Nevio Picci

Università della Calabria, Rende, Calabria, Italy

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Publications (204)501.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study concerns the preparation and characterization of microspheres based on a mixture of triterpene saponins, from Physospermum verticillatum (Waldst & Kit), as a carrier for the specific release of gemcitabine. Methods: Triterpene saponins were derivatized with acrylic acid. The obtained polymerizable product was characterized by Fourier transform infrared to confirm the ester linkage. Then, spherical microparticles were prepared by suspension radical copolymerization and impregnated with gemcitabine. Key findings: Microspheres exhibited a mean diameter of 2.7 μ. The swelling studies showed that particles swell most at pH 6.2, typical of the tumour pathology, than at pH 7.4, miming physiological conditions. The microspheres were loaded with gemcitabine (LE 72.2%). Their release profile showed an initial dot of around 24% and a further release for 24 h. Conclusions: This carrier could be potentially release the drug in the lung, as a function of different pHs between tumour cells and healthy, reducing the systemic drug toxicity, allowing the reduction of the doses number, increasing the drug half-life and eliminating the problems related to the fast clearance of gemcitabine administration.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Cotton gauze was inserted into a hydrogel network composed of acrylamide, sodium methacrylate and polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate to fabricate an electro-responsive delivery system for wound dressing. The composite was characterized by swelling measurements, showing that shrinking or swelling depend on the applied voltage. The release profile of incorporated Diclofenac Sodium Salt shows the possibility to modulate the kinetics by changes in the amplitude and duration of applied electric pulses. Mathematical models allow a characterization of release profiles, which are slower when an external voltage of 6, 12 and 18 V is applied, and faster at 24 V.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Polymeric Materials
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the separation of eight biogenic amines (cadaverine, serotonin, histamine, spermidine, spermine, tyramine, putrescine and β-phenylethylamine) by a liquid chromatography (LC) method with evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) was performed. The LC–ELSD method was validated by comparison of the results with those obtained through LC–ultraviolet (UV) determination, based on a pre-column dansyl chloride derivatisation step, and the recorded data showed as both analytical methods can be interchangeably used for biogenic amines determination. LC–ELSD methodology showed good precision and permitted to achieve, for standard solutions, limits of detection (LOD) ranging from 0.01 to 0.02 μg ml−1 and limits of quantitation (LOQ) ranging from 0.03 to 0.05 μg ml−1. The whole methodology, comprehensive of the homogenization–extraction process and LC–ELSD analysis, has been applied in the analysis of several samples of fair trade cocoa derivatives. The most abundant amine found was histamine for a total amount of biogenic amines in the range 5.81–38.82 μg g−1. The highest amounts of biogenic amines (BAs) were found in the most processed products but never representing a possible risk for consumer health, according to the toxicity levels reported in literature and regarded as acceptable.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Food Analytical Methods
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    ABSTRACT: In a single-step free radical reaction, multicatalytic hydrogels were synthesized by covalent immobilization of Pancreatin onto a film composed of Acrylamide and Polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate750. Hydrogels were characterized by determination of their dynamic swelling ratios and each catalytic activity was extensively investigated by determination of kinetic parameters KM and Vmax. The immobilization process was found to preserve the hydrolytic properties of Pancreatin (Protease, Lipase, and Amylase catalytic activities). Catalytic efficiencies were the highest with Protease and the lowest with Amylase. Reusability values higher than 60% after 10 repeated cycles proved the applicability of the proposed material in industrial practice.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Cromolyn sodium, or disodium cromoglycate (CS), is a surface active drug: a pharmacologically active compound with an amphiphilic nature. At certain conditions it is able to self-associate in several kind of supramolecular aggregates. Since CS could play the role of both carrier and drug, bypassing the use of additional excipients and increasing the system biocompatibility, the effects of cromolyn self-aggregates on diffusion and percutaneous permeation across rabbit ear skin were investigated. Niosomes (vesicular systems, 0.5wt% of CS), monomeric and isotropic solutions (0.5 and 5wt% of CS), nematic (15wt% of CS) and hexagonal phases (30wt% of CS) were selected as supramolecular systems and tested as transdermal delivery systems. Results demonstrated that CS was able to form vesicular structures of about 500nm of diameter and this formulation gave the higher percutaneous permeation profile (systemic action), while isotropic solution and liquid crystals mesophases acted as slower release reservoir of drug on the skin surface (local action), as confirmed by diffusion coefficients. Diffusion rates through a synthetic membrane were dependent both on CS concentration present into the formulations and on its structural organization: maximum diffusion was noticed with isotropic solution, a lower amount of diffused cromolyn sodium was achieved by hexagonal phase. Consequently, CS appears as a versatile surfadrug as, depending on the disease degree, it is possible to modulate its permeation profile by choosing the most appropriate formulation.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogels sensitive to electric current are usually made of polyelectrolytes and undergo erosion, swelling, de-swelling or bending in the presence of an applied electric field. The electrical conductivity of many polymeric materials used for the fabrication of biomedical devices is not high enough to achieve an effective modulation of the functional properties, and thus, the incorporation of conducting materials (e.g., carbon nanotubes and nanographene oxide) was proposed as a valuable approach to overcome this limitation. By coupling the biological and chemical features of both natural and synthetic polymers with the favourable properties of carbon nanostructures (e.g., cellular uptake, electromagnetic and magnetic behaviour), it is possible to produce highly versatile and effective nanocomposite materials. In the present review, the recent advances in the synthesis and biomedical applications of electro-responsive nanocomposite hydrogels are discussed.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Pharmaceutics
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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.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · International Journal of Polymeric Materials
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    ABSTRACT: Photostability studies were performed on topical formulations containing Diclofenac (DC). Niosomal gels were designed as photostabilization systems and ascorbic acid was also added to the new topical formulations because of its antioxidant property. Photodegradation tests were applied on commercial formulations containing DC and novel prepared gels, according to the ICH rules. The experiments were monitored by spectrophotometry and the data processed by multivariate curve resolution analysis to estimate the spectra and concentration profiles of evolved components. Characterization of niosomes was evaluated by size and distribution measurement, morphological analysis and encapsulation efficiency. Permeation experiments were performed across rabbit ear skin up to 24h. Photodegradation rate of DC was found very fast in commercial formulation, with a residual content of 90% after only 4.38min under a radiant exposure of 450W/m(2). Photostability resulted increased significantly when the drug was entrapped in niosomal systems. The best results were obtained by reaching a 10% degradation after 50.00min of light exposure after incorporation of DC in niosomes in presence of 5% ascorbic acid. Moreover, niosomal gel also influenced the permeation capability of DC by enhancing the transdermal delivery of the drug. The cumulative dose permeated of DC from niosomal gel was about three times that obtained with the commercial gel. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · International Journal of Pharmaceutics
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
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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.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
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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.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · RSC Advances
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Food Chemistry
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment
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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.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · European Polymer Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction AP and IP: Main Characteristics and Applications Legal Issues Dossier Submission and EFSA Safety Assessment Conclusions
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
  • Manuela Curcio · Nevio Picci
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Antioxidant Polymers as Food Additives Antioxidant Polymers as Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods Conclusion
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015

Publication Stats

3k Citations
501.52 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1984-2015
    • Università della Calabria
      • • Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences
      • • Department of Pharmaco-Biology
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials
      • • Department of Physics
      Rende, Calabria, Italy
  • 2010
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1993
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      Genova, Liguria, Italy