Institute of biomolecular chemistry (ICB)


Together with a bio-fermentation service and a library service, ICB offers to external collaborators and industry two bioanalytical services and a biomolecular database:

1. NMR Service: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Instruments available in Naples (Pozzuoli) and corresponding offered services:
300, 400 MHz (Brucker) for chemical structure analysis of small organic molecules of synthetic or natural origin
600 MHz (Bruker) with cryo-probe, for metabolomics studies (Motta A, Paris D, Melck D. Monitoring real-time metabolism of living cells by fast two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. Anal Chem. 2010, 15; 2405-2411)

Instruments available in Sassari and corresponding offered services:
400 MHz (Varian Mercury plus) for chemical structure analysis of small organic molecules of synthetic or natural origin
600 MHz (Bruker Avance II) with HRMAS probe (for tissues or semi-sold materials), for metabolomics studies (Solinas, Chessa, Culeddu et al. NMR-based metabolomic study of type 1 diabetes. Metabolomics. 2012, 8, 1162-1169)

Instruments available in Catania and corresponding offered services:
400 MHz (Bruker), for chemical structure analysis of small organic molecules of synthetic or natural origin; equipped with multinuclear BBI probe or Dual probe or HRMAS for gel analysis and used also for metabolomics studies.

Instruments available in Padua and corresponding offered services:
400 MHz (Bruker Avance II HD) chemical structure analysis of small organic molecules of synthetic or natural origin
600 MHz (Bruker Avance), equipped for studies of proteins and for metabolomics studies.

Personnel in charge of the services and instrumentation:
Andrea Motta (Naples): phone: +39-081-8675228; email:
Vincenzo Zambrano & Nicola Culeddu (Sassari): phone: +39-0792841210 Study, Lab NMR +39- 0792841233; email:,
Concetta Rocco (Catania): phone: +39-095-7338339; email:
Stefano Mammi (Padua): phone: +39-049-8275293; email:

2. LC-MS and GC-MS Service:

Instruments available in Naples (Pozzuoli):
LC-MS/MS: HPLC Alliance 2695 (Waters), with PDA 2996 UV detector (Waters) / QToF micro analyser (Waters) and ESI and APCI sources;
LC-MS/MS: UPLC Acquity (Waters), with an API3200 triple quadrupole analyser (ABI SCIEX) and with con ESI and APCI sources;
LC-HRMS/MS: UHPLC Infinity 1290 (Agilent), with Q-Exactive analyser (quadrupole-orbitrap hybrid, Thermo) with ESI source (140 000 FWHM resolution at m/z 200).
LC-APCI-MS (Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan) with HPLC (LC-10ADVP) coupled to a single quadrupole MS (LCMS-2020, Shimadzu) through APCI interface for the analysis of small MW molecules with high sensitivity
LC-MS-IT-TOF (Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan), in which APCI ionization is coupled to ion trap (IT) ion concentration and time-of-flight analysis, thereby ensuring high mass resolution (10,000 at 1000 m/z) and sensitivity
Offered Services:
-High accuracy mass determination of small organic molecole by means of ESI/MS/MS
-Quantitative analysis of sphingosine-1-phosphate in biological matrices by means of UPLC-MRM
-Quantitative analysis of glycerophosphoinositols (GroPIns) in biological matrices by means of UPLC-MRM
-Profiling of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related lipids in biological matrices
-Analysis of phospholipids, diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols
-Analysis of prostaglandins in biological matrices
- Analysis of endocannabinoids oxidation metabolites in biological matrices
-Development of new methods for the extraction, identification and quantification of new bioactive lipids in biological matrices

Personnel in charge of services (Naples):
Adele Cutignano (phone: +39-081-8675313; email:
Personnel in charge of the instruments (Naples)
Adele Cutignano & Fabiana Piscitelli (phone: +39-081-8675193; email:

Instruments available in Sassari:
LC-HRMS/MS: HPLC 1200 Series (Agilent) with Q Exactive(TM) Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer (Thermoscientific)
LC-MS: HPLC 1100 Series - MSD SL (Agilent)
GC- MS/MS: Polaris Q Ion Trap (Thermoscientific)
GC-MS: 5977 E (Agilent)

Offered Services:
1) Validation of analytical methods using LC-MS e GS-MS for the identification and quantification of bioactive molecole in complex matrices
Pharmacokinetic studies on biological matrices
Measurement of mycotoxins
Measurement of peptides (GE- B5, Bradykinin, Angiotensin II etc) in CSF and plasma
Measurement of "synthetic drugs" in urine and plasma
2) Phytochemical and nutraceutic studies on endemic plants, fruit and vegetable matrices:
Isolation, and purification of bioactive substances
Quantitative analysis of secondary metabolites
Quantitative and qualitative analysis of essential oils from endemic plants typical of the mediterranean area
3) Controls on products of organic synthesis:
Development of analytical methods for the chromatographic separation and characterization of complex misture
Structure determination of organic molecules
Exact mass determination
Quantitative and qualitative analysis of impurities

Personnel in charge of services (Sassari):
Emanuela Azara (phone: +39- 079-2841215/235; email:
Personnel in charge of the instruments (Sassari):
Emanuela Azara e Barbara Sechi (phone: +39-079-2841208 email:

Instruments available in Catania:

Offered services:
- Analysis of volatile compounds, pure or in mixtures;
- Analysis of food-derived matrices following chemical derivatization;
- Analysis of the aromatic component of food-derived matrices by means of SPME e Static HS;
- Analysis of volatile chiral compounds.

Personnel in charge of the instruments (Catania):
Edoardo Napoli (phone: +39-095-73383:
Tonia Strano (phone: +39- 095-7338351; email:

3. StOrMoDB Service: Structurally Oriented Molecular Data Base

StOrMoDB is a database featuring information on molecules discovered, synthesized, studied or characterized at ICB-CNR. It can store different types of data, ranging from simple experimental or predicted molecular properties, to NMR or mass spectra, chromatographic data, functional assays, synthetic schemes, purification protocols and even, for natural products, geographical origin and localization of the molecules in the related organisms.
The final version of the database will be oriented to the characterization of structure-activity relationships. It will implement information on experimental or predicted three-dimensional structures of the featured molecules and on their possible interactions with biologically- or pharmacologically-relevant target proteins.
Public access to StOrMoDB allows searching, displaying and downloading of data on selected molecules.
Registration, needed to contribute new molecules or data, can be requested following the instructions provided on the site. To edit or add data on already-published molecules the user must be accepted in the workgroup used by the owner of the molecule during the data input.
Access to external users will also be possible for a didactically-oriented version of StOrMoELN, an Electronic Lab Notebook application closely related to the database. This access will be allowed to schools, universities, teachers and researchers involved in official collaborations and projects with ICB-CNR.
Website address:
Contacts: Dr. Pietro Amodeo- email:

4. Bio-Fermentation Service

Branch of Naples

Equipment list
N.2 Autoclaves for sterilization of culture media;
N.3 Fermenter, 100 liters each, of glass suitable for the growth of extremophilic biomass;
N.1 70-liter fermenter with computer control;
N.2 1-liter fermenter and up to a maximum of 3 liters with the possibility to measure some parameters;
N.2 HPLC of which one is equipped with the system of revelation PAD;
N.1 System Pharmacia for the purification of molecules in the medium and high molecular weight;
N.10 Stoves for the growth of microorganisms;
N.2 Shakers air for growth of microorganisms up to 50 °C;
No. 1 in continuous centrifuge for recovery of biomass;
No. 1 light microscope equipped for phase contrast microscopy for enlargements up to 1000x with camera;
N.1 Stereo-microscope;
N.1 Sterile camera for the manipulation of micro-organisms.

Services offered:
- Preparation of biomass of aerobic prokaryotes conventional and not with the growth curves and calculation of doubling time;
- Specific growths on selective media for the induction of primary and secondary metabolites and the improvement of their expression;
- Sampling times growth objectives;
- Monitoring of some enzymatic activities at predetermined times and / or final time.
Samples are provided as biomass fresh, frozen, and lyophilized. The service can also provide the partial purified extra and intracellular metabolite required. The service ensures the maintenance of the strains included in the service or in the possession of the user.
Scientific coordinator: Barbara Nicolaus (
Technical Manager: Ida Romano (phone: +39-081 8675245/5192/5190; email: