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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)
The DustBot project is aimed at designing, developing, testing and demonstrating a system for improving the management of urban hygiene based on a network of autonomous and cooperating robots, embedded in an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) infrastructure. In the final scenario, the robots will be able to operate in partially unstructured environments (such as(More)
Oxidative stress has been found to play a key role in several diseases, that range from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. Besides traditional anti-oxidant agents, in recent years much attention has been focused on nanotechnological solutions, including cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria). Thanks to its extraordinary catalytic properties, nanoceria(More)
In the last decade, the importance of topographic properties of extracellular environments has been shown to be essential to addressing cell response, especially when replacing damaged tissues with functional constructs obtained in vitro. In the current study, densely packed sub-micron poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) fibres were electrospun with random and(More)
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)
We describe the design and control of a new bio-inspired climbing robot designed to scale smooth vertical surfaces using directional adhesive materials. The robot, called Stickybot, draws its inspiration from geckos and other climbing lizards and employs similar compliance and force control strategies to climb smooth vertical surfaces including glass, tile(More)
An increasing interest in bio-hybrid systems and cell-material interactions is evident in the last years. This leads towards the development of new nano-structured devices and the assessment of their biocompatibility. In the present study, the development of free-standing single layer poly(lactic acid) (PLA) ultra-thin films is described, together with the(More)
Freely suspended nanocomposite thin films based on soft polymers and functional nanostructures have been widely investigated for their potential application as active elements in microdevices. However, most studies are focused on the preparation of nanofilms composed of polyelectrolytes and charged colloidal particles. Here, a new technique for the(More)
Recombinant proteins represent a new and promising class of polymeric materials in the field of biomaterials research. An important model for biomaterial design is elastin, the protein accounting for the elasticity of several tissues. Human elastin-like polypeptides (HELPs) have been developed as recombinant versions of elastin with the purpose of enhancing(More)