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Textile Technology

Our research efforts in this field are directed to the development of innovative textiles, which can find application not only in the biomedical field, but also in other industrial contexts, where high-tech textiles are of interest. In particular, our laboratory has developed silver based antibacterial textiles and superabsorbent textile materials.

Involved People:
A. Sannino
M. Pollini
M. Russo
A. Maffezzoli

References...

Hydrogels from Natural and Synthetic Polymers

Hydrogels are materials based on crosslinked hydrophilic polymer networks, that are able to swell in water or aqueous media, retaining the liquid phase. Thus hydrogels are mainly made up of water, in some cases up to 99% of their weight, depending on the particular hydrophilic polymer used and on the degree of crosslinking of the polymer network. Their high biocompatibility and their mechanical properties, similar to those of soft tissues, make them suitable for use in several biomedical applications. In our laboratory we focus on the development of tissue mimicking phantoms, bulking agents and scaffolds for soft tissue engineering. Biodegradable hydrogels for use in agriculture are also of interest.

Involved People:
A. Sannino
M. Madaghiele
C. Demitri
F. Scalera
A. Maffezzoli
F. Montagna

References...

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are interdisciplinary fields that aim at inducing the regeneration of adult tissues and/or organs following a disease or injury. As such, they have revolutionized the entire biomedical research area in the last two decades and are currently leading to the development of innovative therapies for the treatment of various pathologies. Since tissue synthesis is governed and orchestrated by the cells, that perform specific functions in response to their molecular and mechanical microenvironment, tissue engineering-based approaches make use of exogenous cells, soluble regulators of cell functions (e.g., cytokines) and a porous, resorbable matrix (termed scaffold) able to host the cells and guide them towards the synthesis of physiological tissue.
Our team exploits basic knowledge in materials science, engineering and biology to develop suitable templates or scaffolds for tissue synthesis, as well as devices (e.g., microspheres) for the in vivo delivery of cells and soluble regulators. Our efforts are particularly devoted to the modulation of the device bioactivity, in order to match the requirements of the specific tissue or organ being addressed, as well as on the use of biomaterials and manufacturing techniques that – if leading to successful products – might be easily transferred into the clinical practice. The devices currently developed and tested in our laboratory include collagen-based scaffolds with pre-defined pore micropatterns and degradation rates, and several delivery vehicles for cells and/or environmental regulators, such as microspheres and hydrogels. The organs targeted in our research activities include the peripheral nervous system, the central nervous system, osteochondral tissues and the meniscus.

Involved People:
A. Sannino
M. Madaghiele
C. Demitri
M. Carrozzo
L. Salvatore
A. Piccinno
F. Scalera
F. Gervaso

References...

Surface Treatments

Cell-material interactions are mediated by the surface of the biomaterial. It is thus very important to control the chemical, physical and mechanical surface properties of a biomaterial, in order to enhance or induce the desired cell response. In this context, we have been focusing on different surface treatments for enhancing or inhibiting cell adhesion on biomedical devices, with particular interest on the development of coatings for polyester-based vascular prostheses.

Involved People:
A. Sannino
M. Madaghiele
A. Piccinno
A. Maffezzoli

References...

 

University of Salento   Facoltà di Ingengeria   Department of Engineering for Innovation
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