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Pharmaceutical Nanosystems Preformulation and Development

Macroarea: Pharmaceutical Technology

ERC Sectors: PE5 Synthetic Chemistry and Materials; LS7 Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Diseases

Research Team

Lab Managers: Maria Cristina Bonferoni (PO), Milena Sorrenti (PA), Laura Catenacci (RU), Sara Perteghella (RTD)

Junior Staff: Eleonora Sofia Cama (Dottoranda)

Scientific Consultant: Carla Marcella Caramella (Prof. Emerito)

Research Lines

1. Physico-chemical characterization of solid-state of actives, excipients and polymeric materials. Isolation of crystalline solid phases by different techniques such as solvent evaporation, solvent drop grinding, vapour diffusion, co-crystallization. Structural and refinement studies on single crystal in collaboration with the laboratory of Supramolecular Chemistry supervised by Prof. Mino R. Caira, University of Cape Town (South Africa).

2. Physico-chemical characterization of drugs and their complexes with natural and derivative cyclodextrins aimed at improving the unfavourable physico-chemical and biopharmaceutical properties of actives.

3. Development, physico-chemical characterization and pharmaceutical applications of nanoparticles based on hydrophobically modified polysaccharides obtained by ionic interaction of bioactive polysaccharides such as chitosan and glycosaminoglycans with hydrophobic moieties for the delivery of poorly soluble drugs. Development of polymeric micelles and polysaccharide coated biodegradable/lipid nanoparticles for the delivery of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, anti-infectives, polyphenols, class IV drugs. Nanoparticle functionalization for the improvement of the interaction with cells and biological substrates.

4. Development and physico-chemical characterization of nanoemulsions based on polymeric surfactants aimed at the delivery of drugs and essential oils for skin repair and cutaneous diseases. Application in nose-to-brain targeting for neurodegenerative diseases (in collaboration with Ferrara and Sassari Universities).

5. Development and characterization of nanoparticles for theranostic applications. Association of nanoparticles with fluorescent probes to improve detection and treatment of cancer lesions and to support image guided precision surgery (in collaboration with IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo and Sassari University).

  • D. Miele, L. Catenacci, M. Sorrenti, S. Rossi, G. Sandri, L. Malavasi, G. Dacarro, F. Ferrari, M.C. BonferoniChitosan Oleate Coated Poly Lactic-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) Nanoparticles versus Chitosan Oleate Self-Assembled Polymeric Micelles, Loaded with Resveratrol. Marine Drugs, 17, 515 (2019).
  • D. Miele, L. Catenacci, S. Rossi, G. Sandri, M. Sorrenti, A. Terzi, C. Giannini, F. Riva, F. Ferrari, C. Caramella, M.C. BonferoniCollagen/PCL Nanofibers Electrospun in Green Solvent by DOE Assisted Process. An Insight into Collagen Contribution. Materials, 13, 4698 (2020).
  • L. Catenacci, M. Sorrenti, M.C. Bonferoni, L. Hunt, M.R. CairaInclusion of the Phytoalexin trans-Resveratrol in Native Cyclodextrins: A Thermal, Spectroscopic, and X-Ray Structural Study. Molecules, 25, 998 (2020).
  • L. Catenacci, G. Marrubini, M. Sorrenti, S. Rossi, G. Sandri, F. Ferrari, V. Fagnani, C. Valentino, M.C. BonferoniDesign of Experiments-Assisted Development of Clotrimazole-Loaded Ionic Polymeric Micelles Based on Hyaluronic Acid. Nanomaterials, 10, 635, (2020).
  • M.C. Bonferoni, G. Rassu, E. Gavini, M. Sorrenti, L. Catenacci, P. Giunchedi.Nose-to-Brain Delivery of Antioxidants as a Potential Tool for the Therapy of Neurological Diseases. Pharmaceutics, 12, 1246 (2020).
  • L. Catenacci, M. Sorrenti, S. Perteghella, D. Mandracchia, M.L. Torre, A. Trapani, C. Milanese, G. Tripodo.Combination of inulin and β-cyclodextrin properties for colon delivery of hydrophobic drugs. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 589, 119861 (2020).
  • D. Miele, X. Xia, L. Catenacci, M. Sorrenti, S. Rossi, G. Sandri, F. Ferrari, J.J. Rossi, M. C. Bonferoni. Chitosan oleate coated PLGA nanoparticles as siRNA drug delivery system. Pharmaceutics, 13, 1716 (2021).
  • M.C. Bonferoni, G. Rassu, E. Gavini, M. Sorrenti, L. Catenacci, M.L. Torre, S. Perteghella, L. Ansaloni, M. Maestri, P. Giunchedi.Electrochemotherapy of deep-seated tumors: State of art and perspectives as possible “epr effect enhancer” to improve cancer nanomedicine efficacy. Cancers, 13, 4437 (2021).
  • G. Rassu, M. Sorrenti, L. Catenacci, B. Pavan, L. Ferraro, E. Gavini, M.C. Bonferoni, P. Giunchedi, A. Dalpiaz.Versatile Nasal Application of Cyclodextrins: Excipients and/or Actives? Pharmaceutics, 13, 1180 (2021).
  • L. Catenacci, A.I. Vicatos, M. Sorrenti, M.C. Bonferoni, M.R. Caira.Native Cyclodextrins as Complexation Agents for Pterostilbene: Complex Preparation and Characterization in Solution and in the Solid State. Pharmaceutics, 14, 8 (2022).

National collaborations

  • Università di Ferrara
  • Università di Sassari
  • IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo

International collaborations

  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • University of Szeged, Hungary
  • University Complutense of Madrid, Spain
  • Calorimetric Analysis (Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Thermogravimetric Analysis and Thermomicroscopic Analysis)
  • Spectrophotometric analysis (UV / Visible, FT-IR), HPLC analysis
  • Polymorphism studies of actives and excipients
  • Formulation strategies for solubility enhancement (e.g. cyclodextrins, solid dispersions, lipid based systems)