Martina Chiacchiaretta

PhD Student Fellow


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+39 010 5558 357


November 2014/ February 2018: Phd student in Neuroscience and Brain technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy. 
September 2011/December 2013: M.Sc in pharmaceutical biotechnology at Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, BO, Italy. 
September 2006/December 2011: in in pharmaceutical biotechnology at University of Aquila, AQ, Italy. 


Impact of graphene nanosheets on astrocyte cells. 

Graphene-based materials are the focus of intense research efforts to devise novel nanomaterial-based theranostic strategies for targeting the central nervous system. One attractive possibility is to employ graphene for the therapeutic delivery of drugs that are usually rejected by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), loading cargoes to graphene via p- p stacking interactions, hydrogen bonding, or hydrophobic interactions We addressed the impact of long-term exposure of primary rat astrocytes to pristine graphene (GR) and graphene oxide nanosheets (GO). By employing a combination of experimental approaches, we demonstrated that GR/GO nanosheets interfered with a variety of cellular processes as a consequence of their internalization through the endo-lysosomal pathway. We also showed that GO-pretreated astrocytes promoted the functional maturation of co-cultured primary neurons, inducing an increase in intrinsic excitability and in the density of inhibitory GABAergic synapses. Altogether, our results thoroughly characterize the biological interactions between graphene nanomaterials and astrocytes. This work provides the framework to address the impact of graphene materials in vivo, which is the relevant issue in the context of their potential application in clinical neuroscience. 

IIT Publications

  • 2017
  • Chiacchiaretta M.iit, Latifi S.iit, Bramini M.iit, Fadda M., Fassio A.iit, Benfenati F.iit, Cesca F.iit

    Neuronal hyperactivity causes Na+/H+ exchanger-induced extracellular acidification at active synapses

    Journal of Cell Science, vol. 130, (no. 8), pp. 1435-1449