Publications by authors named "Giulia Lucconi"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Assessment of the neutron dose field around a biomedical cyclotron: FLUKA simulation and experimental measurements.

Phys Med 2016 Dec 3;32(12):1602-1608. Epub 2016 Dec 3.

Medical Physics Department, University Hospital "S. Orsola-Malpighi", Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

In the planning of a new cyclotron facility, an accurate knowledge of the radiation field around the accelerator is fundamental for the design of shielding, the protection of workers, the general public and the environment. Monte Carlo simulations can be very useful in this process, and their use is constantly increasing. However, few data have been published so far as regards the proper validation of Monte Carlo simulation against experimental measurements, particularly in the energy range of biomedical cyclotrons. In this work a detailed model of an existing installation of a GE PETtrace 16.5MeV cyclotron was developed using FLUKA. An extensive measurement campaign of the neutron ambient dose equivalent H(10) in marked positions around the cyclotron was conducted using a neutron rem-counter probe and CR39 neutron detectors. Data from a previous measurement campaign performed by our group using TLDs were also re-evaluated. The FLUKA model was then validated by comparing the results of high-statistics simulations with experimental data. In 10 out of 12 measurement locations, FLUKA simulations were in agreement within uncertainties with all the three different sets of experimental data; in the remaining 2 positions, the agreement was with 2/3 of the measurements. Our work allows to quantitatively validate our FLUKA simulation setup and confirms that Monte Carlo technique can produce accurate results in the energy range of biomedical cyclotrons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmp.2016.11.115DOI Listing
December 2016

Radiation Protection Studies for Medical Particle Accelerators using Fluka Monte Carlo Code.

Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2017 Apr;173(1-3):185-191

Medical Physics Department, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

Radiation protection (RP) in the use of medical cyclotrons involves many aspects both in the routine use and for the decommissioning of a site. Guidelines for site planning and installation, as well as for RP assessment, are given in international documents; however, the latter typically offer analytic methods of calculation of shielding and materials activation, in approximate or idealised geometry set-ups. The availability of Monte Carlo (MC) codes with accurate up-to-date libraries for transport and interaction of neutrons and charged particles at energies below 250 MeV, together with the continuously increasing power of modern computers, makes the systematic use of simulations with realistic geometries possible, yielding equipment and site-specific evaluation of the source terms, shielding requirements and all quantities relevant to RP at the same time. In this work, the well-known FLUKA MC code was used to simulate different aspects of RP in the use of biomedical accelerators, particularly for the production of medical radioisotopes. In the context of the Young Professionals Award, held at the IRPA 14 conference, only a part of the complete work is presented. In particular, the simulation of the GE PETtrace cyclotron (16.5 MeV) installed at S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital evaluated the effective dose distribution around the equipment; the effective number of neutrons produced per incident proton and their spectral distribution; the activation of the structure of the cyclotron and the vault walls; the activation of the ambient air, in particular the production of 41Ar. The simulations were validated, in terms of physical and transport parameters to be used at the energy range of interest, through an extensive measurement campaign of the neutron environmental dose equivalent using a rem-counter and TLD dosemeters. The validated model was then used in the design and the licensing request of a new Positron Emission Tomography facility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncw302DOI Listing
April 2017

A dry powder formulation from silk fibroin microspheres as a topical auto-gelling device.

Pharm Dev Technol 2016 11;21(4):453-62. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

b Department of Drug Sciences , University of Pavia , Pavia , Italy .

With the aim of establishing the formulation of a new hydrophilic auto-gelling medical device for biomedical applications, fibroin-based microspheres were prepared. The proposed microspheres were produced by a cost-effective and industrially scalable technique, such as the spray-drying. Spray-dried silk fibroin microspheres were obtained and the effects of different hydrophilic polymer on the process yield, microsphere morphology and conformation transition of fibroin were evaluated. The final auto-gelling formulations were obtained by adding calcium gluconate (as a calcium source for alginate crosslinking) to the prepared microspheres and tested by an in vitro gelling test. This study showed that the combination of fibroin with sodium alginate and poloxamer produced the most promising auto-gelling formulation for specific biomedical applications, such as the treatment of pressure ulcers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10837450.2015.1022784DOI Listing
December 2016

Sericins exhibit ROS-scavenging, anti-tyrosinase, anti-elastase, and in vitro immunomodulatory activities.

Int J Biol Macromol 2013 Jul 27;58:47-56. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Some biological properties of Bombyx mori sericins from twenty strains were investigated, fourteen fed with artificial diet, two with fresh mulberry leaves and four with both diets. Sericin exhibited ROS-scavenging, anti-tyrosinase and anti-elastase properties, the strain significantly influenced these properties, while diet only influenced the anti-tyrosinase activity. Sericins were clustered into 5 groups and one sericin from each group was further studied: sericins showed anti-proliferative activity on in vitro stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells; some strains decreased in vitro secretion of IFNγ, while no effects were observed on TNFα and IL10 release. Therefore, a mixture of sericins extracted from the most promising strains may be useful for dermatological and cosmetic use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.03.054DOI Listing
July 2013

Formulation of microspheres containing Crataegus monogyna Jacq. extract with free radical scavenging activity.

Pharm Dev Technol 2014 Feb 10;19(1):65-72. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco.

Extracts of Crataegus monogyna Jacq. (hawthorn) show an interesting free radical scavenging (FRS) effect, related to their flavonoids content. Unfortunately, their oral administration is affected by their low bioavailability. The aim of this work is to obtain a multiparticulate drug delivery system for hawthorn extracts for oral administration. The extracts from flowering tops (FL) or fruits (FR) of hawthorn were obtained with maceration, using ethanol as an extraction solvent, and their antioxidant activity was evaluated. FL extract showed the highest FRS activity (EC50 3.72 ± 1.21 µg/ml), so it was selected to prepare microparticulate systems by a spray-drying technique, which were characterized by granulometric analysis, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, confocal fluorescence microscopy and hyperoside content. Antioxidant activity was evaluated before and after gastrointestinal transit in vitro simulation. Results indicate that the microparticulate systems maintained the antioxidant activity of hawthorn also after gastrointestinal transit in vitro simulation, exhibiting properties suitable for oral administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10837450.2012.752387DOI Listing
February 2014

Encapsulation of sex sorted boar semen: sperm membrane status and oocyte penetration parameters.

Theriogenology 2013 Mar 21;79(4):575-81. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Department of Veterinary Medical Science-DSMVET, Bologna, Italy.

Although sorted semen is experimentally used for artificial, intrauterine, and intratubal insemination and in vitro fertilization, its commercial application in swine species is still far from a reality. This is because of the low sort rate and the large number of sperm required for routine artificial insemination in the pig, compared with other production animals, and the greater susceptibility of porcine spermatozoa to stress induced by the different sex sorting steps and the postsorting handling protocols. The encapsulation technology could overcome this limitation in vivo, protecting and allowing the slow release of low-dose sorted semen. The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of the encapsulation process on viability, acrosome integrity, and on the in vitro fertilizing potential of sorted boar semen. Our results indicate that the encapsulation technique does not damage boar sorted semen; in fact, during a 72-hour storage, no differences were observed between liquid-stored sorted semen and encapsulated sorted semen in terms of plasma membrane (39.98 ± 14.38% vs. 44.32 ± 11.72%, respectively) and acrosome integrity (74.32 ± 12.17% vs. 66.07 ± 10.83%, respectively). Encapsulated sorted spermatozoa presented a lower penetration potential than nonencapsulated ones (47.02% vs. 24.57%, respectively, P < 0.0001), and a significant reduction of polyspermic fertilization (60.76% vs. 36.43%, respectively, polyspermic ova/total ova; P < 0.0001). However, no difference (P > 0.05) was observed in terms of total efficiency of fertilization expressed as normospermic oocytes/total oocytes (18.45% vs. 15.43% for sorted diluted and sorted encapsulated semen, respectively). The encapsulation could be an alternative method of storing of pig sex sorted spermatozoa and is potentially a promising technique in order to optimize the use of low dose of sexed spermatozoa in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.10.021DOI Listing
March 2013

GMP-compliant culture of human hair follicle cells for encapsulation and transplantation.

Cell Transplant 2012 25;21(1):373-8. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Struttura Semplice Terapia Tissutale, A.O. Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Milan, Italy.

Human hair follicle cells, both bulge and dermal papilla cells, were isolated and cultured in a GMP cell factory, in order to obtain an in vitro hair follicle source for encapsulation end transplantation in alopecia regenerative cell therapy. An in vitro model, constituted by organotypic cultures of human skin sample, was set up to simulate the dermal-epidermal interaction between bulge cells and dermal papilla cells, evaluating the possible new follicles formation and the regenerative potentiality of these hair follicle cells. Both the bulge and dermal papilla cells show an excellent cellular proliferation as well as an abundant extracellular matrix production. The immunofluorescence investigation revealed the positivity of both cell lines to CK15 and CD200, whereas both cell lines were negative to CD71 and Oct-4. The pool of cultured bulge and dermal papilla cells was injected into the deep dermis; at day 28 of culture, some organized areas with a higher cell density can be observed: the cells self-organize into papilla-like lengthened aggregates. In samples in which the follicular cells have been seeded on the dermis surface, an epidermis-like homogeneous monolayer on the dermis surface can be seen, therefore showing a potentiality of these cells for epidermis regeneration. These data show the efficacy of a cellular isolation and amplification approach to obtain an in vitro human hair follicle regenerative source on industrial scale in a GMP cell factory. The results also proved an intrinsic potentiality of follicular cells to in vitro recreate the epidermis for tissue engineering purposes. Thus, it is feasible to produce bioengineered hair follicles in a GMP cell factory, for encapsulation and transplantation in alopecic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368911X565010DOI Listing
August 2012

Regenerated silk fibroin scaffold and infrapatellar adipose stromal vascular fraction as feeder-layer: a new product for cartilage advanced therapy.

Tissue Eng Part A 2011 Jul;17(13-14):1725-33

Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Pavia, Pavia, Italia.

Articular cartilage has limited repair and regeneration potential, and the scarcity of treatment modalities has motivated attempts to engineer cartilage tissue constructs. The use of chondrocytes in cartilage tissue engineering has been restricted by the limited availability of these cells, their intrinsic tendency to lose their phenotype during the expansion, as well as the difficulties during the first cell adhesion to the scaffold. Aim of this work was to evaluate the intra-articular adipose stromal vascular fraction attachment on silk fibroin scaffold to promote chondrocytes adhesion and proliferation. Physicochemical characterization has demonstrated that three-dimensionally organized silk fibroin scaffold is an ideal biopolymer for cartilage tissue engineering; it allows cell attachment, scaffold colonization, and physically cell holding in the area that must be repaired; the use of adipose-derived stem cells is a promising strategy to promote adhesion and proliferation of chondrocytes to the scaffold as an autologous human feeder layer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEA.2010.0636DOI Listing
July 2011

Nonexpanded mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine: yield in stromal vascular fraction from adipose tissues.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2010 Dec 6;16(6):1515-21. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Veterinarie, per la Sicurezza Alimentare, Università di Milano, Milan, Italy.

The adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) represents a rich source of mesenchymal cells, potentially able to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, myocytes, cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, and neuronal, epithelial, and endothelial cells. These cells are ideal candidates for use in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, including gene therapy, and cell replacement cancer therapies. In this work, we aimed to the optimization of the adipose SVF-based therapy, and the effect of the collection site, surgical procedure, and tissue processing techniques on SVF yield was evaluated in terms of cell recovery and live cells, taking into account the effect of gender, age, and body mass index. Adipose tissue samples were recovered from 125 informed subjects (37 males and 88 females; mean age: 51.31 years; range: 15-87 years), and digested in different condition with collagenase. A multivariate linear model put in evidence that in males the best collection site in terms of yield is located in the abdomen, whereas in females the biopsy region do not influence cell recovery; the collection technique, the age, and the body mass index of donor seem not to influence the cell yield. The tissue-processing procedures strongly modify the yield and the vitality of cells: a collagenase concentration of 0.2% and a digestion time of 1 h could be chosen as the best operating conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEC.2010.0214DOI Listing
December 2010
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