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NART 2019

September 18 - 20

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Giuseppino Fortunato


Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles,
St. Gallen, Switzerland

My actual main research interests are located in the field of polymer nanofiber development with em- phasis on fundamental questions such as material - cell and material - drug interactions and the devel- opment of respective applications. Fiber network development is focused on fiber arrangement, tailor- ing of pore sizes and fiber surfaces as well as mechanical properties.

In collaboration with partner research groups we investigated fibers and membranes and respective in- teraction with cells in-vitro for selected tissue engineering purposes (heart, spine, bone regeneration, vessels) [1-5]. We investigated selected fiber morphologies and fiber orientations to assess their im- pact on cells proliferation, differentiation and functionality (endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, os- teoblasts, fibroblasts). These investigations led to a deep understanding of the interactions between fi- bers and cells behavior. As a highlight, we managed to evolve electrospinning as a formerly pure fiber production technology into a novel 3D biograft development tool for in-situ incorporation of cells into e-spun membranes as found within the native human extracellular matrix [5].

In the field of encapsulation and release we focus both on electrostatic spinning/spraying and solvent based capsule formation. We showed that by careful evaluation of the drug – polymer interactions as well as the development of distinct materials morphologies selected release kinetics (burst, sustained or responsive) can be obtained by tailoring of diffusion pathways and responsiveness with respect to environmental conditions [6-9].

[1] Wismer N, et al. Tissue Eng Part A 2014;20:672-82 [2] Guex AG, et al. Biomed Mater 2013;8 [3] Guex AG, et al. Acta Biomater 2014;10:2996-3006 [4] Guex AG, et al. Acta Biomater 2012;8:1481-9 [5] Weidenbacher L, et al. Acta Biomater 2017;64:137-47 [6] Ghitescu RE, et al. Int J Pharma 2015:494, 278 [7] Ghitescu RE, et al. Eur Pharma Biopharma 2018;122:78-86 [8] Camerlo A, et al. J Mater Sci 2014;49(23):8154-8162 [9] Amarjargal A, et al. J Drug Del Sci Technol 2019; 52: 8-14.