As a material engineer I have learnt how to adapt technological tools which might have been conceived in the first place for a different application at the advantage of a particular biological question of interest. The tremendous versatility and precision achievable by tuning the material chemistry or its final morphology and surface topography allows the investigation of cellular phenomena in an unequivocal manner. My educational training has exposed me to several challenges in the field of Bioengineering. Thanks to the wide diversity of experimental approaches and techniques required by the projects I was involved in, I gained a very hybrid background, spanning from chemical synthesis and cell culture techniques for tumor models, to microfluidics for protein patterning, to tissue engineering.
The main focus of my doctoral studies revolved around the development of a highly adaptable nanoparticulate tool able to exert multiple but very specific biological functions. I conceptualized and fabricated a stimuli-responsive, nanotechnological platform, based on chitosan self-assembled micelles, with the dual aim of targeted drug/protein delivery and intracellular observation.
Currently, I am working with naturally-derived biopolymers, processed in various morphological architectures (films, electrospun nanofibers, coatings, microparticles), in a quest of a more environmentally-friendly wound care management. Naturally-derived materials, biomasses from agro-industrial wastes and even wastes from the textile production can constitute a powerful resource to be exploited in the biomedical fields, thanks to their inherent biocompatibility, bio-resorbability, antioxidant activity and cellular growth support ability.