials and structures (e.g. anti-catastrophes)
  6. Design and fabrication of Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (e.g. nanotubes or graphene based)
  7. Hierarchical fibre bundle -or lattice spring- models, ropes, tissues and cellular solids (e.g. role of hierarchy)
  8. Graphene nanoscrolls and related systems (e.g. nanomotors)
  9. Nanomedicine: tumor cellular growth, nanovector therapeutics, scaffolds for the regenerative medicine (e.g. tumor cell dynamic resonances)
  10. Nanoindentation and related size- and shape-effects (e.g. universal scaling laws on hardness)
  11. Quantized Fracture Mechanics, in quasi-static, dynamic and fatigue regimes (e.g. role of defects in graphene)
  12. Nanoscale Weibull & Fractal Statistics and related size-effects on material strength (e.g. nanotubes statistics)
  13. Multiscale fragmentation under impact and explosions and structural dynamics (e.g. universal scaling laws on energy dissipation)
  14. Nanotribology (e.g. of graphene, biological or hierarchical surfaces)
  15. Bionicomposites (e.g. bionic silk spun by spiders fed with nanomaterials)
  16. Metamaterials (e.g. seismic shielding)

Adjunct Scientists




(Responsible of
the animals)


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