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Contacts:
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Supervisor(s):
Prof. Gaetano Angelici

Title of the PhD project:
Design and sustainable synthesis of new green materials for biomedical applications

Abstract of the PhD project:
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of the main components of human connective tissues. Its physico-chemical properties (biocompatibility, biodegradability, viscoelasticity) are beneficial for developing soft-materials, which are used in several medical fields, such as ophthalmology, aesthetic medicine, arthrology, as drug delivery. It is known that small changes at molecular level can have a great impact on the macroscopic properties of materials; therefore, modification of hyaluronic acid through cross-linking reactions, with different cross-linkers, or derivatization with biopolymers, oligomers or biomolecules (peptides, peptidomimetics, etc) can lead to the synthesis of different materials, with new properties. The current PON project will run on two parallel lines, one more fundamental and the other one more applicative. In the first one, in collaboration with the Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand, we will study the synthesis and conformational analysis (NMR, CD, and theoretical calculations) of oligomers of natural and unnatural molecules, which could be used to derivatize HA. The project's applicative side will contribute to developing sustainable synthesis of HA membranes through cross-linking reactions. HA will be derivatized covalently with different cross-linkers (PEG, collagen, peptides, etc) and with the oligomers synthesized in the previous part of the project. A careful chemical characterization of the synthesized materials will be performed at Matex Lab Switzerland SA (Geneva), while during another period at UB-Care (Pavia, Italy) the research will be focused on the synthesis of cross-linkers with different length, the development of formulation with HA and the study of mechanical and rheological properties, and biological activity and toxicity.

Publications:
• G. Alonci, A. Boussard, M. Savona, F. Cordella, G. Angelici, R. Mocchi, S. Sommatis, D. Monticelli, “A LC-QTOF Method for the Determination of PEGDE Residues in Dermal Fillers”, Gels 2023, 9, 409

Oral communications at conferences:
• F. Cordella, G. Angelici, F. Bellina, A. Cuzzola, N. Dragone, M. Lessi, D. Vergara, “A structure-activity relation study of amino acid derivatives of pterostilbene analogues”, flash presentation, Chemistry for the future International Conference, Pisa, 2021
• F. Cordella, G. Angelici, “A proline mimetic for the design of new stable secondary structures”, Peptoid Symposium, Virtual Symposium, 2021
• F. Cordella, G. Angelici, G. Pescitelli, G. Alonci, “A proline mimetic for the synthesis of new stable secondary structure for biomedical applications”, flash presentation, CINMPIS, Pisa, 2023

Poster communications at conferences:
• F. Modugno, J.  La Nasa, F. Cordella, A. Ferretti, M. P. Colombini, I. Degano, “Selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) in heritage science: non-invasive VOCs profiling of natural and synthetic resins”, The plastics heritage congress 2019: History, limits and Possibilities, Lisbona, 2019
• F. Cordella, G. Angelici, F. Bellina, A. Cuzzola, N. Dragone, M. Lessi, D. Vergara, “A structure-activity relation study of amino acid derivatives of pterostilbene analogues”, Chemistry for the Future International Conference, Pisa, 202f
• F. Cordella, G. Alonci, G. Angelici, R. Mocchi, N. Zerbinati, “De novo design and sustainable synthesis of new green materials based on cross-linked hyaluronic acid for surgical applications”, Chemistry for the Future International Conference, Pisa, 2022
• F. Cordella, G. Alonci, C. Taillefumier, S. Faure, E. Martinelli, G. Pescitelli, G. Angelici, “(S)-(-)-indoline-2-carboxylic acid: A reactivity study for the synthesis of oligomers with new secondary structures”, Chemistry for the Future International Conference, Pisa, 2023
• F. Cordella, G. Alonci, G. Pescitelli, G. Angelici, “A proline mimetic for the synthesis of new stable secondary structures for biomedical application”, European Symposium of Organic Chemistry 2023 (ESOC2023), Gand, Belgio

Other achievements:
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DCCI|UNIPI
Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
DSCM
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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