Francesca Maria Toma

Learn More
A long-term goal of tissue engineering is to exploit the ability of supporting materials to govern cell-specific behaviors. Instructive scaffolds code such information by modulating (via their physical and chemical features) the interface between cells and materials at the nanoscale. In modern neuroscience, therapeutic regenerative strategies (i.e., brain(More)
One of the major obstacles to the clinical development of gene silencing by small interfering RNA (siRNA) is its effective cytoplasmic delivery. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as novel nanomaterials that can offer significant advantages for the intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, such as siRNA. We recently demonstrated in a proof-of-principle(More)
A new series of dendron-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) derivatives, characterized by the presence of numerous positively charged tetraalkyl ammonium salts at the periphery of the dendron, has been synthesized. The positive charges on the MWNT surface, coupled with the unique ability of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to penetrate cell membranes,(More)
Nanoscale manipulations of the extracellular microenvironment are increasingly attracting attention in tissue engineering. Here, combining microscopy, biological, and single-cell electrophysiological methodologies, we demonstrate that neonatal rat ventricular myocytes cultured on substrates of multiwall carbon nanotubes interact with carbon nanotubes by(More)
Myocardial tissue engineering currently represents one of the most realistic strategies for cardiac repair. We have recently discovered the ability of carbon nanotube scaffolds to promote cell division and maturation in cardiomyocytes. Here, we test the hypothesis that carbon nanotube scaffolds promote cardiomyocyte growth and maturation by altering the(More)
Getting rid of the tubes: An assessment of the retention of functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in the organs of mice was carried out using single photon emission computed tomography and quantitative scintigraphy (see scheme). Increasing the degree of functionalization on MWNTs enhanced renal clearance, while lower functionalization(More)
A facile method is proposed for the deposition of multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) layers onto microelectrode arrays by means of a microcontact printing technique, leading to the fabrication of MEAs characterized by well defined electrical and morphological properties. Using polydimethyl siloxane stamps, produced from different mold designs, a(More)
Methotrexate was tethered to multi-walled carbon nanotubes through different cleavable linkers exploiting the ammonium functionalities introduced by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction of azomethine ylides to the nanotubes. The new nanobio-hybrid conjugates were internalized into human breast cancer cells and it was shown that the cytotoxic activity was(More)
New developments in nanotechnology are increasingly designed to modulate relevant interactions between nanomaterials and neurons, with the aim of exploiting the physical properties of synthetic materials to tune desired and specific biological processes. Carbon nanotubes have been applied in several areas of nerve tissue engineering to study cell behavior(More)
Water is the renewable, bulk chemical that nature uses to enable carbohydrate production from carbon dioxide. The dream goal of energy research is to transpose this incredibly efficient process and make an artificial device whereby the catalytic splitting of water is finalized to give a continuous production of oxygen and hydrogen. Success in this task(More)