Harmony among ions and drugs

Title of the research project

MOZART: MesopOrous matrices for localiZed pH-triggered releAse of theRapeuTic ions and drugs.

Scientific area 

Biomaterials, bioengineering, biology


The aim of the MOZART project is to develop a library of inorganic mesoporous nanomatrices for biomedical applications (i.e the treatment of delayed bone healing and non-healing chronic skin wounds). These new smart platforms will release chosen payload (selected ions and drugs), upon pH changes. The synergistic release of ions and drugs will be directed to achieve a radically improved therapeutic effect.

Description of the research project

The concept behind MOZART is to develop a library of inorganic nanomatrices to be used as smart platforms for effective, non-invasive and highly targeted therapies. Mesoporous therapeutic glasses (MTGs), doped with selected ions (e.g. Ag+, Li+, Cu2+, Sr2+, Ce3+, B3+) and having nanopores of adjustable size within 2-50 nm, will be synthesised and then loaded with the chosen payload. Ordered mesoporous carbons (OMCs) will also be manufactured to host a wide range of biomolecules and higher payload. As in an orchestra, where the integration among the different participants allows a harmonious symphony to be created, in MOZART the synergistic release of ions and drugs will be directed to achieve a radically improved therapeutic effect. The exploitation of the response of self-immolative polymer coatings upon pH changes will be used as an elegant and effective way for triggering the payload release. The (coated) nanomatrices will be incorporated in a thermosensitive gel that is liquid at room temperature and undergoes sol-gel transition in the physiological environment. These gels are perfect candidates to develop non-invasive procedures to introduce MOZART nanomatrices to the pathological site and keep them in place for the required time. MOZART will address, as proof of concept, nanomatrices to treat delayed bone healing and non-healing chronic skin wounds, which are both characterised by inflammation and often infection.


Impact on society 

Only in EU, 350 000 patients per year are affected by non-union bone fractures and 2.2 million people suffer from chronic wounds. We expect that MOZART approaches will significantly reduce the healing time of non-union bone fractures (within 4 months vs. a minimum of 12 months) and will allow at least 50% of people suffering from chronic wounds to heal fully.


Working group @Polito


At DISAT Department of Applied Science and Technology

Chiara Vitale Brovarone, Full Professor, Project coordinator

Sonia Fiorilli, Associate Professor

Paola Palmero, Associate Professor 

Alessandra Bari, PhD student

Giulia Molino, PhD student

Giorgia Montalbano, Research Fellow

Giorgia Novajra, Research Fellow

Carlotta Pontremoli, Research Fellow

Stefania Sola, Research Fellow


At DIMEAS Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Gianluca Ciardelli, Full professor

Chiara Tonda Turo, Assistant Professor 

Monica Boffito, Research Fellow


National and International partners 

Nobil Bio Ricerche srl (Italy)

Friedrich Alexander Universitat Erlangen Nurberg (Germany)

Universidad complutense de Madrid (Spain)

National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (Greece)

Charite Universitaets medizin Berlin (Germany)

The University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)

Nanolith Sverige AB (Sweden)

Vornia Limited (Ireland)

Cellogic GMBH (Germany)

Delsitech Oy (Finland)

 MOZART project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 685872

  • Budget: 4.651228 euro
  • Start date: 1/11/2015
  • End date: 31/10/2019