Barbara Mazzolai

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BACKGROUND Thanks to their impressive catalytic properties, cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) are able to mimic the activity of superoxide dismutase and of catalase, therefore acting as reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers in many biological contexts, for instance offering neuroprotection and reduction of apoptosis rate in many types of cells(More)
This paper reports the rationale and design of a robotic arm, as inspired by an octopus arm. The octopus arm shows peculiar features, such as the ability to bend in all directions, to produce fast elongations, and to vary its stiffness. The octopus achieves these unique motor skills, thanks to its peculiar muscular structure, named muscular hydrostat.(More)
This work describes the design and experimental results of an algorithm, designed to localize a gas source in an indoor environment with no strong airflow by using an autonomous agent. This condition exacerbates the patchiness and intermittency of odor distribution, typical of turbulent flows in the presence of strong mean flows. Furthermore, no information(More)
The main objectives of our study were to estimate the impact of a mercury cell chlor-alkali (MCCA) complex in Rosignano Solvay (Tuscany, Italy) on the local environment and to assess mercury exposure of inhabitants living near the plant. Measurement campaigns of atmospheric Hg near the MCCA plant showed that the impact of the emitted Hg from the industry on(More)
Osmotic-driven plant movements are widely recognized as impressive examples of energy efficiency and low power consumption. These aspects motivate the interest in developing an original biomimetic concept of new actuators based on the osmotic principle exploited by plants. This study takes a preliminary step in this direction, by modelling the dynamic(More)
The octopus is a marine animal whose body has no rigid structures. It has eight arms composed of a peculiar muscular structure, named a muscular hydrostat. The octopus arms provide it with both locomotion and grasping capabilities, thanks to the fact that their stiffness can change over a wide range and can be controlled through combined contractions of the(More)
Soft robotics is a current focus in robotics research because of the expected capability of soft robots to better interact with real-world environments. As a point of inspiration in the development of innovative technologies in soft robotics, octopuses are particularly interesting 'animal models'. Octopus arms have unique biomechanical capabilities that(More)
Bioinspired recombinant polypeptides represent a highly promising tool in biomedical research, being protein intrinsic constituents of both cells and their natural matrices. In this regard, a very interesting model is represented by polypeptides inspired by elastin, which naturally confers rubber-like elasticity to tissues, and is able to undergo wide(More)
Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) represent an innovative and extremely intriguing class of nanomaterials. Thanks to their special chemical and physical characteristics, they have already found a large number of applications in the field of nanotechnology, and recent studies have shown their possible exploitation in the biomedical domain, both as nanocarriers(More)
Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) represent an innovative and extremely intriguing class of nanomaterials, and preliminar but encouraging studies about their applications in biomedicine have emerged in the latest years. As a consequence, a systematic investigation of their biosafety has become of fundamental importance in the biomedical research. Extending(More)