Invited Speaker

Dr. Camilla Parmeggiani

Dr. Camilla Parmeggiani

Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”, University of Florence, Italy
Speech Title: Cell Instructive Liquid Crystalline Networks for myotube formation

Abstract: Maturation of different cell lines is a pivotal step to reproduce tissue formation in vitro. So far, many attempts to prepare scaffolds that mimic the biological environment were done, trying to reproduce its mechanical property or the extracellular matrix composition and topography. Some examples reported patterned scaffolds bearing micro/nanometric features or stimulated ones (by mechanical stretching or electric field) with the aim to force the correct cell differentiation. We approached the problem from a completely different point of view. Maturation of myotubes towards the reproduction of muscular tissue was undertaken by the use of scaffolds made by Liquid Crystalline Networks, demonstrating the material itself to be able to undergo favourable interactions with the cells despite not reproducing their complex biological environment. The scaffolds were prepared to evaluate the effect of different stiffness and liquid crystalline alignments. Both parameters play a role in the myotube formation where specific mechanical properties are required to obtain the myogenesis, while also the molecular alignment can favour the process. By electrophysiological studies we demonstrated as the new scaffolds allow to obtain myotube having more adult‐like morphology and functional features in a shorter time than standard supports.

Keywords: liquid crystalline elastomrs; myotube formation, cell alignemnt

Acknowledgements: This work was funded by Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (2020/1583) and by FONDO INTEGRATIVO SPECIALE PER LA RICERCA (FISR), LEONARDO project.

Biography: Parmeggiani Camilla has completed her PhD in Chemical Science at the University of Florence with Prof. A. Goti and she was recently awarded as researcher at the Chemistry Department of the University of Florence. Since 2010 she is associate at the European Laboratory for Non Linear- Spectroscopy. In 2016 she was awarded with the “Organic Chemistry for environment, energy and nanosciences” prize from the Organic Chemistry Division of the SCI and she was a finalist of the European Young Chemist Award. She authored 52 papers, 1 book and 3 patents (h-index 24), on smart materials, stereoselective synthesis of iminosugars and new green oxidation methods that have been cited over 2300 times. She is now focusing her research on light-responsive materials for microrobotics, photonics and biomedical applications.