Lucia Delogu 0:00
Hi, everyone. So what an event, what an audience! I'm very happy to be here. My name is Luciano Delogu, and one of my patients is the immune system. But let's start talking about impressionism. If we look too closely at one of these paintings within this art movement, we cannot really appreciate the meaning of the colors, the lights, and their complex mix. We can understand them only by having the full view. And this is what can happen if we want to study the immune cells. We can capture their complexity only by looking at them all at the same time. And in my lab, we are able to look at 37 immune cell types all at the same time. Each of them is playing a different role in our body. And the point is that they really govern every aspect of our health.
Lucia Delogu 1:17
So our idea is to take advantage of immune cell interactions with nanomaterials, with frontier material cells. And why? Because I believe there are a myriad of opportunities for immune based applications. Coming from cancer immunotherapy, from immune modulating tissue engineering, and actually, very recently, immune training agents. So what if we can have a material that can help and that can meet the need of medicine. And the need of medicine is actually quite often to have an immune suppression or an immune activation, depending on the type of disease. And so I have a couple of examples for you. The first one is about graphene. We heard about this material. And just by conjugating and designing the surface with amino chain, at the end of this chain of the amino groups at the end of the chain, we were able to obtain an immune activation with the same, exactly the same molecular signature, we were able to see with certain types of immunotherapies.
Lucia Delogu 2:51
And then now we are working with another family of 2D materials, which are maxenes, discovered by Professor Yury Gogotsi at Drexel University. And these materials are unique. And we heard about this term like many times in academia, but the truth is that they are very unique, extremely unique, thanks to their versatile chemistry, which is something that we need in biology, we need in immunology. And thanks to that, thanks to their possibility to design their chemistry, we were able to use different times and for one of them to obtain a stronger immune downregulation, which is something extremely relevant in different syndromes, including also COVID-19.
Lucia Delogu 3:51
So, I'm very impressed about the level of the work that other people have shown at PUZZLE X. I had something I wanted to keep for this event for you. And this is about what we are going to reveal for a specific type of maxene, which is vanadium carbide. Because we may want to have an immune activation or an immune downregulation, but we want actually to have an immune action able to interfere to modulate the connections between immune cells. And that's what we did: we used this material and we revealed how designing it, we can modulate that interaction or communication between T cells, and dendritic cells, two key players of our immune response. We did that thanks to a very novel technological approach or immune technological approach called lipstick. Thanks to a friend of mine, Julia Pasquale.
Lucia Delogu 5:12
We worked it, we transformed it, we make it useful in the context of nanotechnology. And then, what if we have a tool that is able to immune upregulate and make the difference in terms of cell-to-cell connection, but is also able to make them depending on their specific cell behavior, depending on the type of organ of tissue we have in mind as a target. And the point is that immunology is not just one field, we know that because immunology is actually also immunology, cardioimmunology, skin-immunology, neuroimmunology, and in the context of osteoimmunology,I have something I would like to show you. So we use the a graphene that was very well characterized in terms of immune activation action on a specific cell type are called monocytes. Why monocytes? Well because for bone formation, we actually need the monocyte activation. So that's what we got. As you can see in this picture, treating mice who were injected with this type of immune action. Thanks to this graphene, we were able to boost bone formation, which is something that we couldn't obtain with other types of graphene not having this immune profile.
Lucia Delogu 6:54
So I work in academia, we work thanks to grants. And the majority of the work in my lab was possible thanks to two European projects. One is called the G-Immunomics, and it’s partner in the project of the Graphene Flagship, the other one is CARBMmap. But on top of it, I need to say that it was possible, everything's thanks to collaborations, I like to collaborate with amazing scientists who believe that actually these ideas are in European Asia, Middle East, and especially in the USA. And I'm rebuilding my group at the University of Padua, and here are Laura, Arinanna, Lucia and Linda, who are all talented young scientists who helped me. And what is nano-immunity-by-design? To conclude, nano-immunity-by-design is a concept where you should start to see materials not based on their physical and chemical properties, but based on their biological identities, based on their immune activity. And thanks to that, we can have a different scenario. So different clusterization. And we can open new opportunities for modern medicine. So I'm not quite sure you will remember the publication of the details of the data, but I hope you will remember I take on my subject, which is the immune system governs, every aspect of our health and to help frontier materials propose themselves. Thank you!