Nevio Picci

Università della Calabria, Rende, Calabria, Italy

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Publications (180)487.92 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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: Nanomedicine can be defined as the medical application of molecular nanotechnology and it plays a key role in pharmaceutical research and development, especially related to cancer prevention, monitoring, diagnosis and treatment. In this context, nanomaterials are attracting significant research interest due to their abilities to stay in the blood for long time, accumulate in pathological sites including tumors or inflammatory areas via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, and facilitate targeted delivery of specific therapeutic agents. In the last decades, considerable attention was attracted by the development of nano-sized carriers, based on natural or synthetic polymers, able to provide the controlled release of anticancer drugs in the aim to overcome the drawbacks associated to the conventional chemotherapy. Furthermore, when loaded with imaging agents, this kind of systems offers the opportunity to exploit optical or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in cancer diagnosis. Polymeric materials are characterized by several functionalities where both therapeutic and imaging components, but also targeting moieties, can be attached for simultaneous targeted therapy and imaging providing innovative platforms defined as theranostic agents with a great potential in monitoring and treatment of cancer.
    Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 07/2015; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogels have received growing attention as materials for drug delivery systems (DDS) because of their biodegradable and biocompatible properties. DDS were developed to optimize the therapeutic properties of drug products and to render them more safe, effective, and reliable. In the past, drugs were frequently administered orally, as liquids or in powder forms. To avoid problems incurred through the utilization of the oral route of administration, new dosage forms, DDS, containing the drugs were introduced. They can deliver drugs directly to the intended site of action and can also improve treatment efficacy, while minimizing unwanted side effects elsewhere in the body, which often limit the long-term use of many drugs, and provide better efficacy of treatment. Biocompatible hydrogels are an example of such systems available for therapeutic use. In this review, results from recent publications concerning these systems are discussed. Hydrogels show superior effectiveness over conventional methods of treatment providing controlled release of active substances. They are of interest in medical applications such as breast cancer treatment.
    Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 07/2015; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electro-responsive nanomaterials are usually made with polyelectrolytes able to undergo shrinkage or swelling by tuning on electrical fields. Nevertheless, the electrical conductivity of many polymeric materials used for the fabrication of release devices is not high enough to achieve an effective modulation of the drug release. The incorporation of conducting materials (e.g. carbon nanostructures) in polymeric networks has been proposed as a valuable strategy to overcome this limitation. In this regard, carbon nanotubes and graphene, by virtue of their unique chemical structures and attractive physiochemical properties, have been receiving exciting attention primarily in biology and medicine. By their incorporation into composite hydrogels, the biocompatibility and biodegradability of polymers can be merged with the favorable properties of carbon nanostructures, such as enhanced cellular uptake, electromagnetic, and magnetic behavior. The applicability of carbon hybrid materials to modulate release of therapeutics in response to an external current voltage, is being extensively investigated in the present review.
    Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 07/2015; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ferrogels (or magnetic hydrogels) are cross-linked polymer networks containing magnetic nanoparticles: they are mechanically soft and highly elastic and at the same time they exhibit a strong magnetic response. Our work focuses on an combinatorial strategy to improve the efficacy of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) assisted chemotherapy, by developing novel multifunctional pH-sensitive ferrogels. We designed gels based on N,N'-dimethylacrylamide monomers polymerized in presence of methacrylic acid or 2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride, containing ferro-nanoparticles. The influence of polymeric matrix composition and exposition to magnetic field (MF) on swelling behavior and drugs release were investigated at pH 7.4 and 5. In particular, the magnetic field was obtained by using permanent magnetic bar (0.25T) or electromagnet (0.5 and 1.2T), with the aim to analyze quantitatively the magnetic effects. A strong influence of the magnetic field on ferrogels properties have been observed. Swelling analysis indicated a dependence on both pH and network composition, reaching a maximum at pH 7.4, for formulations containing methacrylic acid, while the application of MF appeared to decrease the swelling percentages. Release profiles of 5-FU showed effective modulation in release by application of MF: drug release is always higher in the presence of a magnetic field and generally increases with its intensity. The combining effect of pH sensitive properties and application of MF improved the performance of the systems. Results showed that our ferrogels may be technologically applicable as devices for delivery of 5-FU in a controllable manner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 07/2015; 134:273-278. DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.06.065 · 4.29 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 · 3.84 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 · 3.09 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 · 3.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
487.92 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1984–2015
    • Università della Calabria
      • • Department of Pharmaco-Biology
      • • Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials
      Rende, Calabria, Italy
  • 1988–2010
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1992–2001
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Farmacia (DIFAR)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy