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Contacts:
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Supervisor(s):
Prof. Federica Chiellini

Title of the PhD project:
Modelling in vitro 3D metastatic and dormant cancer tissues employing additive manufactured polymeric scaffolds.

Abstract of the PhD project:
In the last decades three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems within a polymeric matrix (scaffold) have gained increasing interest in drug discovery and tissue engineering due to their ability in providing a more reliable biological environment for the long-term in vitro maintenance of cell phenotype. Considering the great influence of tumour microenvironment on the development and progression of cancer, 3D culture models have become essential for improving cancer physiology investigations. Aim of the present project is the employment of polymeric scaffolds with defined geometry and various stiffness, as support for the development of in vitro 3D epithelial cancer models. Such systems will be then used to evaluate new cytotoxic metal-based compounds as potential new chemotherapeutics compared to 2D culture models. Moreover, the possibility to adopt such polymeric scaffolds for the development of 3D models of dormant cancer cells in vitro will be also investigated.

Publications:
• D. Rocco, L.K. Batchelor, G. Agonigi, S. Braccini, F. Chiellini, S. Schoch, T. Biver, T. Funaioli, S. Zacchini, L. Biancalana, M. Ruggeri, G. Pampaloni, P.J. Dyson, F. Marchetti. “Anticancer Potential of Diiron Vinyliminium Complexes”. Chemistry., 25(65), 14801-14816 (2019).
• A.M. Piras, A. Fabiano, S. Sartini, Y. Zambito, S. Braccini, F. Chiellini, A.G. Cataldi, F. Bartoli, A. de la Fuente, P.A. Erba. “pH-Responsive Carboxymethylcellulose Nanoparticles for 68Ga-WBC Labeling in PET Imaging”. Polymers., 11(10), 1615 (2019).
• D. Bellucci, S. Braccini, F. Chiellini, P. Balasubramanian, A.R. Boccaccini, V. Cannillo. “Bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics versus hydroxyapatite: Comparison of angiogenic potential and biological responsiveness”. J Biomed Mater Res A., 107(12), 2601-2609 (2019).
• G. Canil, S. Braccini, T. Marzo, L. Marchetti, A. Pratesi, T. Biver, T. Funaioli, F. Chiellini, J.D. Hoeschele, C. Gabbiani. “Photocytotoxic Pt(iv) complexes as prospective anticancer agents”. Dalton Trans., 48(29), 10933-10944 (2019).
• A. Massironi, A. Morelli, L. Grassi, D. Puppi, S. Braccini, G. Maisetta, S. Esin, G. Batoni, C. Della Pina, F. Chiellini. “Ulvan as novel reducing and stabilizing agent from renewable algal biomass: Application to green synthesis of silver nanoparticles”. Carbohydr Polym., 203, 310-321 (2019).

Oral communications at conferences:
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Poster communications at conferences:
• S. Braccini, D. Puppi, G. Pecorini, F. Chiellini. “Cell Response to Polymeric Scaffolds based on Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and Poly(lactide-co-glycolide acid) for Bone Tissue Regeneration”, Innovative Researchers in Pharmaceutical & Environmental Sciences (IRPES2019), November 27, 2019 - Centro congressi “Le Benedettine”, Piazza S. Paolo a Ripa D'Arno 16, - Pisa.
• S. Braccini, D. Puppi, A. Morelli, R. Angeli, G. Pecorini, F. Chiellini. “Cell Response to Polymeric Scaffolds based on Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) prepared by Computer-Aided Wet Spinning Technique”, Chemistry For the Future-CFF2019, July 3-5, 2019 - Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Via Giuseppe Moruzzi 13 – Pisa.
• S. Braccini, A. Morelli, D. Puppi, F. Chiellini. “Cell Response to Polymeric Scaffolds with Tunable Macro-microstructural Features Prepared by Additive Manufacturing”, Milan Polimer Day 2019 (MIPOL2019), March 11-13, 2019 – University of Milan, Via Festa del Perdono 7 – Milan.
• S. Braccini, D. Puppi, G. Canil, D. Rocco, S. Schoch, C. Gabbiani, F. Marchetti, F. Chiellini. “Cell Culture in Biomaterials Science”, Chemistry For the Future-CFF2018, July 4-6, 2018 - Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Via Giuseppe Moruzzi 13 – Pisa.

Other achievements:
Best Poster Award: Innovative Researchers in Pharmaceutical & Environmental Sciences (IRPES2019), November 27, 2019 - Pisa.