Mediterranean Center for Human Advanced Biotechnologies Med Chab

Palermo, Italy

Mediterranean Center for Human Advanced Biotechnologies Med Chab

Palermo, Italy
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Fiorica C.,University of Palermo | Mauro N.,University of Palermo | Pitarresi G.,University of Palermo | Scialabba C.,University of Palermo | And 3 more authors.
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2017

Here, we reported the production of hyaluronic acid/polyaspartamide-based double-network nanogels for the potential treatment of colorectal carcinoma. Graphene oxide, thanks to the huge aromatic surface area, allows to easily load high amount of irinotecan (33.0% w/w) and confers to the system hyperthermic properties when irradiated with a near-infrared (NIR) laser beam. We demonstrate that the release of antitumor drug is influenced both by the pH of the external medium and the NIR irradiation process. In vitro biological studies, conducted on human colon cancer cells (HCT 116), revealed that nanogels are uptaken by the cancer cells and, in the presence of the antitumor drug, can produce a synergistic hyperthermic/cytotoxic effect. Finally, 3D experiments demonstrate that it is possible to conduct thermal ablation of solid tumors after the intratumoral administration of nanogels. © 2017 American Chemical Society.


Fiorica C.,University of Palermo | Palumbo F.S.,University of Palermo | Pitarresi G.,University of Palermo | Bongiovi F.,University of Palermo | And 2 more authors.
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2017

In this work we prepared hydrogels based on hyaluronic acid and β-cyclodextrins to sustain the release of both corneal epithelial cells and dexamethasone. This steroid is administered as eye drops several times per day to reduce the risk of rejection in the post operative period after the cornea transplantation and cell release techniques. Hydrogels were produced by crosslinking an amino derivative of hyaluronic acid, with the divinyl sulfone derivative of β-cyclodextrins, this last employed as a crosslinker and solubilizing agent. Drug release studies revealed that dexamethasone containing samples are able to extend the release of this drug for at least five days. Biological studies, conducted with human corneal epithelial cells, showed that it is possible to employ the hydrogels for the temporary seeding of the cells and their potential release onto the cornea. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Fiorica C.,University of Palermo | Palumbo F.S.,University of Palermo | Pitarresi G.,University of Palermo | Giammona G.,University of Palermo | Giammona G.,Mediterranean Center for Human Advanced Biotechnologies Med Chab
Materials Science and Engineering C | Year: 2017

With the aim to produce, by a simple and reproducible technique, porous scaffolds potentially employable for tissue engineering purposes, in this work, we have synthesized a methacrylate (MA) copolymer of α,β-poly(N-2-hydroxyethyl)-DL-aspartamide (PHEA) and polylactic acid (PLA). PHEA-PLA-MA has been dissolved in organic solvent at different concentrations in the presence of NaCl particles with different granulometry, and through UV irradiation and further salt leaching technique, various porous scaffolds have been prepared. Obtained samples have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy and their porosity has been evaluated as well as their degradation profile in aqueous medium in the absence or in the presence of esterase from porcine liver. PHEA-PLA-MA scaffold that has shown homogeneous porosity and the best degradation profile has been further characterized to study its mechanical properties along with its capacity to incorporate and to control the release of dexamethasone. Finally, the ability to allow a three-dimensional culture of bovine articular chondrocytes have been also investigated. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Mauro N.,University of Palermo | Scialabba C.,University of Palermo | Pitarresi G.,University of Palermo | Giammona G.,University of Palermo | Giammona G.,Mediterranean Center for Human Advanced Biotechnologies Med Chab
International Journal of Pharmaceutics | Year: 2017

The physicochemical characteristics of a biomaterial surface highly affect the interaction with living cells. Recently, much attention has been focused on the adhesion properties of functional biomaterials toward cancer cells, since is expected to control metastatic spread of a tumor, which is related to good probability containing the progression of disease burden. Here, we designed an implantable poly(caprolactone)-based electrospun microfiber scaffold, henceforth PCLMF-GO, to simultaneously capture and kill cancer cells by tuning physicochemical features of the hybrid surface through nitrogen plasma activation and hetero-phase graphene oxide (GO) covalent functionalization. The surface immobilization of GO implies enhanced cell adhesion and proliferation, promoting the selective adhesion of cancer cells, even if allowing cancer associated fibroblast (CAFs) capture. We also display that the functionalization with GO, thanks to the high near-infrared (NIR) absorbance, enables the discrete photothermal eradication of the captured cancer cells in situ (≈98%). © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Licciardi M.,University of Palermo | Paolino D.,University of Catanzaro | Mauro N.,University of Palermo | Cosco D.,University of Catanzaro | And 6 more authors.
ChemMedChem | Year: 2016

The biopharmaceutical properties of supramolecular vesicular aggregates (SVAs) were characterized with regard to their physicochemical features and compared with cationic liposomes (CLs). Neutral and cationic SVAs were synthesized using two different copolymers of poly(aspartyl hydrazide) by thin-layer evaporation and extrusion techniques. Both copolymers were self-assembled in pre-formulated liposomes and formed neutral and cationic SVAs. Gemcitabine hydrochloride (GEM) was used as an anticancer drug and loaded by a pH gradient remote loading procedure, which significantly increased drug loading inside the SVAs. The resulting average size of the SVAs was 100 nm. The anticancer activity of GEM-loaded neutral and cationic SVAs was tested in human alveolar basal epithelial (A549) and colorectal cancer (CaCo-2) cells. GEM-loaded cationic SVAs increased the anticancer activity in A549 and CaCo-2 cells relative to free drug, neutral SVAs, and CLs. In vivo biodistribution in Wistar rats showed that cationic SVAs accumulate at higher concentrations in lung tissue than neutral SVAs and CLs. Cationic SVAs may therefore serve as an innovative future therapy for pulmonary carcinoma. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Mauro N.,University of Palermo | Scialabba C.,University of Palermo | Cavallaro G.,University of Palermo | Licciardi M.,University of Palermo | And 3 more authors.
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2015

Among the relevant properties of graphene derivatives, their ability of acting as an energy-converting device so as to produce heat (i.e., thermoablation and hyperthermia) was more recently taken into account for the treatment of solid tumors. In this pioneering study, for the first time, the in vitro RGO-induced hyperthermia was assessed and combined with the stimuli-sensitive anticancer effect of a biotinylated inulin-doxorubicin conjugate (CJ-PEGBT), hence, getting to a nanosystem endowed with synergic anticancer effects and high specificity. CJ-PEGBT was synthesized by linking pentynoic acid and citraconic acid to inulin. The citraconylamide pendants, used as pH reversible spacer, were exploited to further conjugate doxorubicin, whereas the alkyne moiety was orthogonally functionalized with an azido PEG-biotin derivative by copper(II) catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition. DSC measures, AFM, and UV spectrophotometry were employed to systematically investigate adsorption of CJ-PEGBT onto RGO and its physicochemical stability in aqueous media, demonstrating that a stable π-staked nanosystem can be obtained. In vitro tests using cancer breast cells (MCF-7) showed the ability of the RGO/CJ-PEGBT of efficiently killing cancer cells both via a selective laser beam thermoablation and hyperthermia-triggered chemotherapy. If compared with the nonbiotinylated nanosystem, including virgin RGO and the free conjugate, RGO/CJ-PEGBT is endowed with a smart combination of properties which warrant potential as an anticancer nanomedicine. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


Mauro N.,University of Palermo | Fiorica C.,University of Palermo | Varvara P.,University of Palermo | Di Prima G.,University of Palermo | And 2 more authors.
European Polymer Journal | Year: 2016

Here, for the first time, branched polyaminoacids bearing α-amino acids as side functions, namely PAA-co-AA and PGA-co-AA, are prepared by heterophase ring opening of polysuccinimide (PSI) with l-arginine or glycine in aqueous environment and at controlled pH. The modulation of the pH of the reaction leads to high-molecular-weight copolymers with tunable functionalization and, as consequence, with tailor-made physicochemical properties. Furthermore, a branched polyaminoacid carrying a preformed bioactive peptide (l-trileucine) and l-arginine as side pendants, named PATA-co-AA, was synthesized via a similar pathway thus leading to complex biomimetic materials potentially exploitable in several biomedical fields. Acid-base titrations, circular dichroism studies and spectrofluorimetric analysis show that the physicochemical behavior of this class of bioinspired copolymers can be predicted considering the starting features of the selected building blocks, implying that a careful choice of functional amino acids or peptides provides good chance for obtaining macromolecule libraries with selected properties. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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