I graduated in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II in 2015. Then, I optioned my master in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in Nanotechnology at the Polytechnic of Turin in 2018. For my master thesis I spent six months in Pisa, at the Italian Institute of Technology. At the beginning of 2020 I started my PhD in material science among the group “Nanostructured Functional Materials”, leaded by Dr. Daniel Ruiz. My research is focused on the use of polymeric particles for bio-applications, in particular on their interaction with the immune system. I am working on the realization of bacterial-mimicking polymeric particles for the development of a new class of vaccines. I am involved as well in the development of nanostructured coordination polymers as potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease. I am acquiring several expertise, from the synthesis to the characterization of particles.
Polymeric nanoparticles for diseases treatments
I am involved in two main projects. Both are based on the realization of nano- or micro-particles for diseases treatment. In particular, on one side, I am working on the fabrication and characterization of nanostructured coordination polymer nanoparticles (NCPs), mainly made by iron and dopamine. These particles find application as possible treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The dopamine replacement represents the standard therapy for PD patients; however it still presents different drawbacks and limitation. For this, the use of nanotechnology offers unique advantages, in terms of the delivery and release of the active substance, like dopamine, and high loading efficiency.
My work is focused on the synthesis and characterization of NCPs, and their study in vitro. On the other hand I am committed to work on a BIST Ignite Project, focused on the development of a new class of vaccine. It is estimated that in 30 years antibiotic resistance is going to cause 12 million deaths all over the word, making useless the majority of antibiotics. For this, it is urging to find a different approach. Vaccination would represent a promising alternative. However, most of the vaccines used nowadays, are still not effective, and new ones failed in clinical trials.
My project is based on a biomimetic approach; the idea is to mimic the bacterial size, shape and surface in order to generate a specific immune response. We have selected polymeric materials for particles fabrication. In particular, our interest is to find a possible vaccine for the Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic, ubiquitous, and Gram-negative bacterium responsible for serious illnesses, and one of the most frequent causative agents of nosocomial infections. Its natural multi-drug resistance behavior made this bacterium almost impossible to be treated.