“About us” – GIOTTO Project Partners Interview
Federica Banche-Niclot | Politecnico di Torino
Short Bio & role in the GIOTTO Project
I’m Federica Banche-Niclot, a PostDoc at Politecnico of Turin and I carried out part of my PhD in the frame of the GIOTTO Project as part of the POLITO group.
I earned my Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Medical-Surgical Science in July 2022 at the Politecnico of Turin and my M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in April 2018 after working on my Master’s Thesis for 9 months in the Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration at Houston Methodist Research Institute (Texas, USA).
My research is focused on the development of biomimetic and resorbable platforms for the delivery of biomolecules able to stimulate and regulate the tissue regeneration process as well as on the development of specific biosensors for point-of-care diagnosis.
I have an enthusiastic and positive soul which leads me to maintain an optimistic attitude even in the face of difficulties. I’m a sociable and emphatic person as well who loves interacting with others and working in a team, listening to people and understanding their needs and points of view to achieve common goals.
In my free time I love to travel and discover new places and cultures, an experience that enriches me greatly and allowed me to broaden my horizons in many different ways. I've been to several countries in Europe, Africa and America, and I've even taken part in some cultural exchange programs during my studies. I also enjoy being in contact with nature as a source of inspiration and energy for me. But my free time does not just travel and meditation: I adore being with people by engaging in different outdoor sports such as soccer and volleyball or cooking healthy and tasty dishes for myself and my friends.
Moreover, I'm a curious and creative person, always looking for meaningful experiences that stimulate me and who loves thinking outside the box by trying to find original solutions to problems. Those attitudes of mine along with my perseverance and resilience were plenty satisfied during my PhD where I had the opportunity to be actively involved in the frame of different European projects coordinated by Prof. Chiara Vitale-Brovarone.
In particular, as part of the GIOTTO Project, my research was focused on the design of polymeric drug delivery systems for the encapsulation and the prolonged release of the project’s “bio-superhero” ICOS-Fc. Furthermore, my primary efforts were centered on the design and development of one of the three novel devices: the injectable, bioresorbable composite bone cement with radiopaque, bioactive, pro-osteogenic and anti-osteoclastogenic features for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.
What are the main tasks you carried out, and with which results?
In the frame of the GIOTTO Project, I personally optimized and developed a smart delivery system in form of spherical particles with nanometric dimensions (about 250x10-9 m in diameter, 200 times smaller than a human hair) able to encapsulate the anti-osteoclastogenic biomolecule “ICOS-Fc” while preserving its activity until the osteoclasts resorption phase. In detail, ICOS-Fc was encapsulated into resorbable polymeric particles (made of Poly Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid – PLGA) evaluating different polymer compositions and synthesis parameters in order to preserve the biomolecule functionality and obtain a satisfactory release profile of its.