Nanostructured biomaterials for tissue regeneration with Prof Laura Cipolla

One of many international visitors at the 17th International Biotechnology Symposium (IBS 2016) will be Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry, Laura Cipolla.

Prof Cipolla will be joining us from the Milano-Bicocca University in Milan, Italy (Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences).

We are fortunate to have a scientist of her calibre as a keynote speaker during the IBS 2016, which will be held at theMelbourne Convention Centre 24-27 October. The conference is expected to attract thousands of delegates from around the globe.

Although hailing from Italy, a place many of us consider to be a premium tourist destination of the world, Prof Cipolla is excited about her upcoming trip to the land down under.

“I enjoy travelling – discovering new cultures, people, food and traditions. I’m excited about coming to Australia, because it will be my first visit,” Prof Cipolla said.

Research

Since completing her PhD in chemistry in 1996, Prof Cipolla has been very active in the sector. As well as maintaining her position as Associate Professor since 2005, she has co-authored a staggering 120 publications and 18 book chapters, as well as being involved in five plenary lectures and 12 Invited lectures at international meetings.

Much of Prof Cipolla’s research surrounds her scientific interest in biologically relevant compounds (particularly carbohydrates, peptides and their analogues).

However, she has recently redirected her focus towards biomaterial functionalisation for regenerative medicine applications. It is this new direction that she’ll be discussing at IBS 2016.

Keynote lecture

Prof Cipolla’s session is titled Nanostructured biomaterials for tissue regeneration: connecting carbohydrate and material chemistry Q&A.

The other arching theme of her talk will be the emerging approach in regenerative medicine to design biomaterials able to establish key and controlled interactions with cells in ways that induce the body’s innate powers of self-repair.

Prof Cipolla’s presentation will show different approaches toward the design of novel biomaterials in terms of bioactivation. In particular, it will outline chemoselective strategies for ECM protein functionalisation with small carbohydrate epitopes and its biological properties.

Application

When asked what her research might potentially be used for, Prof Cipolla had this to say:

“Glycans might become new targets for interventions to treat pathological conditions and in tissue regeneration. Tailoring the surface functionalisation with different carbohydrates, cells may be driven towards different fates; it will be highlighted that carbohydrate may modulate cell response toward osteogenesis, chondrogenesis or to functional neurons.

These results might open new avenues in medicine, in the regeneration of tissues damaged by trauma or pathology. Moreover, ‘glycoengineering’ materials might be a useful tool in order to shed light to the plethora of biological roles played by carbohydrates.”

Who should come?

When asked who would be interested in hearing her speak, Prof Cipolla replied, “people interested in glycan-cell interaction, regenerative medicine, ECM synthetic mimetics, glycoengineered ECM.”

Prof Cipolla will discuss her work on Tuesday 25 October at IBS 2016. This conference is part of the International BioFest 2016, which promises to be the largest-ever gathering in the Australian life sciences. Register for IBS 2016 for find out more.