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Bioplastics and materials for biomedical applications

Keywords: bio-based plastics; biomaterials; biopolymers; bioceramics; biomedical applications
Bioplastics and materials for biomedical applications - Fig.1
Fig. 1. Highly porous bioresorbable polymer scaffold for tissue engineering (picture by P. Fabbri).
Bioplastics and materials for biomedical applications - Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Hollow biodegradable polymer capsules for controlled drug release (picture by P. Fabbri).
Bioplastics and materials for biomedical applications - Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Poly(hydroxyalkanoate)/gaphene electrically conductive biocompatible composite (picture by P. Fabbri).

The most recent trends in the field of polymer science and technology are faced and developed in this context, mainly dealing with plastics coming from bio-based renewable resources, and functional materials suitable for the close contact with biological environments and the human body, that is plastics, ceramics and composites for biomedical applications. Research projects concern the development of innovative materials that combine biocompatibility, sustainability and high biological functionality, to shape devices usable as scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, or parts of biomedical equipments, sush as sensors, blood circulators, oxygen exchangers etc. Polymers from renewable resources such as poly(hydroxyalkanoate)s and poly(lactic acid), and biocompatible fossil-based polymers such as poly(ε-caprolactone) are used to fabricate porous scaffolds to sustain and drive the regeneration of cellular tissues (fibroblasts, osteoblats) (Fig.1); bioactive ceramics are developed in collaboration with the Centro Ceramico mainly for dental applications and to be added as bioactive fillers in polymer composites. Biodegradable drug delivery systems, such as hollow capsules from microfluidics or double emulsion process, are also developed starting from biopolymers (Fig. 2). Electrically conductive biocompatible polymer composites are also developed for stimulated tissue growth (Fig.3). Innovative polymer structures and ceramics are prepared via chemical routes, and scaffolds are fabricated either by solvent-based techniques (freeze-drying, solvent casting combined with particulate leaching, phase inversion techniques and electrospinning) or via 3D-printing and additive manufacturing technologies (FDM, polymer powder bed, LbL deposition).

Research activities are carried out in collaboration with numerous national and foreign partners, and biological, pre-clinical and clinical applications are tested in medical environments.

Main publications

P Fabbri, L Valentini, J Hum, R Detsch, A R. Boccaccini (2013). 45S5 Bioglass®-derived scaffolds coated with organic–inorganic hybrids containing graphene. Materials Science And Engineering. C, Biomimetic Materials, Sensors And Systems, Vol. 33, P. 3592-3600, Doi: 10.1016/J.Msec.2013.04.028

Ferrari L, Rovati L, Fabbri P, Pilati F (2013). Continuous haematic pH monitoring in extracorporeal circulation using a disposable florescence sensing element.. Journal Of Biomedical Optics, vol. 18, p. 27002-27012, doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.2.027002

P. Fabbri, E. Bassoli, S. Bittolo Bon, L. Valentini (2012). Preparation and characterization of poly (butylene terephthalate) / graphene composites by in-situ polymerization of cyclic butylene terephthalate. Polymer, vol. 53, p. 897-902, doi: 10.1016/j.polymer.2012.01.015

P. Fabbri, F. Pilati, L. Rovati, Ruel McKenzie, J. Mijovic (2011). Poly(ethylene oxide)–silica hybrids entrapping sensitive dyes for biomedical optical pH sensors: Molecular dynamics and optical response. Optical Materials, vol. 33, p. 1362- 1369

M. Ghahari, R. Aghababazadeh, T. Ebadzadeh, A. Mirhabibi, R. Brydson, P. Fabbri, F. Najafi (2011). Synthesis of Suitable SiO2 Nano Particles as the Core in Core–Shell Nanostructured Materials. Journal Of Nanoscience And Nanotechnology, vol. 11, p. 5311-5317, ISSN: 1533-4880

V. Cannillo, F. Chiellini, P. Fabbri, A. Sola (2010). Production of Bioglass® 45S5- Polycaprolactone composite scaffolds via salt leaching. Composite Structures, vol. 92, p. 1823- 1832

P. Fabbri, V. Cannillo, A.Sola, A. Dorigato, F. Chiellini (2010). Highly porous polycaprolactone- 45S5 bioglass® scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Composites Science And Technology, vol. 70, p. 1869-1878, ISSN: 0266-3538

P. Fabbri, M. Ghahari, F. Pilati, T. Ebadzadeh, R. Aghababazadeh, G. Kavei (2010). Novel approach to the synthesis of core–shell particles by sacrificial polymer-shell method. Materials Letters, vol. 64, p. 2265-2268

P. Fabbri, F. Bondioli, M. Messori, C. Bartoli, D. Dinucci, F. Chiellini (2010). Porous scaffolds of polycaprolactone reinforced with in situ generated hydroxyapatite for bone tissue engineering. Journal Of Materials Science. Materials In Medicine, vol. 21, p. 343-351