Department of Materials


Dr Elisa Mele MSc, PhD

Photo of Dr Elisa Mele


Elisa completed her Masters degree in Physics at the University of Lecce (Italy) in 2003. She obtained the PhD in Innovative Materials and Technologies in 2007 at the Superior Institute of Interdisciplinary Education of the University of Salento (Italy) under the supervision of Prof R. Cingolani, working on nanofabrication strategies for organic optoelectronic devices.

In 2005, Elisa won a Marie Curie fellowship at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), Heraklion (Greece) for developing surfaces with optically switchable wettability. In 2008, she became a Post-doc Research Associate in the group of Prof. D. A. Weitz at the Department of Physics of Harvard University, where she acquired expertise on microfluidic devices for the production of hydrogel micro-particles and for investigating the biophysical properties of normal and diseased renal glomeruli.

During the appointments as Post-doc Research Associate at the National Nanotechnology Laboratory and at the Centre for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies (Lecce, Italy), Elisa worked on microfluidic platforms integrating functional elements for DNA amplification, food safety and for studying the growth and differentiation of human renal stem cells.

From 2012 to 2015, Elisa was Research Group Leader at the Nanophysics Department of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa (Italy), conducting research on biopolymers derived from natural sources, such as plants and marine environment, with application in tissue engineering for skin regeneration and in drug delivery systems. In April 2015, she joined the Department of Materials of Loughborough University as Senior Lecturer in Polymer Science and became a Reader in Biomaterials with the same Department in 2021.



  • Qualification as Researcher in Physical Sciences at the National Research Council (CNR, Italy), 2011
  • PhD in Innovative Materials and Technologies (University of Salento, Italy), 2007
  • MPhys (University of Lecce, Italy), 2003
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2017


Outline of main research interests:

  • Biocompatible and natural polymers for regenerative medicine
  • Nanofibrous wound dressings with antimicrobial activity and enhanced cell proliferation
  • Functional nanocomposites with controlled surface and mechanical properties
  • Microfluidic devices for biological assays and food safety
  • Nanofabrication approaches for polymers 


Current teaching responsibilities:

  • MPA100: Materials and Processing for Designers
  • MPB201: Structures and Properties of Polymers
  • MPB231: Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering
  • MPC231: Biomaterials for Drug Delivery
  • MPP509/609: Advances in Biomaterials
  • MPP506/606: Plastics and Composites Applicationss 


Coordinator of International Mobility (Erasmus) for the Department of Materials, Loughborough University, 2016.

Elected member of the Senate of Loughborough University.



Smith, J.A., Mele, E., Rimington, R.P., Capel, A.J., Lewis, M.P., Silberschmidt, V.V., Li, S. (2019) Polydimethylsiloxane and poly(ether) ether ketone functionally graded composites for biomedical applications. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 93. 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.02.012

Balzamo, G., Willcock, H., Ali, J., Ratcliffe, E., Mele, E. (2018) Bioinspired Poly(vinylidene fluoride) Membranes with Directional Release of Therapeutic Essential Oils. Langmuir, 34(29). 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b01175

Maiorano, G., Mele, E., Frassanito, M.C., Restini, E., Athanassiou, A., Pompa, P.P. (2016) Ultra-efficient, widely tunable gold nanoparticle-based fiducial markers for X-ray imaging. Nanoscale, 8(45). 10.1039/c6nr07021c

Hajiali, H., Summa, M., Russo, D., Armirotti, A., Brunetti, V., Bertorelli, R., Athanassiou, A., Mele, E. (2016) Alginate-lavender nanofibers with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity to effectively promote burn healing. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4(9). 10.1039/c5tb02174j

Guzman-Puyol, S., Heredia-Guerrero, J.A., Ceseracciu, L., Hajiali, H., Canale, C., Scarpellini, A., Cingolani, R., Bayer, I.S., Athanassiou, A., Mele, E. (2016) Low-Cost and Effective Fabrication of Biocompatible Nanofibers from Silk and Cellulose-Rich Materials. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 2(4). 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.5b00500

Mele, E., Heredia-Guerrero, J.A., Bayer, I.S., Ciofani, G., Genchi, G.G., Ceseracciu, L., Davis, A., Papadopoulou, E.L., Barthel, M.J., Marini, L., Ruffilli, R., Athanassiou, A. (2015) Zwitterionic Nanofibers of Super-Glue for Transparent and Biocompatible Multi-Purpose Coatings. Scientific Reports, 5. 10.1038/srep14019

Liakos, I., Rizzello, L., Hajiali, H., Brunetti, V., Carzino, R., Pompa, P.P., Athanassiou, A., Mele, E. (2015) Fibrous wound dressings encapsulating essential oils as natural antimicrobial agents. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 3(8). 10.1039/c4tb01974a