Ilenia Occhipinti

Ilenia Occhipinti

Visiting student (Polytechnic of Turin, Italy)

Fabrication and characterization of nanoparticle-containing melt electrowritten scaffolds for bone cancer treatment


Supervisors in Erlangen: Irem Unalan, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Current bone anticancer treatments mainly rely on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and/or surgery. When the tumoral area is small and accessible, the typical clinical treatment implies tumor mass removal followed by bone reconstruction or consolidation with a bioceramic or a metallic scaffold. Even though the treatment also involves chemotherapy or radiotherapy, a resurgence of cancer cells remains possible [1]. For this reason, it is possible to use functional nanoparticles (MNPs) for bone cancer treatment (hyperthermia, drug delivery), thanks to their suitable magnetic orientation, small size effect, biodegradability, and reactive functional groups. Such nanoparticiles are usually functionalized with copolymers to have better biocompatibility [2]. Melt electrowriting (MEW) is a high-resolution additive manufacturing (AM) method for printing highly porous scaffolds composed of synthetic biodegradable polymers. In this method, polymer melts can be written via a high voltage field to highly defined scaffolds with submicron-sized fibers [3]. This master thesis in collaboration with Prof. Enrica Verne and Prof. Marta Miola (Polytechnic of Turin) aims to fabricate functional nanoparticle incorporated PCL melt electrowritten scaffolds to treat bone cancer. The scaffold’s physical, mechanical, and biological properties will be investigated during this project.

[1] Kesse, X., Adam, A., Begin-Colin, S., Mertz, D., Larquet, E., Gacoin, T., Maurin, I., Vichery, C., & Nedelec, J. M. (2020). Elaboration of Superparamagnetic and Bioactive Multicore-Shell Nanoparticles (?-Fe2O3@SiO2-CaO): A Promising Material for Bone Cancer Treatment. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 12(42), 47820–47830.

[2] Singh, R. K., Patel, K. D., Lee, J. H., Lee, E. J., Kim, J. H., Kim, T. H., & Kim, H. W. (2014). Potential of magnetic nanofiber scaffolds with mechanical and biological properties applicable for bone regeneration. PLoS ONE, 9(4).

[3] Hochleitner, G., Kessler, M., Schmitz, M., Boccaccini, A. R., Teβmar, J., & Groll, J. (2017). Melt electrospinning writing of defined scaffolds using polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) blends with 45S5 bioactive glass particles. Materials Letters, 205, 257–260.