Francesca Cavalieri

Francesca Cavalieri
RMIT University | RMIT · Department of Applied Chemistry & Environmental Science

M Sc Industrial Chemistry/ PhD Physical Chemistry

About

131
Publications
14,370
Reads
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3,451
Citations
Introduction
Francesca Cavalieri currently works at the Department of applied chemistry and environmental science, RMIT University. Francesca does research in Biomaterials Engineering, Polymer Chemistry and Biophysical Chemistry. Her current research projects are 1) Bioengineering and characterization of drug delivery systems and biosensors based on polysaccharides, proteins, peptides and nucleic acids. 2) Protein-shelled Microbubbles and Microcapsules for biomedical applications.
Additional affiliations
June 2015 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Future Fellow
November 2002 - June 2015
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
November 2002 - June 2015
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Subjects: Polymer Science, Experimental Physical Chemistry

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
Full-text available
Transforming small-molecule antibiotics into carrier-free nanoantibiotics represents an opportunity for developing new multifunctional therapeutic agents. In this study, we demonstrate that acoustic cavitation produced by high-frequency ultrasound transforms the antibiotic doxycycline into carrier-free nanobiotics. Upon sonication for 1 h at 10-15...
Article
Full-text available
Reconfiguring the structure and selectivity of existing chemotherapeutics represents an opportunity for developing novel tumor‐selective drugs. Here; we demonstrate; as a proof‐of‐concept; the use of high‐frequency sound waves to transform the non‐selective anthracycline doxorubicin into a tumor selective drug molecule. The transformed drug self‐ag...
Article
Full-text available
We report on the fabrication of lysozyme microspheres (LyMs) incorporated with gold nanorods (NRs) as a distinctive approach for the encapsulation and release of an anticancer drug, 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). LyMs with an average size of 4.0±1.0 µm were prepared by a sonochemical method and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transm...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide; hence there is an increasing focus on developing physiologically relevant in vitro cardiovascular tissue models suitable for studying personalized medicine and pre-clinical tests. Despite recent advances, models that reproduce both tissue complexity and maturation are still limite...
Article
Engineered nanoparticles for the encapsulation of bioactive agents hold promise to improve disease diagnosis, prevention and therapy. To advance this field and enable clinical translation, the rational design of nanoparticles with controlled functionalities and a robust understanding of nanoparticle-cell interactions in the complex biological milie...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, several studies have indicated an increased interest in the scientific community regarding the application of Cannabis sativa plants, and their extracts, for medicinal purposes. This plant of enormous medicinal potential has been legalised in an increasing number of countries globally. Due to the recent changes in therapeutic and recreati...
Article
Real-time detection and nanoscale imaging of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 ribonucleic acid (HIV-1 RNA) in latently infected cells that persist in people living with HIV-1 on antiretroviral therapy in blood and tissue may reveal new insights needed to cure HIV-1 infection. Herein, we develop a strategy combining DNA nanotechnology and super-r...
Article
The biological properties of therapeutic peptides, such as their pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, are correlated with their structure and aggregation properties. Herein, we studied the aggregation properties of a therapeutic peptide (CIGB-814), currently in phase 2 clinical trial, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis over a wide range of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cardiac pathologies are characterized by intense remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that eventually leads to heart failure. Cardiomyocytes respond to the ensuing biomechanical stress by re-expressing fetal contractile proteins via transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes, like alternative splicing (AS). Here, we demonstrate that...
Article
Full-text available
Ultrasonically synthesized core-shell microcapsules can be made of synthetic polymers or natural biopolymers, such as proteins and polysaccharides, and have found applications in food, drug delivery and cosmetics. This study reports on the ultrasonic synthesis of microcapsules using unmodified (natural) and biodegradable glycogen nanoparticles deri...
Article
Synthetic therapeutic peptides (STP) are intensively studied as new-generation drugs, characterized by high purity, biocompatibility, selectivity and stereochemical control. However, most of the studies are focussed on the bioactivity of STP without considering how the formulation actually used for therapy administration could alter the physico-che...
Article
Full-text available
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) combined with calcineurin-NFAT (CN-NFAT) inhibitors are being tested as a treatment for graft versus host disease (GvHD). The immunosuppressive properties of MSCs seem beneficial; however, their response during fungal infection, which is an important cause of mortality in GvHD patients, is unknown. We report that MS...
Article
Three different proteinaceous biopolymers, namely, egg white protein (EWP), soy protein isolate (SPI) and corn protein isolate (CPI) were used as protective shell materials to encapsulate micronutrients via an ultrasonic encapsulation technique. It was found that the physicochemical properties of the three protein-based matrices, including surface/...
Article
Full-text available
We report the microencapsulation of oil soluble vitamins (A, D and E) using a one pot ultrasonic process using raw egg white proteins as a shell material. Green tea catechin/iron complex coating method was further developed to impart UV filtering property to the microcapsules in order to protect the encapsulated nutrients from photodegradation. The...
Article
The development of simple, green, reproducible, and scalable approaches for synthesizing nanoparticles from biomolecules is important to advance nanomaterials towards therapeutic applications. Microreactors generated by high frequency ultrasound provide a...
Article
Gene silencing induced by RNAi represents a promising antiviral development strategy. This review will summarise the current state of RNAi therapeutics for treating acute and chronic human virus infections. The gene silencing pathways exploited by RNAi therapeutics will be described and include both classic RNAi, inducing cytoplasmic mRNA degradati...
Article
Full-text available
High-frequency ultrasound treatment is found to be a one-pot green technique to produce peptide-based nanostructures by ultrasound assisted self-assembly of oligopeptides. [Arg-Phe]4 octapeptides, consisting of alternating arginine (Arg/R) and phenylalanine (Phe/F) sequences, were subjected to 430 kHz ultrasound in aqueous solution in the absence o...
Article
Engineering reactive and functional nanostructured surfaces is important for enhancing the sensitivity and versatility of biosensors and microreactors. For example, the assembly of hybrid inorganic–organic porous microparticles on surfaces may provide a catalytic microenvironment for a wide range of reactions. Herein, the synthesis of catalytically...
Article
Bio-sourced nanoparticles have a range of desirable properties for therapeutic applications, including biodegradability and low immunogenicity. Glycogen, a natural polysaccharide nanoparticle, has garnered much interest as a component of advanced therapeutic materials. However, functionalizing glycogen for use as a therapeutic material typically in...
Article
There is a need for effective vaccine delivery systems and vaccine adjuvants without extraneous excipients that can compromise or minimize their efficacy. Vaccine adjuvants cytosine–phosphate–guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs) can effectively activate immune responses to secrete cytokines. However, CpG ODNs are not stable in serum due to en...
Article
Neurodegenerative diseases are generally characterized by a progressive loss of neuronal subpopulations, with no available cure to date. One of the main reasons for the limited clinical outcomes of new drug formulations is the lack of appropriate in vitro human cell models for research and validation. Stem cell technologies provide an opportunity t...
Article
Full-text available
DNA nanodevices have been developed as platforms for the manipulation of gene expression, delivery of molecular payloads, and detection of various molecular targets within cells and in other complex biological settings. Despite efforts to translate DNA nanodevices from the test tube (in vitro) to living cells, their intracellular trafficking and fu...
Article
Nanodrugs represent novel solutions to reshuffle repurposed drugs for cancer therapy. They might offer different therapeutic options by combining targeted drug delivery and imaging in unique platforms. Such nanomaterials are deemed to overcome the limitations of currently available treatments, ultimately improving patients' life quality. However, d...
Article
Full-text available
Different polysaccharides—namely dextran, carboxymethyl dextran, alginate, and hyaluronic acid—were compared for the synthesis of nanoporous microsponges particles (NMPs) obtained from a one-pot self-precipitation/cross-linking process. The morphologies and sizes of the NMPs were evaluated comparatively with respect to polymer-to-polymer and cross-...
Article
Full-text available
Biological nanoparticles found in living systems possess distinct molecular architectures and diverse functions. Glycogen is a unique biological polysaccharide nanoparticle fabricated by nature through a bottom‐up approach. The biocatalytic synthesis of glycogen has evolved over time to form a nanometer‐sized dendrimer‐like structure (20–150 nm) wi...
Article
Full-text available
The research for heart therapies is challenged by the limited intrinsic regenerative capacity of the adult heart. Moreover, it has been hampered by the poor results obtained by tissue engineering and regenerative medicine attempts at generating functional beating constructs able to integrate with the host tissue. For this reason, organ transplantat...
Article
Multifunctional and biodegradable nanostructured hybrid interfaces based on biopolymers are potentially useful in many applications in catalysis, bioanalytical sensing and nanomedicine. Herein, we report the engineering of multifunctional hybrid films by assembling adhesive biological nanoparticles composed of lipoate-conjugated phytoglycogen (L-PG...
Article
A simple, one-pot high frequency ultrasonication (490 kHz) methodology to convert hydrophobic and amphipathic amino acids into nanostructures was investigated. The approach involved the oxidative coupling of aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine and tryptophan) in aqueous solutions to form high molecular weight dimers and oligomers. The role of cavit...
Article
The dissipative self-assembly processes were recently exploited to assemble synthetic materials into supramolecular structures. In most cases, chemical fuel or light driven self-assembly of synthetic molecules were reported. Herein, experimental and computational approaches were used to unveil the role of acoustic cavitation in the formation of sup...
Article
The intracellular delivery of functional nanoparticles (NPs) and the release of therapeutic payloads at a target site are central issues for biomedical applications. However, the endosomal entrapment of NPs typically results in the degradation of active cargo, leading to poor therapeutic outcomes. Current advances to promote the endosomal escape of...
Article
Gut vernetzt: Die Synthese phenolischer Wirtbausteine aus makrocyclischen Wirtringen und koordinierenden Phenolfunktionen ermöglicht den raschen Aufbau adhärierender konformer Metall‐Phenolnetzwerk‐Beschichtungen auf unterschiedlichen Substraten mit modularen und einstellbaren Grenzflächeneigenschaften mithilfe von Wirt‐Gast‐Chemie. Abstract The m...
Article
The effective manipulation of interfacial properties has broad implications for the development of high‐performance coatings. Metal–phenolic networks (MPNs) are an emerging class of responsive, universally adherent materials. Herein, we integrate host–guest chemistry with MPNs to modulate their surface chemistry and interfacial properties. Macrocyc...
Article
Engineering functional nanoparticles (NPs) with low nonspecific interactions and a high specific targeting property is highly desired for improved drug delivery. Herein, we report a targeted poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based chemotherapy system synthesized via a catalyst-free sono-polymerization process for drug delivery. The polymerization process...
Article
Full-text available
Front Cover: In article number 1900085 by Wendel A. Alves and co‐workers, the self‐assembly properties of peptide nanomaterials in relation to their design and composition are surveyed. It is emphasized how environmental conditions can influence the morphology of peptide nanostructures, and how this dependence can be suitably exploited for the desi...
Article
This feature article provides a review of recent work on the synthesis of biopolymer-shelled microbubbles using various techniques with a particular focus on ultrasonic methodology that offers advantages over other conventional methods for tuning their physical and functional properties. A detailed discussion on the role of surface chemistry in fab...
Article
Self‐assembled structures obtained from organic molecules have shown great potential for applications in a wide range of domains. In this context, short peptides prove to be a particularly versatile class of organic building blocks for self‐assembled materials. These species afford the biocompatibility and polymorphic richness typical of proteins w...
Article
Full-text available
The intracellular delivery of nucleic acids and proteins remains a key challenge in the development of biologic therapeutics. In gene therapy, the inefficient delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to the cytosol by lipoplexes or polyplexes is often ascribed to the entrapment and degradation of siRNA payload in the endosomal compartments. A poss...
Article
Nanostructured materials have great potential as platforms for analytical assays and catalytic reactions. Herein, we report the synthesis of electrocatalytically active cobalt phosphate nanostructures (CPNs) using a simple, low-cost, and scalable preparation method. The electrocatalytic properties of the CPNs toward the electrooxidation of glucose...
Article
One‐pot synthesis of polymeric nanostructures, by using ultrasound without adding initiators and surfactants, is a straightforward approach that has attracted significant attention in polymer science. In this study, the ultrasonic polymerization technique is employed to synthesize poly(ethylene glycol) based nanoparticles with a hydrophobic core an...
Chapter
Six synthesis techniques using ultrasound and acoustic bubbles are introduced. As a technique using chemical effects of acoustic bubbles which comprise high-temperature and high-pressure conditions, (1) a pyrolysis technique (pyrolysis of a volatile metal precursor in organic solvent) and (2) a reduction technique (reduction of metal precursor in w...
Chapter
The ultrasonic crosslinking of biomacromolecules and biomolecules can be exploited to fabricate micro-nanodevices. In particular, biologically relevant molecules and macromolecules are desirable building blocks for engineering biomaterials. Ultrasonic synthesis, modification, and assembly of biomolecules and biomacromolecules enable the tuning of s...
Chapter
During acoustic cavitation which comprises sequence of nucleation, growth, and collapse of bubbles, physical effects due to shockwaves, micro-jets, strong micro-stirring, etc. are produced. In addition, when bubbles were adiabatically collapsed, the temperature and pressure in collapsing bubbles attained extreme high temperature and high pressure w...
Article
Interfacial self-assembly is a powerful organizational force for fabricating functional nanomaterials, including nanocarriers, for imaging and drug delivery. Herein, the interfacial self-assembly of pH-responsive metal– phenolic networks (MPNs) on the liquid–liquid interface of oil-in-water emulsions is reported. Oleic acid emulsions of 100–250 nm...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the effect of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the aggregation of a CFF (C=cysteine; F=phenylalanine) tripeptide (derived from Aβ peptide) in aqueous medium. Special attention was dedicated to the role of AuNPs as inducers and inhibitors during nucleation kinetics and the structure of the resulting scaffolds was carefully investigated....
Article
The poor penetration of nanocarrier-siRNA constructs into tumor tissue is a major hurdle for the in vivo efficacy of siRNA therapeutics, where the ability of the constructs to permeate the 3D multicellular matrix is determined by their physicochemical properties. Herein, we optimized the use of soft glycogen nanoparticles for the engineering of gly...
Preprint
We investigated the effect of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the aggregation of a CFF (C = cysteine; F = phenylalanine) tripeptide (derived from Aβ peptide) in aqueous medium. Special attention was dedicated to the role of AuNPs as inducers and inhibitors during nucleation kinetics and the structure of the resulting scaffolds was carefully investiga...
Article
A sustainable, reagent less and one-pot ultrasonic methodology has been developed to transform amorphous tannic acid into regularly shaped crystalline ellagic acid particles. Multiple and consecutive reactions have been performed...
Preprint
Transcription factor DNA binding activity is of pivotal importance in living systems because of its primary involvement in the regulation of genetic machinery. The analysis of transient expression levels of transcription factors in response to a certain cell status is a powerful means for investigating cellular dynamics at the biomolecular level. H...
Article
Full-text available
Transcription factor DNA binding activity is of pivotal importance in living systems because of its primary involvement in the regulation of genetic machinery. The analysis of transient expression levels of transcription factors in response to a certain cell status is a powerful means for investigating cellular dynamics at the biomolecular level. H...
Article
Fluorescent oligomeric structures were synthesised from the phenolic moieties by a simple one step sonochemical approach without the use of enzymes, metal catalyst or other toxic reagents. The formation of phenol dimers, trimers and oligomers was confirmed by absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, HPLC and mass spectroscopy. We have de...
Article
A simple approach is reported to engineer biodegradable and biocompatible nanoporous hyaluronic acid particles (NPHAs) with a characteristic sponge-like morphology and uniform size. These NPHAs can be synthesized using the concomitant cross-linking of hyaluronic acid and the cross-linking agent precipitation. The nanoporous architecture of NPHAs pr...
Article
Glyconanoparticles that exhibit multivalent binding to lectins are highly desirable for molecular recognition and therapeutic applications, for example. Herein, we explore the use of glycogen nanoparticles as a biosourced glyco-scaffold for engineering multivalent glyconanoparticles. Glycogen nanoparticles, a naturally occurring highly-branched pol...
Article
Full-text available
We assembled dietary, bioactive flavonoids into a metal coordinated network to form thin, surface-bound films and hollow capsules, overcoming the poor water solubility of free flavonoids. Films formed from quercetin, myricetin, luteolin and fisetin show radical scavenging activity, a renowned feature of their parent flavonoids, and can be reused ov...
Article
Full-text available
HIV-1 infection has been transformed by combined anti-retroviral therapy (ART), changing a universally fatal infection into a controllable infection. However, major obstacles for an HIV-1 cure exist. The HIV latent reservoir, which exists in resting CD4+ T cells, is not impacted by ART, and can reactivate when ART is interrupted or ceased. Addition...
Article
We present a combined spectroscopic and computational approach aimed to elucidate the mechanism of formation and activity of etoposide nanoaggregates upon release from dextran-etoposide conjugates. Etoposide is an anticancer drug that inhibits cell growth by blocking Topoisomerase II, the key enzyme involved in re-ligation of the DNA chains during...
Article
Full-text available
This work demonstrates that the reactive and oscillating surface of acoustic cavitation microbubbles acts as a catalytic binding site for the coupling of amphiphilic biomolecules bearing tyrosine moieties at the gas–liquid interface. We show a one-step, controlled ultrasonic process to self assemble tyrosine moieties into highly fluorescent uniform...
Article
We report polymer capsule-based probes for quantifying the pressure exerted by cells during capsule internalisation (P in). Poly (methacrylic acid) (PMA) capsules with tuneable mechanical properties were fabricated through layer-by-layer assembly. The P in was quantified by correlating the cell-induced deformation with the ex situ osmotically induc...
Article
Drug resistance to conventional antitumor drugs still remains one of the major causes of treatment failure in patients affected by tumors. Two main types of drug resistance to anticancer drugs can be recognized in tumors, intrinsic resistance, in which tumor cells are inherent resistant to chemotherapy and acquired resistance, as a result of previo...
Chapter
Ultrasound technique provides a simple, fast, versatile, and green pathway for synthesizing functionalized polymeric nanometer- and micrometer-sized core/shell structures. The core materials include gas, liquid, and solid materials. The microspheres’ shell is composed of biopolymers such as proteins, polysaccharides, and biocompatible synthetic pol...
Book
The aim of this handbook is to summarize the recent development in the topic of ultrasonics and sonochemistry, especially in the areas of functional materials and processing applications. This handbook will benefit the readers as a full and quick technical reference with a high-level historic review of technology, detailed technical descriptions an...
Article
We report the engineering of intracellular redox-responsive nanoporous poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(l-lysine) particles (NPEG-PLLs). The obtained particles exhibit no toxicity while maintaining the capability to deliver a small interfering RNA sequence (siRNA) targeting the anti-apoptotic factor, survivin, in prostate cancer cells. The redox-mediated...
Article
An oil-in-water emulsion was ultrasonically prepared in aqueous chitosan solutions containing different counter ions. Tetradecane was used as the oil phase in order to mimic non-polar substances used in food processes. Various acids were used to dissolve chitosan and we found that conjugate bases of the acids used, which act as counter ions to neut...
Article
Full-text available
Redox-active polymers and carriers are oxidizing nanoagents that can potentially trigger intracellular off-target effects. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of off-target effects in prostate cancer cells following exposure to redox-active polymer and thin multilayer capsules with different chemical properties. We show that, depen...
Article
We report on a sonochemical method for the fabrication of stable TiO2-chitosan hybrid microspheres possessing nanoporous structure and antimicrobial properties. The microspheres were characterized by evaluating their size, surface morphology, and ultrasound-triggered release of encapsulated materials. The size range of the microspheres was found to...
Chapter
Ultrasound technique provides a simple, fast, versatile, and green pathway for synthesizing functionalized polymeric nanometer- and micrometer-sized core/shell structures. The core materials include gas, liquid, and solid materials. The microspheres’ shell is composed of biopolymers such as proteins, polysaccharides, and biocompatible synthetic pol...