Ornella Nzolang T.

Ornella Nzolang T.

Master student

Tendon scaffolds with drug delivery capability


Supervisors: Florencia Diaz, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Tendon injuries or disorders are common and debilitating conditions that have an impact on people’s quality of life [1]. Tendon tissue engineering intends to repair tendon damages by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts.  Melatonin has been found to possess immunomodulatory properties in tendon regeneration. It is believed to inhibit the inflammatory response of the tissue, as well as being a natural antioxidant [2]. In this work, chitosan nanoparticles will be synthesized as an encapsulation matrix for this drug and to enable drug delivery. The encapsulation efficiency and drug release kinetics will be measured. Finally, these nanoparticles will be incorporated into anisotropic, all-natural polymeric scaffolds that mimic tendon architecture.

[1] Yang Liu; H.S. Ramanath; Dong-An Wang (2008). Tendon tissue engineering using scaffold enhancing strategies., 26(4), 201–209. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.01.003

[2]  Mehmet Turgut; Gülperi Öktem; Serap Uslu; Mine Ertem Yurtseven; Hüseyin Aktuğ; Ayşegül Uysal (2006). The effect of exogenous melatonin administration on trabecular width, ligament thickness and TGF-β1 expression in degenerated intervertebral disk tissue in the rat. , 13(3), 0–363. doi:10.1016/j.jocn.2005.03.037




Former Bachelor student (2021)

Electrophoretic Deposition of Zein-Bioactive Glass Composites on Titanium Substrates for Biomedical Applications


Supervisor: Zoya Hadzhieva, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Titanium and its alloys are widely utilized as implant materials in stomatology and orthopedics owing to their high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance and biocompatibility [1].  Nevertheless, the long-term performance of metallic implants is still limited due to their insufficient bone-binding ability. In addition, implant related infections, are often recurrent, causing high rates of morbidity and mortality [2].  One strategy to overcome these issues is to coat the metal surface with antibacterial and bioactive organic-inorganic composite layers [3]. Among different coating techniques, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is gaining increasing attention due to its feasibility for room temperature processing, simple equipment and the possibility to control the properties of the deposit by varying EPD parameters [4].  In this work, bioactive and antibacterial coatings will be developed on titanium substrates by electrophoretic co-deposition of zein and sol-gel derived bioactive glasses (BGs). Several different compositions of BG particles will be considered for coating preparation. Moreover, the morphological characteristics, adhesion strength, bioactivity and time-dependent degradation behavior of the final coatings will be investigated.

[1] M. Geetha, et al., Ti based biomaterials, the ultimate choice for orthopaedic implants – A review, Progress in Materials Science, 54, 2009, 397-425.

[2] M. Croes et al., Antibacterial and immunogenic behavior of silver coatings on additively manufactured porous titanium. Acta Biomaterialia, 81, 2018, 315–327.

[3] N. Meyer, et al., Bioactive and Antibacterial Coatings Based on Zein/Bioactive Glass Composites by Electrophoretic Deposition, Coatings, 8, 2018, 27.

[4] E. Avcu, et al., Electrophoretic deposition of chitosan-based composite coatings for biomedical applications: A review, Prog. Mater. Sci. 103, 2019, 69-108.