Nanotechnology based medicinal products

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/14 CHIM/06 CHIM/09
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing the basis to understand the use of different kinds of nanomaterials (e.g. lipid and peptide based, inorganic and polymeric) for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases. The production of the nanomaterials, their characterization in terms of physicochemical properties and morphology, the formulation issues, the potential toxicity, and the effect of nanocarriers on biodistribution and efficacy of active substances will be discussed. Moreover, regulatory aspects will be treated.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will have acquired knowledge and methods to face the development and the evaluation of nanotechnology based medicinal products, which are destined to provide new and innovative therapeutic solutions to address unmet needs in the near future. Students will also be able to outline the relevant regulatory aspects.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
During the emergency teaching phase, the course program and the reference material will not change. The lectures will be delivered online synchronously using the Microsoft Teams platform. The exam will be an oral test on Microsoft Teams platform.
Course syllabus
"Advanced peptide engineering" unit: -introduction to nanomaterials: definition, types and applications; - main analytical techniques (UV/VIS, Fluorescence, DLS, TEM, SEM, AFM); - synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanomaterials (gold, silver, iron, ceramic), bioinspired nanomaterials (peptides, proteins), hybrid peptide functionalized nanomaterials (metal-organic frameworks, liposomes and polymeric);
"Nanovectors and drug targeting" unit: - modified release dosage forms and disperse systems; - colloidal systems; - nanovectors used for drug delivery (nanocrystals, nanoparticles, lipid vesicles); -preparation, characterization and sterilization methods of nanovectors; - nanovectors for advanced therapy and vaccination.; -regulatory aspects about the production and marketing authorization of nanotechnology based products.
"Safety and toxicology of nanoparticles" unit: -introduction to nanotoxicology; - safety and toxicological aspects of inorganic, organics, hybrids and bioinspired nanomaterials; - risk assessment of nanomaterials; in vivo and in vitro evaluation of nanomaterials toxicity.
Prerequisites for admission
Advanced peptide engineering" unit: Basic knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry (atomic structures, types of bonds and molecular interactions, definition of metal, concepts of acidity and basicity, electromagnetic spectrum, the main organic functional groups and their reactivity).
"Nanovectors and drug targeting" unit: Basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology and pharmaceutical technology. Students should be familiar with the concepts of medicinal products, dosage forms and administration routes. They should have also a basic knowledge of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) processes and their relationship with the design of dosage forms and the success of pharmacotherapy
"Safety and toxicology of nanoparticles" unit: Basic toxicology knowledge (ADI, principles of organ toxicity, in vivo and in vitro toxicity tests, risk assessment).
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
D. Ruiz-Molina, F. Novio, C. Roscini. Bio- and Bioinspired nanomaterials. Wiley
S. Perret, A.K. Buell, T.P.J. Knowles Biological and bioinspired nanomaterials. Springer
S. Rajendran, A. Mukherjen, T.A. Nguyen, C. Godugu, R.K. Shukla Nanotoxicity, Elsevier
B. Fadel, A. Pietroiusti, A.A. Shvedova Engineered nanomaterials, Elsevier
Slides of the lessons.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will consist in an oral test covering all the aspects of the three modules. The students are expected to be able to make connections among all the subjects taught during the course.
Lessons: 56 hours