• Bio-Nanomaterials

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    Nanomedicine, “the application of nanotechnology to health” has been growing exponentially in the last two decades. In this regard, multifunctional nano-scaled materials have been developed for applications in fields such as drug delivery, diagnostics, biosensing and bioengineering.

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  • Crystal Engineering

    Crystal Engineering

    Crystal Engineering (CE) aims at understanding intermolecular interactions in the context of the crystal packing and utilize such understanding in the design and synthesis of new solid-state functional structures with desired physical and chemical properties.

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  • Fluorine Chemistry

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    Fluorinated chemicals find widespread use in hundreds of applications, such as anti-corrosion or anti-icing coatings, liquid-repellent textiles, oil/water separation, fire-fighting foams, paints, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants.

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  • Supramolecular Chemistry

    Supramolecular Chemistry

    Since its discovery, supramolecular chemistry has completely revolutionized the concept of synthesis, allowing for manipulation and production of nanostructured materials based on molecular components held together by noncovalent intermolecular forces.

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SupraBioNano Lab

SupraBioNano Logo h147pxWelcome to the Laboratory of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials (SupraBioNanoLab) where we take inspiration from Nature to engineer the self-assembly and self-organization of biomimetic supramolecular and nanostructured materials with applications ranging from crystal engineering to nanomedicine.

The SupraBioNanoLab

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FOLDHALO News

  • Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells

    Alessandro Marchetti, Dr. Claudia Pigliacelli, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, and others have recently published an article on Small about "Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells.

    Abstract. Out-of-equilibrium self-assembly of metal nanoparticles (NPs) has been devised using different types of strategies and fuels, but achieving finite 3D structures with a controlled morphology through this assembly mode is still rare. Here, a spherical peptide-gold superstructure (PAuSS) is used as a template to control the out-of-equilibrium self-assembly of Au NPs, obtaining a transient 3D-branched Au-nanoshell (BAuNS) stabilized by sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The BAuNS dismantles upon SDS concentration gradient equilibration over time in the sample solution, leading to NPs disassembly and regression to PAuSS. Notably, BAuNS assembly and disassembly promotes temporary interparticle plasmonic coupling, leading to reversible and tunable changes of their plasmonic properties, a highly desirable behavior in the development of optoelectronic nanodevices.

     

    How to cite:
    Alessandro Marchetti, Alessandro Gori, Anna Maria Ferretti, Daniel Arenas Esteban, Sara Bals, Claudia Pigliacelli, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells, Small , 2023, 2206712
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202206712

     

  • Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of ¹⁹F-MRI Probes

    Beatrice Bona, Dr. Cristina Chirizzi, Prof. Valentina Dichiarante, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli and others have recently published an article on Accounts of Materials Research about "Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes.

    Abstract. Future medicine is primarily aiming at the development of novel approaches for an early diagnosis of diseases and a personalized therapy for patients. For achieving these objectives, a key role is played by medical imaging. Among available noninvasive imaging techniques, Fluorine-19 (19F) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is emerging as a powerful quantitative detection modality for clinical use both for molecular imaging and for cell tracking. The strength of using 19F-MRI is mainly related to the lack of endogenous organic fluorine in tissues, with no background, enabling the visualization of fluorinated tracers as hot-spot images, adding secondary independent information to the anatomical features provided by the grayscale 1H-MRI. The main challenge for 19F-MRI clinical application is the intrinsic reduced sensitivity of MRI. To improve sensitivity, undoubtedly the use of a high field MRI scanner and cryogenic radiofrequency probes is advantageous, but there is a clear need of developing increasingly effective fluorinated tracers. The ideal tracer should bear as many as possible magnetically equivalent fluorine atoms and show optimal magnetic resonance relaxivity properties (i.e., T1 and T2), which enable reduced acquisition time with the possibility to apply fast imaging methods. Moreover, it should be biocompatible with reduced tendency to bioaccumulate in tissues, which is one of the main drawbacks in using perfluorocarbons (PFCs), together with their difficulty to be chemically modified with functional groups. In fact, PFCs such as perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB), perfluoro-15-crown-5-ether (PFCE), and linear perfluoropolyethers (PFPE) are currently the most used tracers in 19F-MRI preclinical and clinical studies, with the above-mentioned limitations. In this regard, molecules bearing short branched fluorinated chains gained a lot of attention for their high number of equivalent fluorines and expected capability of reducing bioaccumulation concerns. A valuable building block for branched fluorinated tracers is perfluoro-tert-butanol (PFTB), with nine magnetically equivalent fluorines and easy availability and modification. In this Account we will discuss the main challenges that 19F-MRI has to overcome for increasing its clinical use, highlighting on one hand the need of developing customized fluorinated materials for increasing sensitivity and enabling multimodal properties, and on the other hand, the importance of the ultrastructure of the final formulation for the final biological response (i.e., clearance). In this context, our group has been focusing on the synthesis and development of branched fluorinated tracers, for which the originator is a molecule called PERFECTA (from suPERFluorinatEdContrasT Agent), bearing 36 equiv 19F atoms, which showed not only optimal relaxometry properties but also a very specific and intense Raman signal. Thus, PERFECTA and its derivatives represent a new family of multimodal tracers enabling multiscale analysis, from whole body imaging (19F-MRI) to microscopic detection at the cellular/tissue level (Raman microscopy). We believe that our proposed PFTB strategy can strongly promote the production of increasingly effective 19F-MRI materials with additional functionalities, facilitating the clinical translation of this imaging modality.

     

    How to cite:
    Beatrice Lucia Bona, Olga Koshkina, Cristina Chirizzi, Valentina Dichiarante, Pierangelo Metrangolo and Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes, Acc. Mater. Res., 2022, TBD
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/accountsmr.2c00203

     

  • Optimization of superfluorinated PLGA nanoparticles for enhanced cell labelling and detection by ¹⁹F-MRI

    Dr. Cristina Chirizzi, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli and others have recently published an article on Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces about the "Optimization of superfluorinated PLGA nanoparticles for enhanced cell labelling and detection by 19F-MRI".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: Optimization of superfluorinated PLGA nanoparticles for enhanced cell labelling and detection by 19F-MRI.

    Abstract. Fluorine-19 (19F) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an emergent imaging technique for molecular imaging and cell tracking. Lack of intrinsic 19F signals in tissues allows unambiguous in vivo detection of exogenous fluorinated probes, complementary to the anatomical and multiparametric information obtained by standard 1H-MRI. However, the intrinsic low sensitivity of MRI technique requires the need of designing increasingly effective fluorinated tracers. PERFECTA, with its 36 magnetically equivalent 19F atoms and a designed branched molecular structure, represents an excellent superfluorinated tracer. In this paper, we report the development of PERFECTA loaded PLGA NPs stabilized by different coatings as promising 19F-MRI probes. The results clearly show the optimal cellular uptake of the produced colloidally stable PERFECTA loaded PLGA NPs without impact on cells viability. Importantly, NPs stabilization with the anionic surfactant sodium cholate (NaC) clearly enhances NPs internalization within cells with respect to PVA-coated NPs. Moreover, the optimized NPs are characterized by shorter T1 relaxation times with respect to other PERFECTA formulations that would allow the increase of 19F-MRI sensitivity with fast imaging acquisitions.

     

    How to cite:
    Cristina Chirizzi, Lodovico Gatti, María Sancho-Albero, Victor Sebastian, Manuel Arruebo, Laura Uson, Giulia Neri, Jesus Santamaria, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Linda Chaabane, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Optimization of superfluorinated PLGA nanoparticles for enhanced cell labelling and detection by 19F-MRI, Colloids Surf. B, 2022, 112932
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2022.112932

     

  • Emergence of Elastic Properties in a Minimalist Resilin-Derived Heptapeptide upon Bromination

    Dr. Andrea Pizzi, Lorenzo Sori, Dr. Claudia Pigliacelli, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo and others have recently published an article on Small about the "Emergence of Elastic Properties in a Minimalist Resilin-Derived Heptapeptide upon Bromination".

    The full paper can be found at the following link: Emergence of Elastic Properties in a Minimalist Resilin-Derived Heptapeptide upon Bromination.

    Abstract. Bromination is herein exploited to promote the emergence of elastic behavior in a short peptide—SDSYGAP—derived from resilin, a rubber-like protein exerting its role in the jumping and flight systems of insects. Elastic and resilient hydrogels are obtained, which also show self-healing behavior, thanks to the promoted non-covalent interactions that limit deformations and contribute to the structural recovery of the peptide-based hydrogel. In particular, halogen bonds may stabilize the β-sheet organization working as non-covalent cross-links between nearby peptide strands. Importantly, the unmodified peptide (i.e., wild type) does not show such properties. Thus, SDSY(3,5-Br)GAP is a novel minimalist peptide elastomer.

     

    How to cite:
    Andrea Pizzi, Lorenzo Sori, Claudia Pigliacelli, Alfonso Gautieri, Clara Andolina, Greta Bergamaschi, Alessandro Gori, Pierre Panine, Antonio Mattia Grande, Markus B. Linder, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Monica Soncini and Pierangelo Metrangolo, Emergence of Elastic Properties in a Minimalist Resilin-Derived Heptapeptide upon Bromination, Small, 2022, 2200807
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202200807

     

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