Anna Cleta Croce
Anna Cleta Croce
research area(s):
Course: Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Pavia
Graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Pavia (1981); PhD in Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, University of Pavia (1983)
Operating in scientific research since 1982, with a permanent position from 1987 at the “Centro di Studio per l’Istochimica”, now “Histochemistry and Cytometry Laboratory” of the “Institute of Molecular Genetics - IGM”, National Research Council, in Pavia.

Professional Societies
Italian and European Society for Photobiology, Optical Society of America (OSA), American Society for Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (ASLMS- Fellow status from 2004).

International Scientific Acknowledgments
Papers: “Croce A.C. et al Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 3, 920-926, 2004” among the papers featured and highlighted in “Chemical science”, a RSC’s publication (Editorial: Happy New Year from Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences”, Photochem.Photobiol. Sci., pg 4, 175, 2005); “Croce A.C., et al., Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 4, 583-590, 2005” included in the RSC’s Chemical Biology Virtual Journal (,
The research activity on Optical biopsy in transplantation was highlighted on “Biophotonics International”, Vol 12, October 2005 issue, a Journal dealing with novelties and advances in the optical spectroscopic techniques in the biotechnological and biomedical fields.
Expert on the matter: invited to comment the role of autofluorescence spectroscopy for the characterization of the metabolic state of cell populations (S. Batten, Chemical Technology, issue 5, 2006) .

Reviewer activity for National and International Journals: Photochemistry and Photobiology; Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences; European Journal of Histochemistry; Biopolymers; Tumori, Applied Optics; Journal of Biophotonics; Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry; Analyst.

Research Projects: responsible for the “Fluorescence parameters in cytochemical analysis”, at the ex “Centro di Studio per l’Istochimica”, and of the OU in the sub-project “Imaging and multispectral natural fluorescence microscopy”, within the CNR Project ”Biotechnology”. Cooperating for CNR Special Projects: “Human Genome”, “Bio-technology and Bioinstrumentation”, “ElectroOptical Technologies”, “Cultural Belongings” “Biotechnology”, and for PRIN Projects in the Medicine and Biological Science areas as member of the OU of the Animal Biology Department of the University of Pavia.

Research themes:
- Biophysical characterization of fluorescent dyes and biomolecules (induced fluorescence and natural / autofluorescence) for cytochemical and histochemical research and application.
- Interaction light-biological substrates (cells and tissues under normal and altered conditions) for the development and application of spectrofluorometric techniques (conventional or via fiber optic probe in the basic research and in the set-up of diagnostic procedures in biomedicine (optical biopsy).
- Interaction between photosensitizer molecules and cells and subcellular structures, in cultured cell models.

The scientific activity is documented by 80 papers and book chapters, more than 200 contributions to scientific national and international meetings, and by 2 Italian patents and 1 foreign -USA_ patent . Among the papers published on ISI Journals, 25 have been cited 10 and more times; H index = 16 (ISI Web of Knowledge).
AUTOFLUORESCENCE OPTICAL BIOPSY. Autofluorescence AF) is an intrinsic diagnostic parameter due to the intratissue presence of endogenous fluorophores acting as biomarkers. Under suitable conditions of excitation light. the AF emission properties depend on nature, amount, physical-chemical state, intratissue distribution and microenvironment of endogenous fluorophores, and on the optical of the tissues (reflection; absorption, scatter), in close dependence on the metabolic and morphofunctional state of biological substrates. On these basis, AF optical biopsy can provide information in real time on the physiological state, functional changes of pathologcal alterations of tissues and organs, not requiring removal of tissue samples and without the perturbation caused by the administration of exogenous markers. AF optical biopsy is thus an innovative procedure receiving increasing attention at international level, as a non invasive or minimally invasive diagnostic approach based on the light-matter interaction.
In this field, experience has been acquired on the AF analysis of cells and tissues, mainly as to diagnosis in oncology and the monitoring of organs functionality. Studies are performed on hepatic tissue, as to the monitoring of the redox state and of the organ functionality under normal and alterated conditions (transplantation phases, disorders and metabolic alterations), based on the characterization of well assessed endogenous fluorophores (i.e. NAD(P)H, flavins, vitamin A, collagen) and endogeous fluorophores currently under study (I.e. biliary pigments -biliverdin, bilirubin, porphyrins, cytocheratins, phospholipids, and development of spectral fitting analysis of the whole AF signal for their evaluation similarly to an in situ biochemical analysis. The activity is performed by using spectrofluorimetric, microspectrofluorimetric, microscopical and conventional and fluorescence image analysis techniques
1) CROCE A.C., SANTAMARIA G., DE SIMONE U., LUCCHINI F., FREITAS I., BOTTIROLI G. Naturally-occurring porphyrins in a spontaneous-tumour bearing mouse model. Photochem Photobiol Sci., 1189-1195, 10, 2011.
2) CROCE A.C., FASANI E., BOTTONE M.G., DE SIMONE U., SANTIN G., PELLICCIARI C., BOTTIROLI G. Hypocrellin-B acetate as a fluorogenic substrate for enzyme-assisted cell photosensitization. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 10, 1783-1790, 2011.
3) CROCE A.C., DE SIMONE U., FREITAS I., BONCOMPAGNI E., NERI D., CILLO U., BOTTIROLI G. Human liver autofluorescence: an intrinsic tissue parameter discriminating normal and diseased conditions. Lasers Surg. Med., 371-378, 42, 2010.
4) BOTTIROLI G., CROCE A.C. Optical biopsy: a promising approach for real-time liver steatosis grading. Liver Int., 29, 321-322, 2009. Invited
5) CROCE AC, DE SIMONE U, VAIRETTI M, FERRIGNO A, BONCOMPAGNI E, FREITAS I, BOTTIROLI G. Liver autofluorescence properties in animal model under altered nutritional conditions. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 7, 1046-1053, 2008.
6) BOTTIROLI G., CROCE A.C. Autofluorescence spectroscopy for diagnosis: from cells to tissues. Energy for Health, 2, 22-31, 2008. Invited
7) CROCE A.C., DE SIMONE U., VAIRETTI M., FERRIGNO A., BOTTIROLI G. Autofluorescence properties of rat liver under hyper metabolic conditions. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 6, 1202-1209, 2007.
8) CROCE A.C., FERRIGNO A., VAIRETTI M., BERTONE R., FREITAS I., BOTTIROLI G. - Autofluorescence spectroscopy of rat liver during experimental transplantation procedure. An approach for hepatic metabolism assessment. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 4, 583-590, 2005.
9) CROCE A.C., FERRIGNO A., VAIRETTI M., BERTONE R., FREITAS I., BOTTIROLI G. - Autofluorescence properties of isolated rat hepatocytes under different metabolic conditions. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 3, 920-926, 2004.
10) CROCE A.C., BOTTIROLI G., SUPINO R., FAVINI E., ZUCO V., ZUNINO F. - Subcellular localization of the camptothecin analogues, topotecan and gimatecan. Biochem. Pharmacol. 67, 1035-1045, 2004.
11) BOTTIROLI G., CROCE A.C. - The autofluorescence spectroscopy of cells and tissue as a tool for biomedical diagnosis. In: Comprehensive Series in Photosciences, Lasers And Current Optical Techniques In Biology. Lasers and Current Optical Techniques in Biology. Ed.s: Giuseppe Palumbo and Riccardo Pratesi. RSC, Books and Databases, Cambridge. Vol. 4 , pp. 189-210, 2004. Invited.
12) CROCE A.C., FIORANI S., LOCATELLI D., NANO R., CERONI M., TANCIONI F., GIOMBELLI E., BENERICETTI E., BOTTIROLI G. -Diagnostic potential of autofluorescence for an assisted intraoperative delineation of glioblastoma resection margins. Photochem. Photobiol., 77, 309-318, 2003.
13) CROCE A.C., SUPINO R., LANZA K.S., LOCATELLI D., BAGLIONI P., BOTTIROLI G. - Photosensitizer accumulation in spontaneous multidrug resistant cells: a comparative study with Rhodamine 123, Rose Bengal acetate and Photofrin. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 1, 71-78, 2002.
14) CROCE A.C., SPANO A., LOCATELLI D., BARNI S., SCIOLA L., BOTTIROLI G. - Dependence of fibroblast autofluorescence properties on normal and transformed conditions. Role of the metabolic activity. Photochem. Photobiol., 69, 364-375, 1999.
15) BOTTIROLI G., CROCE A.C., LOCATELLI D., MARCHESINI R., PIGNOLI E., TOMATIS S., CUZZONI C., DI PALMA S., DAL FANTE M., SPINELLI P. - Natural fluorescence of normal and neoplastic human colon: a comphrensive "ex vivo" study. Lasers Surg. Med., 16, 48-60, 1995.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.