Virginia Alessandra Gobbo studied Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino (Italy), where, in March 2020, she graduated with honors. Now she is part of PREMUROSA project as a PhD researcher, studying protein adsorption on bioactive glasses at Tampere University (Finland).
Bioactive glasses are a very promising class of biomaterials for musculoskeletal applications. Indeed, their compositions/properties can be tailored to add therapeutic value. However, while the cells/materials interaction have been deeply investigated, little is known on the adsorption of proteins at the surface of these biomaterials. During this project four different bone extracellular-matrix proteins are adsorbed on four different glass compositions. Each glass composition will be surface-treated to understand the relationship between physico-chemical properties and topography, on protein adsorption and conformation. The glasses surfaces will be analyzed through FTIR spectroscopy, XPS, zeta potential titration curves, contact angle analysis, AFM, SEM/EDX, ICP-OES spectrometry and their biological response is studied through in vitro cell tests.
The protein dynamics is analyzed to understand the correlation between the composition of the bioactive glass and various types of proteins. This could lead to selective adsorption of protein and a control over the cell fate. The behavior of the functionalized materials is studied also as part of a potential future implant for clinical application in the orthopedic field.
The proposal of a new bioactive and biomimetic material for musculoskeletal applications can lead to a significant improvement in cancer, trauma, bone defects and osteoporosis treatments, improving the life quality of patients, limiting post-surgical complications and decreasing sanitary costs.