Settimio Pacelli

  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department


Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, 2015

M.S. Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, 2011

Research Interests

Settimio Pacelli research interest includes hydrogel design and characterization using natural polymers to obtain scaffolds with tunable physical and chemical properties for sustained drug delivery of proteins and other therapeutics. Similarly, an additional area of interest includes identifying key parameters in biomaterial design for skeletal and bone tissue engineering applications.


Chakraborty A, Pacelli S, Alexander S, Huayamares S, Rosenkrans Z, Vergel F, Wu Y, Chakravorty A, Paul A Nanoparticle-reinforced tough hydrogel as a versatile platform for pharmaceutical drug delivery: Preparation and in vitro characterization. Molecular Pharmaceutics, In press 2022.

Pacelli S, Chakravarti AR, Modaresi S, Subham S, Burkey K, Kurlbaum C, Fang M, Neal CA, Mellott AJ, Chakraborty A, Paul A. Investigation of human adipose-derived stem-cell behavior using cell-instructive polydopamine-coated gelatin–alginate hydrogel. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 2021;109(12):2597-610.

Pacelli S, Di Muzio L, Paolicelli P, Fortunati V, Petralito S, Trilli J, Casadei MA. Dextran-polyethylene glycol cryogels as spongy scaffolds for drug delivery. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2021;166:1292-300.

Acosta FM, Jia UA, Stojkova K, Howland KK, Guda T, Pacelli S, Brey EM, Rathbone CR. Diabetic Conditions Confer Metabolic and Structural Modifications to Tissue-Engineered Skeletal Muscle. Tissue Eng Part A. 2021;27(9-10):549-60.

Pacelli S, Paolicelli P, Petralito S, Subham S, Gilmore D, Varani G, Yang G, Lin D, Casadei MA, Paul A. Investigating the Role of Polydopamine to Modulate Stem Cell Adhesion and Proliferation on Gellan Gum-Based Hydrogels. ACS Applied Bio Materials. 2020;3(2):945-51.

Basu S, Johl R, Pacelli S, Gehrke S, Paul A. Fabricating Tough Interpenetrating Network Cryogels with DNA as the Primary Network for Biomedical Applications. ACS Macro Letters. 2020;9(9):1230-

Acosta FM, Jia UTA, Stojkova K, Pacelli S, Brey EM, Rathbone C. Divergent effects of myogenic differentiation and diabetes on the capacity for muscle precursor cell adipogenic differentiation in a fibrin matrix. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2020;526(1):21-8.

Basu S, Pacelli S, Feng Y, Lu Q, Wang J, Paul A. Harnessing the Noncovalent Interactions of DNA Backbone with 2D Silicate Nanodisks To Fabricate Injectable Therapeutic Hydrogels. ACS Nano. 2018;12(10):9866-80.

Pacelli S, Rampetsreiter K, Modaresi S, Subham S, Chakravarti AR, Lohfeld S, Detamore MS, Paul A. Fabrication of a Double-Cross-Linked Interpenetrating Polymeric Network (IPN) Hydrogel Surface Modified with Polydopamine to Modulate the Osteogenic Differentiation of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2018;10(30):24955-62.

Pacelli S, Paolicelli P, Avitabile M, Varani G, Di Muzio L, Cesa S, Tirillò J, Bartuli C, Nardoni M, Petralito S, Adrover A, Casadei MA. Design of a tunable nanocomposite double network hydrogel based on gellan gum for drug delivery applications. European Polymer Journal. 2018;104:184-93.

Pacelli S, Basu S, Berkland C, Wang J, Paul A. Design of a Cytocompatible Hydrogel Coating to Modulate Properties of Ceramic-Based Scaffolds for Bone Repair. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. 2018;11(3):211-7.

Pacelli S, Basu S, Whitlow J, Chakravarti A, Acosta F, Varshney A, Modaresi S, Berkland C, Paul A. Strategies to develop endogenous stem cell-recruiting bioactive materials for tissue repair and regeneration, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 2017;120:50-70.

Whitlow J, Pacelli S, Paul A. Multifunctional nanodiamonds in regenerative medicine: Recent advances and future directions. Journal of Controlled Release. 2017;261:62-86.

Pacelli S, Acosta F, Chakravarti AR, Samanta SG, Whitlow J, Modaresi S, Ahmed RPH, Rajasingh J, Paul A. Nanodiamond-based injectable hydrogel for sustained growth factor release: Preparation, characterization and in vitro analysis. Acta Biomaterialia. 2017;58:479-91.

Pacelli S, Maloney R, Chakravarti AR, Whitlow J, Basu S, Modaresi S, Gehrke S, Paul A. Controlling Adult Stem Cell Behavior Using Nanodiamond-Reinforced Hydrogel: Implication in Bone Regeneration Therapy. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1):6577.


Hydrogel synthesis, biomaterials, polysaccharides functionalization and characterization, formulation design, skeletal muscle tissue engineering.