Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences

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F. Petronella


Recent publications
1.  Zakrzewska A., Haghighat Bayan M.A., Nakielski P., Petronella F., De Sio L., Pierini F., Nanotechnology Transition Roadmap toward Multifunctional Stimuli-Responsive Face Masks, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN: 1944-8244, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c10335, Vol.14, No.41, pp.46123-46144, 2022

Abstract:
In recent times, the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks or respirators, is becoming more and more critically important because of common pollution; furthermore, face masks have become a necessary element in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the main mission of scientists has become the development of face masks with exceptional properties that will enhance their performance. The versatility of electrospun polymer nanofibers has determined their suitability as a material for constructing “smart” filter media. This paper provides an overview of the research carried out on nanofibrous filters obtained by electrospinning. The progressive development of the next generation of face masks whose unique properties can be activated in response to a specific external stimulus is highlighted. Thanks to additional components incorporated into the fiber structure, filters can, for example, acquire antibacterial or antiviral properties, self-sterilize the structure, and store the energy generated by users. Despite the discovery of several fascinating possibilities, some of them remain unexplored. Stimuli-responsive filters have the potential to become products of large-scale availability and great importance to society as a whole.

Keywords:
nanostructured face masks, stimuli-responsive nanomaterials, electrospun nanofibers, active filtration, smart filters, COVID-19, antipathogen

Affiliations:
Zakrzewska A. - IPPT PAN
Haghighat Bayan M.A. - IPPT PAN
Nakielski P. - IPPT PAN
Petronella F. - other affiliation
De Sio L. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Pierini F. - IPPT PAN
2.  Ziai Y., Petronella F., Rinoldi C., Nakielski P., Zakrzewska A., Kowalewski T.A., Augustyniak W., Li X., Calogero A., Sabała I., Ding B., De Sio L., Pierini F., Chameleon-inspired multifunctional plasmonic nanoplatforms for biosensing applications, NPG Asia Materials, ISSN: 1884-4049, DOI: 10.1038/s41427-022-00365-9, Vol.14, pp.18-1-17, 2022

Abstract:
One of the most fascinating areas in the field of smart biopolymers is biomolecule sensing. Accordingly, multifunctional biomimetic, biocompatible, and stimuli-responsive materials based on hydrogels have attracted much interest. Within this framework, the design of nanostructured materials that do not require any external energy source is beneficial for developing a platform for sensing glucose in body fluids. In this article, we report the realization and application of an innovative platform consisting of two outer layers of a nanocomposite plasmonic hydrogel plus one inner layer of electrospun mat fabricated by electrospinning, where the outer layers exploit photoinitiated free radical polymerization, obtaining a compact and stable device. Inspired by the exceptional features of chameleon skin, plasmonic silver nanocubes are embedded into a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-based hydrogel network to obtain enhanced thermoresponsive and antibacterial properties. The introduction of an electrospun mat creates a compatible environment for the homogeneous hydrogel coating while imparting excellent mechanical and structural properties to the final system. Chemical, morphological, and optical characterizations were performed to investigate the structure of the layers and the multifunctional platform. The synergetic effect of the nanostructured system’s photothermal responsivity and antibacterial properties was evaluated. The sensing features associated with the optical properties of silver nanocubes revealed that the proposed multifunctional system is a promising candidate for glucose-sensing applications.

Affiliations:
Ziai Y. - IPPT PAN
Petronella F. - other affiliation
Rinoldi C. - IPPT PAN
Nakielski P. - IPPT PAN
Zakrzewska A. - IPPT PAN
Kowalewski T.A. - IPPT PAN
Augustyniak W. - Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences (PL)
Li X. - Donghua University (CN)
Calogero A. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Sabała I. - Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences (PL)
Ding B. - Donghua University (CN)
De Sio L. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Pierini F. - IPPT PAN
3.  De Sio L., Ding B., Focsan M., Kogermann K., Pascoal-Faria P., Petronella F., Mitchell G., Zussman E., Pierini F., Personalized reusable face masks with smart nano‐assisted destruction of pathogens for COVID‐19: a visionary road, Chemistry - A European Journal, ISSN: 0947-6539, DOI: 10.1002/chem.202004875, Vol.27, pp.1-20, 2021

Abstract:
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) emergency has demonstrated that the utilization of face masks plays a critical role in limiting the outbreaks. Healthcare professionals utilize masks all day long without replacing them very frequently, thus representing a source of cross‐infection for patients and themselves. Nanotechnology is a powerful tool with the capability to produce nanomaterials with unique physicochemical and anti‐pathogen properties. Here, we outline how to realize non‐disposable and highly comfortable respirators with light‐triggered self‐disinfection ability by bridging bioactive nanofiber properties and stimuli‐responsive nanomaterials. The visionary road highlighted in this Concept is based on the possibility to develop a new generation of masks based on multifunctional membranes where the presence of nanoclusters and plasmonic nanoparticles arranged in a hierarchical structure enables the realization of a chemically‐driven and on‐demand anti‐pathogen activities. Multilayer electrospun membranes have the ability to dissipate humidity present within the mask, enhancing the wearability and usability. The photo‐thermal disinfected membrane is the core of these 3D printed and reusable masks with moisture pump capability. Personalized face masks with smart nano‐assisted destruction of pathogens will bring enormous advantages to the entire global community, especially for front‐line personnel, and will open up great opportunities for innovative medical applications.

Keywords:
face masks, light-responsive nanomaterials, anti-pathogen, electrospinning, digitally personalized

Affiliations:
De Sio L. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Ding B. - Donghua University (CN)
Focsan M. - other affiliation
Kogermann K. - other affiliation
Pascoal-Faria P. - other affiliation
Petronella F. - other affiliation
Mitchell G. - other affiliation
Zussman E. - Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL)
Pierini F. - IPPT PAN
4.  Rinoldi C., Zargarian S.S., Nakielski P., Li X., Liguori A., Petronella F., Presutti D., Wang Q., Costantini M., De Sio L., Gualandi C., Ding B., Pierini F., Nanotechnology-assisted RNA delivery: from nucleic acid therapeutics to COVID-19 vaccines, Small Methods, ISSN: 2366-9608, DOI: 10.1002/smtd.202100402, Vol.5, No.9, pp.2100402-1-49, 2021

Abstract:
In recent years, the main quest of science has been the pioneering of the groundbreaking biomedical strategies needed for achieving a personalized medicine. Ribonucleic acids (RNAs) are outstanding bioactive macromolecules identified as pivotal actors in regulating a wide range of biochemical pathways. The ability to intimately control the cell fate and tissue activities makes RNA-based drugs the most fascinating family of bioactive agents. However, achieving a widespread application of RNA therapeutics in humans is still a challenging feat, due to both the instability of naked RNA and the presence of biological barriers aimed at hindering the entrance of RNA into cells. Recently, material scientists’ enormous efforts have led to the development of various classes of nanostructured carriers customized to overcome these limitations. This work systematically reviews the current advances in developing the next generation of drugs based on nanotechnology-assisted RNA delivery. The features of the most used RNA molecules are presented, together with the development strategies and properties of nanostructured vehicles. Also provided is an in-depth overview of various therapeutic applications of the presented systems, including coronavirus disease vaccines and the newest trends in the field. Lastly, emerging challenges and future perspectives for nanotechnology-mediated RNA therapies are discussed.

Affiliations:
Rinoldi C. - IPPT PAN
Zargarian S.S. - IPPT PAN
Nakielski P. - IPPT PAN
Li X. - Donghua University (CN)
Liguori A. - University of Bologna (IT)
Petronella F. - other affiliation
Presutti D. - Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (PL)
Wang Q. - Donghua University (CN)
Costantini M. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
De Sio L. - Sapienza University of Rome (IT)
Gualandi C. - University of Bologna (IT)
Ding B. - Donghua University (CN)
Pierini F. - IPPT PAN

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