The molecular interactions that control cell fate occur at the nanoscale and nanomaterials can be engineered to modulate the biochemical and biophysical signals presented at those lenghtscales in space and time.
We are developing a set of platforms and tools to study the interaction of nanomaterials with subcellular components, in order to engineer functional biointerfaces.
Precision medicine aims to provide tailored treatments through an improved understanding of each individual molecular profile. We are developing a nanotechnology platform for rapid, minimally invasive and reliable molecular profiling of diseases, to overcome current shortcomings that limit the clinical adoption of precision medicine.
Engineering tissues ultimately rely on precisely guiding the fate of cells in vivo to recapitulate architecture and function. The inability to accurately and precisely determine cell fate in vivo is a major hurdle in regenerative medicine.We are developing nanotechnology approaches to precisely control cell behaviour in vivo with high space and time resolution.
Biodegradable Nanoneedles for Localized Delivery of Nanoparticles in Vivo: Exploring the Biointerface
Chiappini et al. ACS Nano 2015.
Dissecting the biointerface over time elucidated the dynamics of cell association and nanoneedle biodegradation, showing rapid interfacing leading to cytosolic payload delivery within less than 30 minutes in vitro. The rapid and simple application of nanoneedles in vivo to the surface of tissues with different architectures invariably resulted in the localized delivery of quantum dots to the superficial cells and their prolonged retention. Read More.
Mapping Local Cytosolic Enzymatic Activity in Human Esophageal Mucosa with Porous Silicon Nanoneedles
Chiappini et al. Advanced Materials 2015.
Porous silicon nanoneedles can map Cathepsin B activity across normal and tumor human esophageal mucosa. Assembling a peptide-based Cathepsin B cleavable sensor over a large array of nanoneedles allows the discrimination of cancer cells from healthy ones in mixed culture. The same sensor applied to tissue can map Cathepsin B activity with high resolution across the tumor margin area of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Read More.
Biodegradable silicon nanoneedles delivering nucleic acids intracellularly induce localized in vivo neovascularization
Chiappini et al. Nature Materials 2015
Porous silicon nanoneedles efficiently puncture cell monolayers, delivering biomolecules into cells both in vitro and in vivo. Read More.