Roberto Fiammengo

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We show that water soluble InP/ZnS core/shell QDs are a safer alternative to CdSe/ZnS QDs for biological applications, by comparing their toxicity in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (animal model Drosophila). By choosing QDs with comparable physical and chemical properties, we find that cellular uptake and localization are practically identical for these(More)
Since the discovery of the first natural ribozyme more than 20 years ago, it has become clear that nucleic acids are not only the static depository of genetic information, but also possess intriguing catalytic activity. The number of reactions catalyzed by engineered nucleic acid enzymes is growing continuously. The versatility of these catalysts supports(More)
Despite tremendous progress in recent years, nanopatterning of hydrated polymeric systems such as hydrogels still represents a major challenge. Here, we employ block copolymer nanolithography to arrange gold nanoparticles on a solid template, followed by the transfer of the pattern to a polymeric hydrogel. In the next step, these nanoparticles serve as(More)
We report the preparation of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with the peptide-toxin conantokin-G and their selective binding to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors recombinantly expressed by transfected HEK 293 cells. The AuNPs are passivated with a mixed self-assembled monolayer of ω-carboxy- and ω-amino-polyethylene glycol (PEG) thiols. We(More)
The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin regulates appetite and energy homeostasis through the activation of leptin receptors (ObR) on hypothalamic neurones; hence, leptin must be transported through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to reach its target sites in the central nervous system. During obesity, however, leptin BBB transport is decreased, in part(More)
We report the preparation of gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based vaccine candidates against the tumor-associated form of the mucin-1 (MUC1) glycoprotein. Chimeric peptides, consisting of a glycopeptide sequence derived from MUC1 and the T-cell epitope P30 sequence were immobilized on PEGylated AuNPs and the ability to induce selective antibodies in vivo was(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression, and many pathological conditions, including cancer, are characterized by altered miRNA expression levels. Therefore, accurate and sensitive quantification of miRNAs may result in correct disease diagnosis establishing these small noncoding RNA transcripts as valuable biomarkers. Aiming at(More)
In the bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in endosteal and vascular niches. The interactions with the niches are essential for the maintenance of HSC number and properties. Although the molecular nature of these interactions is well understood, little is known about the role of physical parameters such as matrix elasticity. Osteoblasts, the(More)
DNA-gold nanoparticle probes are implemented in a simple strategy for direct microRNA (miRNA) quantification. Fluorescently labeled DNA-probe strands are immobilized on PEGylated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In the presence of target miRNA, DNA-RNA heteroduplexes are formed and become substrate for the endonuclease DSN (duplex-specific nuclease). Enzymatic(More)
We describe the allosteric control of Diels-Alder reactions by a small organic effector, theophylline. This is achieved by converting a Diels-Alder ribozyme into an allosterically regulated system. In contrast to other published systems, we have a bond-forming reaction with two small-molecule substrates and multiple turnover. This system could be very(More)