Doctoral Student at the
Rex Richards Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU
I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at University of Genova (Italy) in the year 2011. This course gave me a solid preparation in programming for biomedical applications (C/C++, MATLAB, Visual Basic, LabView, ImageJ and others), in data analysis and in material science.
The project for my Bachelor thesis, by the title “Rheological Analysis on Dispersed Systems: Collagen and Silica”, was focused on the study of the mechanical properties of a dispersion of silica in collagen, a dispersion that forms at the interface between active bioglass and natural bone after implantation in-vivo. Through rheological analysis, it was possible to study the viscoelastic properties of the dispersion at different compositions and to study indirectly the internal structure of the system. During this project I developed experience in several standard experimental methods for studying the mechanical properties of viscoelastic materials.
I also obtained my Master’s degree in Bioengineering at University of Genova, focusing my interests in the field of Tissue Engineering. The experimental work for my Master thesis have been carried out in the laboratories of the department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute, at University of Twente (the Netherlands), under the supervision of professor Pamela Habibovic. The work of this group focuses on the study of the mechanisms behind osteoinduction, with particular attention to de-novo bone formation induced by inorganic materials.
My Master thesis project was focused on the study of protein and gene expression of ENPP1 (Ectonucleotide Pyrophosphatase/Phosphodiesterase 1) in human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs). Cells were cultured on various calcium-phosphate ceramic scaffolds with different surface and chemical properties. The expression of ENPP1 was studied in comparison to a number of genes involved in the first stages of biomineralization, such as ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase) and BMP2 (Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2). During my internship I developed practical experience in tissue culture techniques following Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) principles, basic cryopreservation protocols, various gene and protein expression analysis techniques and equipment, such as plate readers, qPCR, Western Blot, Immunohistochemistry and Immunofluorescence, fluorescence microscopy imaging and others.
Before starting my DPhil in Synthetic Biology I collaborated with the hospital IRCCS AOU San Martino in Genova for the revision and production of a number of scientific articles in the field of vascular surgery. The topics ranged from the study of revascularization techniques for diabetic limbs to surgical and endovascular repair of complex aortic aneurysms.