Trends in biomedical engineering: Focus on smart bio-materials and drug delivery

Maria Cristina Tanzi, Sabrina Bozzini, Gabriele Candiani, Alberto Cigada, Luigi de Nardo, Silvia Farè, Fabio Ganazzoli, Dario Gastaldi, Marinella Levi, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Francesco Migliavacca, Roberto Osellame, Paola Petrini, Giuseppina Raffaini, Giuseppe Resnati, Pasquale Vena, Simone Vesentini, Paolo Zunino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present article reviews on different research lines, namely: drug and gene delivery, surface modification/modeling, design of advanced materials (shape memory polymers and biodegradable stents), presently developed at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. For gene delivery, non-viral polycationic-branched polyethylenimine (b-PEI) polyplexes are coated with pectin, an anionic polysaccharide, to enhance the polyplex stability and decrease b-PEI cytotoxicity. Perfluorinated materials, specifically perfluoroether, and perfluoro-polyether fluids are proposed as ultrasound contrast agents and smart agents for drug delivery. Non-fouling, self-assembled PEG-based monolayers are developed on titanium surfaces with the aim of drastically reducing cariogenic bacteria adhesion on dental implants. Femtosecond laser microfabrication is used for selectively and spatially tuning the wettability of polymeric biomaterials and the effects of femtosecond laser ablation on the surface properties of polymethylmethacrylate are studied. Innovative functionally graded Alumina-Ti coatings for wear resistant articulating surfaces are deposited with PLD and characterized by means of a combined experimental and computational approach. Protein adsorption on biomaterials surfaces with an unlike wettability and surface-modification induced by pre-adsorbed proteins are studied by atomistic computer simulations. A study was performed on the fabrication of porous Shape Memory Polymeric structures and on the assessment of their potential application in minimally invasive surgical procedures. A model of magnesium (alloys) degradation, in a finite element framework analysis, and a bottom-up multiscale analysis for modeling the degradation mechanism of PLA matrices was developed, with the aim of providing valuable tools for the design of bioresorbable stents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Biomaterials and Biomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Biodegradable stents
  • Drug delivery
  • Gene delivery
  • Modification
  • Shape memory polymers
  • Surface
  • Surface modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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