Nevio Picci

Università della Calabria, Rende, Calabria, Italy

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Publications (168)447.43 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). · 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. · 2.26 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. · 3.26 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. · 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. · 2.78 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; · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 10/2014; 75:252. · 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; · 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.
    J. Mater. Chem. B. 08/2014;
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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). · 2.72 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). · 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; · 2.20 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; · 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. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of biologics, polymers, silicon materials, carbon materials, and metals has been proposed for the preparation of innovative drug delivery devices. One of the most promising materials in this field are the carbon-nanotubes composites and hybrid materials coupling the advantages of polymers (biocompatibility and biodegradability) with those of carbon nanotubes (cellular uptake, stability, electromagnatic, and magnetic behavior). The applicability of polymer-carbon nanotubes composites in drug delivery, with particular attention to the controlled release by composites hydrogel, is being extensively investigated in the present review.
    BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:825017.
  • Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 01/2014; 118:7–13. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract In this study, pH-responsive hydrogels, synthesized by the coupling reaction of polyacrylic acid and catechin, are proposed as carriers of oxidable drugs toward the GI tract. The presence of polyphenolic moieties in the network gives the polymers properties suitable for the release of unstable drugs in oxidative conditions. The characterization of the hydrogels is obtained by means of morphological and physico-chemical analyses, antioxidant assays and evaluation of the swelling behavior in media simulating the gastric (pH 1.0) and the intestinal (pH 7.4) tracts. The hydrogels are tested as pH-responsive carriers in in vitro release studies of folic acid and thiamine, two model drugs easily degraded by oxidative conditions simulated by UV irradiation and t-butyl hydroperoxide treatment, respectively. Results show that catechin-based carriers are able to control the release of drugs at different pH values, giving a remarkable improvement in the stability of the therapeutics.
    Pharmaceutical Development and Technology 12/2013; · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: The aim of the present study was to prepare a hydrogel, based on ellagic acid and glycine, embedded with folic acid, as a subcutaneous implant for the treatment of breast cancer. The function of folic acid is to selectively and actively target tumor cells which are well-known to overexpress folic acid receptors on their surface. A pro-drug based on L-glycine and ellagic acid, was functionalized with a polymerizable group and loaded with folic acid to make it more natural, non-toxic, compatible and specific for the site of action. Cytotoxicity against MCF-7 cells was also evaluated. Release studies of folic acid were conducted on aliquots of hydrogel at different pH (6.2 and 7.4) and time-points (1, 6, 12 and 24 h) using a shaking water bath at 37°C (body temperature). Our results show that folic acid release by the hydrogel is characterized by a slow kinetic release, especially at pH 6.2. Moreover, it was evidenced that the exposure of human breast cancer cells to ellagic acid-based hydrogel containing folic acid significantly reduced cell viability.
    Anticancer research 11/2013; 33(11):4847-54. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) suitable for the electroresponsive release of diclofenac were synthesized by precipitation polymerization in the presence of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Both conventional and electroresponsive imprinted polymers were synthesized with methacrylic acid as the functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as the crosslinker. Preliminary experiments were performed to fully characterize the conventional MIPs and composite materials in terms of their morphological properties, recognition behavior, and electric resistivity. In vitro release experiments were performed in aqueous media to elucidate the ability of the MIPs and spherical imprinted polymers doped with CNTs to release the loaded template in a sustained manner over time in comparison to the that of the corresponding nonimprinted materials. Furthermore, a 20‐V direct‐current voltage was applied through the releasing media to evaluate how the electric field influenced the drug release to demonstrate the suitability of the proposed macromolecular system as an electroresponsive drug‐delivery device. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 829‐834, 2013
    Journal of Applied Polymer Science 10/2013; 130(2). · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Niosomal vesicular systems containing resveratrol, alpha-tocopherol and curcumin as single agents and in combination, were designed with the aim to develop novel cosmeceutical formulations. The effects of antioxidants co-encapsulation on the physico-chemical properties of the carriers, their antioxidant properties and in vitro percutaneous permeation profiles were evaluated. Results showed that the co-encapsulation of resveratrol/curcumin and alpha-tocopherol/curcumin affected the physico-chemical properties of niosomes and the entrapment efficiencies values, respect to the formulations containing the single antioxidant. The antioxidants in vitro percutaneous permeations appeared to be controlled and improved respect to the corresponding free solutions used as control. Moreover the antioxidants combinations resulted in a promoted ability to reduce free radicals, due to a synergic antioxidant action.
    Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 10/2013; 114C:144-149. · 4.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
447.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1987–2014
    • Università della Calabria
      • • Department of Pharmaco-Biology
      • • Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences
      Rende, Calabria, Italy
  • 2012
    • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2010
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2006
    • The Catholic University of America
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2002–2004
    • Università degli Studi di Palermo
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy
  • 2001
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Farmacia (DIFAR)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 1988
    • University of Florence
      • Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Psicologia, Area del Farmaco e Salute del Bambino
      Florence, Tuscany, Italy