Main interests of biomaterials research division are:
design, development and characterization of 2D nanocomposite dense films and 3D nanocomposites porous scaffolds, based on biodegradable polymer matrix and organic/inorganic nanostructures (nanohydroxyapatite, carbon nanotubes, silver nanoparticle, etc.), to modulate specific properties: osteoconductivity, electrical and mechanical properties.
study and characterization of polymer and nanocomposite plasma surface treatments for tissue engineering applications.
nanotopography amorphous carbon deposition in order to evaluate the effect of pattern dimension and geometry on adhesion, proliferation, alignment and differentiation of human stem cells.
design, development and characterization of new antibacterial hybrid materials with specific surface properties.
development of micro-nano polymeric particle, nanoshells, micelles for diagnosis and drug delivery systems.
Mechanical, structural, physical and finite element analysis of fiber reinforced posts .
Mechanical, structural, physical and finite element analysis of teeth-post system.
Characterization, functionalization and pH cycling evaluation of dental cement.
The structure of this laboratory permits the preparation and analysis of samples for bio-engineering applications. The equipment available includes the following:
waterproof Glove box (3rd class biological hood) for the manipulation and preparation of both inorganic and organic, organometallic and biochemical compounds;
tabletop centrifuge for biological, microbiological and biochemical research;
tabletop measurer pH/mV/temperature, a pH-meter which includes 3 points autocalibration, manual/automatic temperature compensation, adjustable resolution of 0,0001-0,01-0,1pH, an internal timer and a RS-232 serial connection for an interfacing printer or computer.
Incubator EN 400 P, Nüve, to study the degradation kinetic of biodegradable polymer film and scaffold
Critical Point Drier (CPD), EMITECH K850, for biological sample preparation for FESEM analysis
GREEN MATERIALS AND RE-VALORIZATION OF WASTES
The research activity related to the field of biomaterials is also focused on the use of material systems derived from renewable sources with low environmental impact as reinforcements phases in the production of composite and nanocomposite formulations with potential applications in the packaging industry, food-active and/or intelligent films, or in agriculture.
The re-valorization of natural materials such as natural fibers, agro-food and/or forestry wastes (starch, keratin, lignin, cellulosic structures, etc.) used as reinforcement phases or used as starting materials for the extraction of high performance structures to be applied in biodegradable matrices for different sectors, represents a first key point of this research topic. The use of natural fibers, the extraction of cellulose nanocrystals (highly crystalline nanostructures, with high mechanical properties, high aspect ratio and low density) and their combination with natural active agents (antibacterial and/or antioxidants) inside biodegradable polymer matrices, represents an innovative and attractive strategy of this research line.
The idea is to provide biodegradable, eco-efficient and ready-to-market food packaging solutions, with direct benefits for both the environment and for consumers in terms of quality and food safety.