Gianni Ciofani

Gianni Ciofani
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Smart Bio-Interfaces

Ph.D.
Smart Bio-Interfaces, Principal Investigator; Center for Materials Interfaces, Coordinator

About

160
Publications
37,962
Reads
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Introduction
Gianni Ciofani is Senior Researcher Tenured at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), where he is Principal Investigator of the Smart Bio-Interfaces Research Line and Coordinator of the Center for Materials Interfaces (Pontedera, Pisa, Italy). His research is mainly focused on smart nanomaterials for nanomedicine, bio/non-bio interactions, and biology in altered gravity conditions. In 2016 he was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant.
Additional affiliations
October 2021 - December 2021
Waseda University
Position
  • Professor
March 2021 - present
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Manager
November 2019 - present
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Education
January 2007 - January 2010
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Field of study
  • Innovative Technologies
October 2004 - November 2006
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Field of study
  • Industrial Engineering
September 2004 - July 2006
Università di Pisa
Field of study
  • Bioengineering

Publications

Publications (160)
Article
Tetragonal barium titanate nanoparticles (BTNPs) have been exploited as nanotransducers owing to their piezoelectric properties, in order to provide indirect electrical stimulation to SH-SY5Y neuron-like cells. Following application of ultrasounds to cells treated with BTNPs, fluorescence imaging of ion dynamics revealed that the synergic stimulati...
Article
Mild heat stimulation of muscle cells within the physiological range represents an intriguing approach for the modulation of their functions. In this work, photothermal conversion was exploited to remotely stimulate striated muscle cells by using gold nanoshells (NS) in combination with near-infrared (NIR) radiation. Temperature increments of appro...
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The investigation of the crossing of exogenous substances through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is object of intensive research in biomedicine, and one of the main obstacles for reliable in vitro evaluations is represented by the difficulties at the base of developing realistic models of the barrier, which could resemble as most accurately as possi...
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In this study, hybrid nanocubes composed of magnetite (Fe3O4) and manganese dioxide (MnO2), coated with U‐251 MG cell‐derived membranes (CM‐NCubes) are synthesized. The CM‐NCubes demonstrate a concentration‐dependent oxygen generation (up to 15%), and, for the first time in the literature, an intracellular increase of temperature (6 °C) due to the...
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Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive brain tumor due to its high invasiveness and genetic heterogeneity. Moreover, the blood-brain barrier prevents many drugs from reaching a therapeutic concentration at the tumor site, and most of the chemotherapeutics lacks in specificity towards cancer cells, accumulating in both healthy and diseased t...
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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are active molecules involved in several biological functions. When the production of ROS is not counterbalanced by the action of protective antioxidant mechanisms present in living...
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Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have attracted attention in the biomedical field thanks to their ability to prompt hyperthermia in response to an alternated magnetic field. Hyperthermia is well known for inducing cell death, in particular in tumour cells, which seem to have a higher sensitivity to temperature increases. For this...
Article
In the past decades, bone tissue engineering developed and exploited many typologies of bioreactors, which, besides providing proper culture conditions, aimed at integrating those bio‐physical stimulations that cells experience in vivo, to promote osteogenic differentiation. Nevertheless, the highly challenging combination and deployment of many st...
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Accumulation of reactive oxygen species in cells leads to oxidative stress, with consequent damage for cellular components and activation of cell-death mechanisms. Oxidative stress is often associated with age-related conditions, as well as with several neurodegenerative diseases. For this reason, antioxidant molecules have attracted a lot of atten...
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most common and aggressive brain tumors. It presents a very bad prognosis with a patients’ overall survival of 12-15 months; treatment failure is mainly ascribable to tumor recurrence. The development of a new tool, that could help the precise detection of the tumor border, is thus an urgent need. During...
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), also known as grade IV astrocytoma, represents the most aggressive primary brain tumor. The complex genetic heterogeneity, the acquired drug resistance, and the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) limit the efficacy of the current therapies, with effectiveness demonstrated only in a small subset of patients. To...
Article
The combined approach of ex situ normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) and nanotechnology represents a strategy to mitigate ischemia/reperfusion injury in liver transplantation. We evaluated the uptake, distribution, and efficacy of antioxidant cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) during normothermic perfusion of discarded human livers. Nine disca...
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Polydopamine (PDA) is a polymer that derives from the self-polymerization of the biomolecule dopamine. It can be easily synthesized to obtain spherical nanoparticles (PDNPs), tunable in terms of size, loaded cargo, and surface functionalization. PDNPs have been increasingly attracting the attention of the research community due to their elevated ve...
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Angiogenesis plays a fundamental role in tumor development, as it is crucial for tumor progression, metastasis, and invasion. In this view, anti-angiogenic therapy has received considerable attention in several cancer types to inhibit tumor vascularization, and the progress of nanotechnology offers opportunities to target and release anti-angiogeni...
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Smart materials able to respond to an external stimulus or an environmental condition represent milestone developments in modern medicine. Among them, zinc oxide (ZnO) is a highly intriguing inorganic material with versatile morphologies/shapes and multifunctional properties like piezoelectricity, enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation,...
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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with no satisfactory therapy options. Similar to other neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases, oxidative stress plays a key factor in the neurodegeneration process. To counteract the uncontrolled increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxi...
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When nanostructures and other materials are exposed to biological fluids, they are immediately covered by a layer of biological molecules, which is typically referred to as a “biomolecular corona” (BC). This represents the first component of a material that interacts with biological systems, so characterizing the composition and the dynamic evoluti...
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Electrical stimulation has shown great promise in biomedical applications, such as regenerative medicine, neuromodulation, and cancer treatment. Yet, the use of electrical end effectors such as electrodes requires connectors and batteries, which dramatically hamper the translation of electrical stimulation technologies in several scenarios. Piezoel...
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Tetrapyrroles are the basis of essential physiological functions in most living organisms. These compounds represent the basic scaffold of porphyrins, chlorophylls, and bacteriochlorophylls, among others. Chlorophyll derivatives, obtained by the natural or artificial degradation of chlorophylls, present unique properties, holding great potential in...
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Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a neurological disease characterized by autosomal recessive mutations in the sacsin gene (SACS), that cause in patients progressive cerebellar atrophy, damage of the peripheral nerves, and cognitive impairment. No effective therapies have been proposed for ARSACS, even if some ev...
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Gravity alterations elicit complex and mostly detrimental effects on biological systems. Among these, a prominent role is occupied by oxidative stress, with consequences for tissue homeostasis and development. Studies in altered gravity are relevant for both Earth and space biomedicine, but their implementation using whole organisms is often troubl...
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Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer‐related morbidity and mortality. It represents one of the greatest challenges in cancer therapy, both because of the ability of metastatic cells to spread into different organs, and because of the consequent heterogeneity that characterizes primary and metastatic tumors. Nanomaterials can potentially b...
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Recent reports highlighted the significant neuroprotective effects of thyronamines (TAMs), a class of endogenous thyroid hormone derivatives. In particular, 3-iodothyronamine (T1AM) has been shown to play a pleiotropic role in neurodegeneration by modulating energy metabolism and neurological functions in mice. However, the pharmacological response...
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In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models represent an efficient platform to conduct high-throughput quantitative investigations on BBB crossing ability of different drugs. Such models provide a closed system where different fundamental variables can be efficaciously tuned and monitored, and issues related to scarce accessibility of animal brains a...
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and malignant neoplasia having origin in the brain. The current treatments involve surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, being the complete surgical resection the best option for the patient survival chances. However, in those cases where a complete removal is not possible, radiation and chemother...
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Background Metastatic breast cancer is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in woman. Brain metastasis is a common and devastating site of relapse for several breast cancer molecular subtypes, including oestrogen receptor-positive disease, with life expectancy of less than a year. While efforts have been devoted to developing therapeutics for ext...
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The modeling of the pathological microenvironment of the central nervous system (CNS) represents a disrupting approach for drug screening for advanced therapies against tumors and neuronal disorders. The in vitro investigations of the crossing and diffusion of drugs through the blood–brain barrier (BBB) are still not completely reliable, due to tec...
Article
Oxidative stress is caused by the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) in the cellular microenvironment. These ROS and RNS damage important cell structures leading to cell apoptosis and senescence, thus causing a detrimental effect on numerous disease pathologies such as osteoarthritis, neurodegeneration and cardiovasc...
Article
Oxidative stress represents a common issue in most neurological diseases, causing severe impairments of neuronal cell physiological activity that ultimately lead to neuron loss of function and cellular death. In this work, lipid-coated polydopamine nanoparticles (L-PDNPs) are proposed both as antioxidant and neuroprotective agents, and as well as a...
Article
Owing to the self-renewing reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger capability of cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria), we tested in vivo radioprotective effects on stem cells and tissue regeneration using low-dose irradiated planarians as model system. We treated planarians with nanoceria or gum Arabic, as control, and we analyzed the expression...
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Oxidative stress occurs when physiological antioxidant systems do not manage to counteract the excessive intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which accumulate leading to irreversible oxidation of DNA and other biomacromolecules, and thus to the onset of pathological conditions. Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-...
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive types of brain cancer, characterized by rapid progression, resistance to treatments, and low survival rates; the development of a targeted treatment for this disease is still today an unattained objective. Among the different strategies developed in the latest few years for the targeted de...
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Piezoelectric ceramic nanomaterials have recently attracted attention in the biomedical field thanks to their interesting electrical properties in response to mechanical stimulation (and vice versa) combined with a good biocompatibility and the ability to promote the regeneration of electrically sensitive tissues. In tissue engineering approaches,...
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Spheroids are 3D cellular systems largely adopted as model for high‐throughput screening of molecules and diagnostics tools. Furthermore, those cellular platforms also represent a model for testing new delivery carries for selective targeting. The coupling between the 3D cell environment and the nanovectors can be explored at the macroscale by opti...
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Cerebral ischemia (or ischemic stroke) is undeniably one of the most important life-threatening cerebral disorders. It occurs due to a clot formation in one of the blood arteries supplying the brain, causing a reduction or interruption of the blood flow. To date, the use of thrombolytics like the recombinant tissue plasminogen activator or the use...
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Many central nervous system (CNS) diseases are still incurable and only symptomatic treatments are available. Oxidative stress is suggested to be a common hallmark, being able to cause and exacerbate the neuronal cell dysfunctions at the basis of these pathologies, such as mitochondrial impairments, accumulation of misfolded proteins, cell membrane...
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Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. As implied by its name, the disease displays impressive intrinsic heterogeneity. Among other complications, inter‐ and intratumoral diversity hamper glioblastoma research and therapy, typically leaving patients with little hope for long‐term survival. Extensive...
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Ischemic stroke is considered one of the most threatening neurological disorders with high percentages of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Although in recent years, several nanotechnological advances have improved the survival rates, severe untreated poststroke side‐effects continue to significantly influence the way of life of many. Tissue plasm...
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Functional and stimuli-responsive nanofibers with an enhanced surface area/volume ratio provide controlled and triggered drug release with higher efficacy. In this study, chemotherapeutic agent Rose Bengal (RB) (4,5,6,7-tetrachloro-2′, 4′,5′,7′-tetraiodofluoresceindisodium)-loaded water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers were synthesized by...
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Aiming at finding new solutions for fighting glioblastoma multiforme, one of most aggressive and lethal human cancer, here an in vitro validation of multifunctional nanovectors for drug delivery and hyperthermia therapy is proposed. Hybrid magnetic lipid nanoparticles have been fully characterized and tested on a multi-cellular complex model resemb...
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Background: In most mammals, a vast array of genes coding for chemosensory receptors mediates olfaction. Odorant receptor (OR) genes generally constitute the largest multifamily (> 1100 intact members in the mouse). From the whole pool, each olfactory neuron expresses a single OR allele following poorly characterized mechanisms termed OR gene choi...
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Every year, cancer is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide and, even though much progress has been achieved in medicine, there are still many issues that must be addressed in order to improve cancer therapy. For this reason, oncological research is putting a lot of effort towards finding new and efficient therapies which can alleviate criti...
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Cancer accounts for millions of deaths every year and, due to the increase and aging of the world population, the number of new diagnosed cases is continuously rising. Although many progresses in early diagnosis and innovative therapeutic protocols have been already set in clinical practice, still a lot of critical aspects need to be addressed in o...
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Aim: Glioblastoma multiforme is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and current treatments are limited to palliative cares. The present study proposes a nanotechnology-based solution able to improve both drug efficacy and its delivery efficiency. Materials & methods: Nutlin-3a and superparamagnetic nanoparticles were encapsulated in solid lipid n...
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Major obstacles to the successful treatment of gliolastoma multiforme are mostly related to the acquired resistance to chemotherapy drugs and, after surgery, to the cancer recurrence in correspondence of residual microscopic foci. As innovative anticancer approach, low-intensity electric stimulation represents a physical treatment able to reduce mu...
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Cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria, NC) have attracted much attention in biomedicine due to their surface composition that confers interesting redox activities and regenerative properties. Studies have demonstrated that the application of nanoparticles in biomedicine can influence components of hemostatic system, inducing blood clotting, alterat...
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Neurodegenerative diseases comprise a large group of disorders characterized by a dramatic synaptic connections loss, occurring as a result of neurodegeneration, which is closely related to the overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Up to date, the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases has been limited mostly because of the inabi...
Article
Mesoporous zinc oxide (ZnO) scaffolds coated by drop-casted graphene oxide (GO) flakes are proposed as a novel bilayer system featuring bioactivity, biocompatibility and promising loading/release properties for controlled drug-delivery systems. The high-surface area ZnO scaffolds shows clear apatite deposition but the particular surface chemistry a...
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In this study, taking into consideration the limitations of the current treatments of glioblastoma multiforme, we fabricated a biomimetic lipid-based magnetic nanovector with good loading capacity and a sustained release profile of the encapsulated chemotherapeutic drug, temozolomide. These nanostructures demonstrated an enhanced release after expo...
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Aim: Oxidative stress (OS) is strictly associated with senescence/pathogenesis of biological systems. As putative countermeasure to environmental OS, cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria [NC]) were administered to muscle cells on ground and aboard the International Space Station. Materials & methods: Transcriptional analyses were conducted thro...
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Piezoelectric films of poly(vinylidenedifluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)) and of P(VDF-TrFE) / boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) were prepared by cast-annealing and used for SaOS-2 osteoblast-like cell culture. Films were characterized in terms of surface and bulk features, and composite films demonstrated enhanced piezoresponse compared to p...
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Osteosarcoma is an aggressive form of bone cancer mostly affecting young people. To date, the most effective strategy for the treatment of osteosarcoma is the surgical removal of the tumor with or without combinational chemotherapy. In this study, we present the development of a pH-sensitive drug-delivery system in the form of microparticles, with...
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In this Review we provide a broad overview on the use of nanotechnology for the fight against breast cancer (BC). Nowadays, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention may be possible thanks to the application of nanotechnology to the clinical practice. Taking into consideration the different forms of BC and the disease status, nanomaterials ca...