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Dr. Giorgia Montalbano, Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia (DISAT), Torino, Italy, "Smart materials for biomedical applications: scaffolds and sensors", January 30 - February 3, 2023

20 hours (5 credits)


Aula Riunioni del Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Via G. Caruso 16, Pisa - Ground Floor

To register to the course, click here

Short Abstract:

Based on the increasing advances in the fabrication and monitoring approaches of biomedical devices, innovative materials are being synthesized and explored to adapt and interact effectively with the specific biological environment. In this scenario, smart materials sensitive towards various stimuli such as temperature, pH, light, magnetic and electric field, can provide versatile and dynamically tunable platforms for the investigation and manipulation of several biological activities with very low invasiveness [1, 2].
Moreover, the use of advanced structured and responsive materials in combination with additive manufacturing technologies give the opportunity to design multi-functional and high-performance products. This novel approach aims to move beyond traditional design and manufacturing process towards 4D printing and the creation of dynamic structures, such as shape memory materials, with integrated functionalities [3].
The course thus aims to provide knowledge on the smart materials suitable for the design of 3D scaffolds, drug delivery systems and sensors for biomedical applications, with a special focus on devices created by means of additive manufacturing technologies.

Course Contents in brief:

  1. Introduction to the use of smart materials for biomedical applications
    Recent advances in the design of 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering, drug delivery platforms and sensors with particular focus on the use of smart and biomimetic materials combined to additive manufacturing technologies.
  2. Smart materials and mechanisms of action
    Presentation of new smart multifunctional or biomimetic materials for biomedical applications. Description of the specific mechanisms of actions considering endogenous stimulators such as pH, reactive oxygen species, hypoxia and enzyme, or exogenous stimulators such as temperature, light, ultrasound, radiation, and magnetic field. Special attention will be dedicated to smart biomaterials suitable for the design of biomimetic constructs.
  3. Characterization of materials and devices
    Main analysis methods used to explore the material properties before and after the manufacturing process: 1) rheological studies aimed at investigating the visco-elastic properties of materials and able to support the optimization of the manufacturing process; 2) nanoindentation technique to explore the mechanical features and stability of materials and devices; 3) micro-computed tomography to identify the structural and compositional properties of the final devices.
  4. Examples of applications
    Current applications, limitations, and future perspective of smart materials for the design of scaffolds and sensors. Presentation of different case studies to understand approaches and methods required to design scaffolds and sensors: synthesis of materials, manufacturing process and final validation of devices.


  1. Day1 – 14:00 – 18:00
  2. Day2 – 14:00 – 18:00
  3. Day3 – 14:00 – 18:00
  4. Day4 – 14:00 – 18:00
  5. Day5 – 9:00 – 13:00