Nevio Picci

Università della Calabria, Rende, Calabria, Italy

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Publications (176)471.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: With the aim to modulate the flavonoid antioxidant properties, catechin and quercetin were covalently inserted into hydrogel networks by free radical grafting procedure. The effective conjugation of both flavonoids into the polymer chains was checked by FT-IR analyses. Water uptake measurements and calorimetric analyses proved the pH- and thermo-responsiveness. The effect of temperature on antioxidant properties were evaluated as scavenging ability and redox performance, while the determination of the ability to preserve folic acid from UV degradation proved the pH responsiveness. Data show that the matrices are more effective in the swollen than in the shrunken state.
    International Journal of Polymeric Materials 10/2015; 64(11). DOI:10.1080/00914037.2014.996708 · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to monitor the fatty acids and biogenic amines (BAs) profiles in mullet (Mugil Cephalus) and tuna (Thunnus thynnus) roe (bottarga) during storage (0–180 days) at 4 °C. Fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) as methyl ester derivatives while BAs were investigated using reverse-phase liquid chromatography (RP-LC) as dansyl derivatives. The content of total fatty acids decreased with time in mullet bottarga (BM) while in tuna bottarga (BT) the PUFA value showed a slight decrease up to 30 days followed by an intense reduction after 90 and 180 days. An increasing content of BAs was observed with time in all investigated samples without reaching hazardous concentrations. In general, the BAs concentrations were in decreasing order: tyramine, putrescine, cadaverine and histamine. In BM, phenylethylamine was always present, representing a possible discriminating compound as it was absent in tuna bottarga at any time of storage. A Pearson correlation matrix showed that lipid and protein degradation products were strongly and significantly correlated over the considered storage time implying that lipid oxidation processes are in some way linked to the chemical production of BAs.
    Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 06/2015; 40. DOI:10.1016/j.jfca.2014.12.014 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biodegradable casein nanospheres for the sustained release of bioactive molecules in the gastro-intestinal tract were prepared by precipitation polymerization using sodium methacrylate (NaMA) and N,N'-methylene bis-acrylamide (MEBA) as pH-responsive monomer and cross-linker. Three materials with different casein amount were obtained and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, dimensional analysis, water uptake, cytotoxicity and enzymatic degradation experiments. Nanospheres biodegradability was tuned by coating with polyacrylic acid. Coated and uncoated materials were investigated as delivery vehicles for diclofenac sodium salt. For un-coated samples, the release raise 100% in 30 h, while for coated specimens these values were lower than 70%, due to the diffusional constraints of polymer layer.
    Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy 05/2015; DOI:10.3109/03639045.2015.1040415 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electro-responsive hybrid hydrogel films were prepared by UV-induced polymerization of Acrylamide and N,N′-ethylene bisacrylamide to be applied for the on/off delivery of therapeutics. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes were covalently incorporated into films and acted as a functional element for both enhancing the electro-responsivity and modulating the release of anionic and cationic drugs as diclofenac sodium salt and ciprofloxacin. Hybrid hydrogel films were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, optical microscopy, conductivity measurements, and biocompatibility on human mesenchymal stem cells. Swelling behaviour and drug release profiles were evaluated in the presence of an external applied electric voltage and mathematically modelled. The application of an external electric voltage resulted in a faster release of anionic drugs, while a slower release was recorded for cationic drugs.
    RSC Advances 05/2015; 5(56). DOI:10.1039/C5RA05484B · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eight biogenic amines (spermine, spermidine, putrescine, histamine, tyramine, phenylethylamine, cadaverine and serotonin) were determined by LC-UV after derivatization with dansyl-chloride in both ground coffee and coffee beverages obtained by different methods. In ground coffee, the most relevant amine was PUT, followed by SPD, HIS, TYR, CAD, SPM, PHE, and SER, with the total BAs content decreasing as the roasting degree increased. In coffee brews, the order was PUT, SPM, TYR, CAD, SPD, PHE, HIS, and SER, but at a very low level in comparison with the amount of BAs determined in roasted ground coffee. Beverages prepared by espresso, capsule, and pod machines had the lowest BAs contents, as a result of the thermal and physical stress imposed on ground coffee by these methods, while mocha contained the highest BAs amounts owing to lower pressure and longer brewing time. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Food Chemistry 05/2015; 175. DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.11.134 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cocoa contains many compounds such as biogenic amines (BAs), known to influence consumer health. Spermidine, spermidine, putrescine, histamine, tyramine, β-phenylethylamine, cadaverine and serotonine have been found in several cocoa-based products using HPLC with UV detection after derivatization with dansyl-chloride. Once optimized in terms of linearity, percentage recovery, LOD, LOQ and repeatability, this method was applied to real samples. Total concentrations of BAs ranged from 5.7 µg g(-g) to 79.0 µg g(-g) with wide variations depending on the type of sample. BAs present in all samples were in decreasing order, histamine (1.9-38.1 µg g(-g)) and tyramine (1.7-31.7 µg g(-g)), while putrescine (0.9-32.7 µg g(-g)), spermidine (1.0-9.7 µg g(-g)) and spermidine (0.6-9.3 µg g(-g)) were present in most of the samples. Cadaverine, serotonine and β-phenylethylamine were present in a few samples at much lower concentrations. Organic samples always contained much lower levels of BAs than their conventional counterparts and, generally speaking, the highest amounts of BAs were found in the most processed products.
    Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment 04/2015; DOI:10.1080/19440049.2015.1036322 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monodispersed polymersomes based on a hydrophobically-modified protein with dimensional range between 154 and 254 nm were prepared employing a water addition/solvent evaporation method. Gelatin hydrolyzate and PEG40-stearate, acting as hydrophilic and hydrophobic blocks, respectively, underwent radical coupling and three materials with different hydrophilic/lipophilic ratio were obtained by varying the amount of PEG40-stearate in the reaction feed. Critical aggregation concentrations of each amphiphilic polymer were found ranged from 3.9 to 10.2 μg mL-1, with lower values recorded for conjugate with lower hydrophilic/lipophilic ratio. Anticancer drug methotrexate was loaded into the vesicular systems with efficiency strictly dependent on the gelatin hydrolyzate content and the in vitro releasing profile assessed and analyzed by suitable mathematical models. To prove the applicability of the proposed delivery vehicle, the biocompatibility properties were assessed in normal human lung fibroblasts cells MRC-5, while the anticancer efficiency was tested on H1299 lung cancer cells, proving that the drug encapsulation into the polymersomes dramatically reduced the cytotoxicity on healthy cells while preserving its efficiency in killing cancer cells.
    European Polymer Journal 04/2015; 67. DOI:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2015.03.058 · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thermo-responsive hydrogel films, synthesized by UV-initiated radical polymerization, are proposed as delivery devices for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac sodium and Naproxen). N-isopropylacrylamide and N,N'-ethylenebisacrylamide were chosen as thermo-sensitive monomer and crosslinker, respectively. Infrared spectroscopy was used to assess the incorporation of monomers into the network, and the network density of hydrogel films was found to strictly depend on both feed composition and film thickness. Calorimetric analyses showed negative thermo-responsive behaviour with shrinking/swelling transition values in the range 32.8-36.1°C. Equilibrium swelling studies around the LCST allowed the correlation between the structural changes and the temperature variations. The mesh size, indeed, rapidly changed from a collapsed to a swollen state, with beneficial effects in applications such as size-selective permeation or controlled drug delivery, while the crosslinking degree, the film thickness, and the loading method deeply influenced the drug release profiles at 25 and 40°C. The analysis of both 3D-network structure, release kinetics and diffusional constraints at different temperatures was evaluated by mathematical modelling. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Materials Science and Engineering C 03/2015; 48:499-510. DOI:10.1016/j.msec.2014.12.045 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hybrid materials with enhanced antibacterial activity were prepared by incorporation of carbon nanotubes within gelatin-fluoroquinolones bioconjugates. Gelatin bioconjugates were characterized by UV-Vis, FT-IR, and calorimetric analyses, nanohybrids by morphological analyses. Biocompatibility was evaluated on human mesenchymal stem cells, and antibacterial performance against Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. Minimun inhibitory concentrations from 0.025 to 0.05 µg mL−1 and from 0.025 to 0.10 µg mL−1, and MBC from 0.025 to 0.10 µg mL−1 and from 0.05 to 0.20 µg mL−1 were detected for Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, respectively, showing that nanotubes increase antimicrobial activity comparing to both free and gelatin-conjugated drugs.
    International Journal of Polymeric Materials 02/2015; 64(9):439-447. DOI:10.1080/00914037.2014.958833 · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The growing impact of environmental concerns of industrial processes carried out to the development of the socalled “Green Chemistry” approaches. By these technologies, the use of any hazardous substances within the synthesis of chemicals, nutraceuticals or therapeutics, is avoided, and considerable safety and biocompatibility advantages are raised. Among the different products prepared by Green Chemistry, high molecular weight antioxidants show remarkable appeal within the scientific community by virtue of their advantageous chemical and biological properties. These functional materials have been prepared by different synthetic strategies, classified in condensation methods, radical grafting and enzymatic catalysis. This review summarizes the chemical mechanisms of these strategies, and elucidates some of the most significant applications of the obtained products.
    Current Organic Chemistry 12/2014; 18(23). · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new approach for the synthesis of hydrogel films with thermo-sensitive enzymatic activity is reported. Pepsin (PEP) was covalently immobilized on thermo-responsive hydrogels by radical polymerization in the presence of N-isopropylacrylamide and poly-(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate 750, acting as functional monomer and crosslinking agent, respectively. Hydrogels showing lower critical solution temperatures between 32.9 and 36.1°C were synthesized by UV-irradiation of reaction batches differing in the PEP/monomers ratio. The derivatization degree of the hydrogels was expressed as mg of PEP per gram of matrix and found to be in the range of 6 to 11% as assessed by Lowry method. Scanning electron microscopy analysis and water affinity evaluation allowed to highlight the porous morphology and thermo-responsivity of hydrogels as a function of temperature. Using bovine serum albumin as a substrate, kinetics parameters were determined by Lineweaver–Burk plots and the catalyst efficiency evaluated. The influence of temperature on enzyme activity, as well as the thermal stability and reusability of devices, were also investigated.
    Reactive and Functional Polymers 10/2014; 83. DOI:10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2014.07.010 · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 10/2014; 75:252. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.09.001 · 5.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to improve the transdermal permeation of sulfadiazine sodium, employing synergistic combination of surfactants (in the form of niosomes) and additives with different number of hydroxylic groups, (following referred to as "alcohol"), as component of the bilayer. In particular the effect of different concentration of each alcohol (ethanol, propylene glycol or glycerol, from 5%, to 40% v/v) on niosomes size and distribution, drug entrapment efficiencies and ex vivo drug percutaneous permeation were evaluated, identifying formulations giving the best performances. The findings revealed that the presence of alcohol critically affect the physico-chemical properties of niosomes, with regards to dimensions, drug encapsulation and permeation. Vesicular size increased with the amount of alcohol and at the same alcohol concentration, follow the sequence ethanol>propylene glycol>glycerol. Loaded niosomes were larger than empty ones. Low E% values were found for ethanol, even less in propylene glycol and glycerol based samples, confirming that the chemical structure of the alcohol and its physico-chemical properties, affected the sulfadiazine entrapment efficiency. The comparative evaluation of percutaneous permeation profiles showed that the cumulative amount of permeated drug increases with alcohol concentration up to 20% v/v. Higher concentration (40% v/v) resulted in a strong decrease of the potential skin permeation. Best performances were obtained with glycerol. In all cases ex vivo sulfadiazine percutaneous permeations are controlled and improved respect to the corresponding free drug solutions and traditional niosomes used as controls.
    Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 09/2014; 123. DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.09.017 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis of an innovative delivery system for targeted cancer therapy which combines the drug controlled release ability of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) with magnetic properties of magnetite is described herein. In the present study, an easy and smart synthetic strategy, involving new engineered precipitation photo-polymerization, was developed with the aim to obtain Magnetic Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MMIPs) for 9H-carbazole derivative sustained delivery in cancer treatment. Both in vitro drug release and cytotoxicity studies on different cancer cell lines, such as HeLa and MCF-7, were performed in order to evaluate the controlled release ability and the potential application as a drug carrier in targeted cancer therapy. The synthesized polymeric materials have shown not only good selective recognition and controlled release properties, but also high magnetic responding capacity. The performed cytotoxicity studies highlighted the high inhibitory activity against the tested cell lines due to a dramatic growth arrest, compared to controls, by triggering apoptosis. These results clearly indicate the potential application of synthesized MMIPs as a magnetic targeted drug delivery nanodevice.
    08/2014; 2(38). DOI:10.1039/C4TB00607K
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to study the effect of diclofenac sodium compartmentalization on the physico-chemical properties (such as size, drug entrapment efficiency and percutaneous permeation across rabbit skin) of niosomal vesicles used as carriers. Niosomes were prepared starting from nonionic commercial surfactants belonging to the class of Polysorbates and Pluronics: mixtures of Span 60/F127 and Tween 60/F127 at different ratios were used to obtain vesicles and all formulations were compared in terms of dimensions, morphology, polydispersity index and entrapment efficiency. Moreover, the enhancing effect of niosomes on the ex vivo percutaneous penetration of diclofenac sodium was investigated using Franz-type diffusion chambers and compared to that obtained by using the corresponding drug solution. Results demonstrated that niosomes were spherical and homogeneous in shape. Their size was found to be dependent on the hydrophile-lipophile balance of the surfactant mixture: increasing hydrophobicity resulted in smaller vesicles. Drug incorporation led to a significant variation in vesicle size dependently from the compartment in which the drug was located. The permeation of diclofenac from free solution used as control was found to be lower respect to that obtained for all niosomal formulations, that can be considered as percutaneous permeation enhancers. In particular, the results indicated that the highest cumulative amounts of diclofenac permeated across rabbit skin after 24 h were obtained by formulations in which the drug was located in the aqueous core.
    Biomedical Microdevices 08/2014; 16(6). DOI:10.1007/s10544-014-9889-6 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most exciting promise of cell micro-bioreactors is their expected ability to reproduce specific aspects of physiological environments in vitro, singularly or in combination, and to perform advanced biological studies to unravel novel interaction mechanisms; but this challenge is formidable. Moreover, the use of microfluidics is limited by the difficulty to adapt standard tissue culture protocols to miniaturised biochips and by the need of bulky external equipment such as liquid pumping systems. Here, we introduce an original microfluidic gradient generator for culturing cells in closed microchambers, based on: (1) automatic cell valving, (2) hydrostatic-pressure pumping, and (3) on-chip liquid reservoirs. The biochip is designed to be fully compatible with standard biological procedures and to operate with no external control units or cumbersome ancillary components. Remarkably, the use of integrated liquid reservoirs prevents air bubble formation and associated channel clogging. We detail the rationale behind the fluidic design, simulate and measure the chip fluid-dynamics by finite element simulations and microflow velocimetry, respectively. We finally exploit our chip to study the kinetics of an anti-cancer molecule, the catechin–dextran conjugate, on HeLa cells, demonstrating a very fast action. We argue that the presented fluidic concept and architecture are not limited to the present realization, but can be easily applied to other chip geometries and adapted to a number of biological studies.
    RSC Advances 08/2014; 4(66). DOI:10.1039/C4RA05496B · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The present article reports the preparation, characterization and performance evaluation of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) based on polyoxyethylene-40 stearate (PEG-40 stearate) for the administration of antifungal agents such as ketoconazole and clotrimazole. These nanoparticles could be useful in the treatment of vaginal infections sustained by Candida albicans. In particular, PEG-40 stearate was made to react with acryloyl chloride in order to introduce an easily polymerizable moiety for the creation of a second shell and to ensure a slow drug release. In addition, the differences on the release profiles between PEG-40 stearate-based nanoparticles, PEG-40 stearate acrylate based and polymerized ones, were analyzed under conditions, simulating the typical environment of Candida albicans infection. Then, the antifungal activity of nanoparticles was also evaluated in terms of minimal inhibitory concentration. Moreover, the nanoparticles were submitted to in vitro studies for evaluating the drug permeability at the site of action. Results indicated that the obtained particles are potentially useful for the treatment of vaginal infections sustained by Candida albicans.
    Drug Delivery 07/2014; DOI:10.3109/10717544.2014.932862 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The synergistic effects of a three-functional hybrid material composed of methacrylic acid (MAA), quercetin (Q) and carbon nanotubes (CNT), with cisplatin (CP) was evaluated in human neuroblastoma cells. A three-functional hybrid material suitable for CP combination therapy was synthesized through the free radical-induced reaction between methacrylic acid, quercetin and carbon nanotubes. Two-functional materials were prepared and fully characterised by coupling CNT and MAA, as well as MAA and Q. A Folin-Ciocalteu assay was used to assess the functionalisation degree expressed as mg of Q per gram of materials and we found to be 2.33 for CNT_PMAA_Q and 2.01 for PMAA_Q. The anticancer activity of CNT_PMAA_Q was shown in human neuroblastoma cells using the Alamar blue cell proliferation assay. Successively, cells were treated with a combination of CP and the nanocomposite showing strong synergistic anticancer effects in neuroblastoma cells. These studies showed that nanoparticle formulations incorporating quercetin and carbon nanotubes are good candidates for CP synergistic treatment against neuroblastoma.
    RSC Advances 07/2014; 4(59):31378-31384. DOI:10.1039/c4ra03331k · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract In recent years, antioxidants have gained great importance because of their potential use in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. This interest is rooted in the cumulative evidence connecting active oxygen and free radicals with numerous human degenerative disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, aging, and atherosclerosis. Polyphenols are the major class of antioxidant able to reduce the oxidative damages of lipids, proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, and DNA in living cells and tissues. Among the realm of polyphenol compounds, polyphenol conjugates have been proposed as innovative materials which, by combining the advantageous properties of both the components, can increase the efficiency of antioxidants and their range of application in nutritional and biomedical fields. This work is an overview of the different class of polyphenol conjugates, which will be analyzed in terms of nutritional and biological properties, showing how these bio-conjugates will positively affect the human health.
    Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 05/2014; DOI:10.1080/10408398.2012.752342 · 5.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Niosomes are vesicular systems composed of surfactant molecules, claimed to be used as drug delivery carriers thanks to their physico-chemical and biological properties. The aim of this work was to design niosomes obtained with a surfactant synthesized from glucuronic acid. Doxorubicin and 5FU were used as model drugs. Niosomes were prepared with different ratios between surfactant and cholesterol, and characterized in terms of size, morphology, drugs entrapment efficiency and in vitro releases, to identify the optimal formulation to be used in pharmaceutical fields. In addition, the hemolytic activity of all formulations have been also evaluated. Results showed that dodecylglucuronamide surfactant was able to produce vesicular systems with or without the presence of cholesterol. Niosomes resulted regular in size and shape and they have been found to encapsulate and release in a controlled manner both doxorubicin and 5-fluorouracil. Hemolytic tests showed that the capability of disrupting erythrocyte only depend on the size of colloidal aggregates. Finally, our formulations could be potentially used as antitumoral delivery systems in anticancer therapy.
    Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 03/2014; 118C:7-13. DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.03.016 · 4.29 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
471.50 Total Impact Points


  • 1987–2015
    • Università della Calabria
      • • Department of Pharmaco-Biology
      • • Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences
      Rende, Calabria, Italy
  • 1988–2010
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2002
    • Università degli Studi di Palermo
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy
  • 1992–2001
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Farmacia (DIFAR)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy