Foto del docente

Barbara Roda

Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician"

Academic discipline: CHIM/01 Analytical Chemistry


Research topics:

-Analytical separation techniques: fundamentals, instrumentation and applications in the biological and

biotechnological fields

-Development and application of field-flow fractionation (FFF) techniques; foundamental topics:

- separation and characterization of macromolecules, colloids and particulate of biological, field.

-limit of detection

-    hyphenation of FFF with chemiluminescence (CL) detection for high sensitivity and high selectivity

  analysis of dispersed bioanalytes.

-     instrumental development of miniaturized, disposable, biocompatible FFF devices.

- optimization of channel composition for FFF separation in bioanalytical field

  Application research of FFF:

-         Invention of cell sorting methods for intact prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells;

-         hyphenation of the developed cell sorting methods with CL, laser scattering and mass spectrometric detection.

-         Invention of methods and device for stem cell characterization/enrichment

-         Development of method for sample preparation (whole cells, bacteria, protein and proteic complexes) from complex biological matrices prior to specific analysis

- Development of nw format for flow-assisted immunoassay

-Development of a new hybrid fractionation method based on FFF and biospecific reagents

Cell sorting: The majority of cell sorting methodologies, including Magnetic-Activated and Fluorescent-Activated Cell Sorting, make use of immunological markers. For some applications, however, specific antigenic markers may be lacking, or the labeling process itself may affect viability or functionality of the sorted cells. New techniques for label-free cell sorting would be, therefore, of great interest particularly for applications to stem cells. In collaboration with Prof. G.P. Bagnara (Dept. of Histology, Embriology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna) GrFFF-related techniques have been developed to sort adult human stem cells. Such cells can be isolated from different tissues and used in-vivo to regenerate damaged tissues, or ex-vivo to create new tissues, with promising applications in regenerative medicine. A new technique to enrich and sort multipotent human stem cells has been invented and patented (WO07128737, owned by the University of Bologna).

Moreover, different applications of FFF to purify/enrich cells from clinical specimens were developed to obtain cells with homogenous properties to be used after the fractionation process. Methodological a nd instrumental aspects for an esay integration in more complex analysi system, were developed.

Immunological methods: in cooperation with the Group of Bioanalitical Chemistry at the Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Prof. A. Roda) new analytical formats are developed for flow-through immunometric methods. Use of flow-through CL detectors online coupled with the fractionation device (GrFFF-FIA-CL) allows to determine the analyte concentration by comparing the fractographic peak area with a proper response curve. Based on the intrinsic advantages of such an approach, a non-competitive immunoassay has been developed, which uses GrFFF-FIA-CL for the quantitation of whole cells (pathogenic bacteria).

Analysis of dispersed microparticles: In the framework of the project "STARCHitechture" (University Strategic Projects - Senior, coordinator P. Trost) FlFFF-MALS and gravitational FFF (GrFFF) are applied to the separation and characterization of starch granules and enzymatic degradation products from mutant cereals.