Francesca received her Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin and her Master in Biomedical Engineering from Delft University of Technology. She developed her PhD project in the context of the Marie Skłodowska–Curie H2020 TRAIN-HEART network at Humanitas Research Hospital. Project’s goal was to decrease the state of inflammation associated to cardiovascular diseases by targeting inflammatory macrophages with calcium-phosphate nanoparticles (CaPs) carrying an aptamer against DNMT1.
To specifically target inflammatory macrophages, she surface functionalised CaPs with an aptamer targeting CCR5, a receptor highly express onto these cells. Currently, she is investigating the role of surface morphology on macrophage polarisation fate. In particular, she is studying how the combination of surface topography, external mechanical stresses and fluid shear modulates macrophage behaviour and mechanosensing.