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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-07212007-174333

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Murgia, Laura
email address
lauram@dcci.unipi.it, murgil@yahoo.it
Thesis title
Micro/nano structured systems for biomedical applications
Academic discipline
Course of study
Relatore Prof. Chiellini, Emo
Relatore Dott.ssa Bianucci, Anna Maria
  • alginates and ulvanes
  • ASGP_R
  • Delphi program
Graduation session start date
Release date
The studies described here are part of a wider research project aimed at the production of polymer scaffolds capable of supplying proper biocompatible/biodegradable supports for adhesion, proliferation and encapsulation of hepatic cells, to be exploited in liver tissue engineering. In addition to preliminary experiments regarding scaffold and micro/nano-particle preparation, the studies described here deal with the design of an optimal way of handling hepatic cells by means of natural sugar polymers (alginates and ulvans) through interaction with the ASGP-R, a calcium-dependent lectin located on the parenchimal liver cells. Due to its location the ASGP-R represents an important target for liver-specific drug delivery systems as well as a possible site of interaction between hepatocytes and tailored biomaterials to be employed in liver tissue engineering applications. Alginates and ulvans were selected as proper sugar polymers, as they may supply a low-cost source of rare sugars with a very wide spectrum of potential applications ranging from biomedical-pharmaceutical to fine chemical industry.Within the context outlined above, the preparation of suitable scaffolds and micro/nano-particles was initially afforded. Subsequently, potential interactions between the ASGP-R and different kinds of carbohydrate monomers, that are the building-blocks of the above cited natural polymers, were investigated by computational chemistry approaches. Finally more detiled structural studies about the AGP-R and potential complexes with carbohydrate monomers were afforded by experimental measurements based on NMR spectroscopy.