The Miami Scientific Italian Community (MSIC) introduces a delegation from University of Rome Tor Vergata, led by Professor Paolo Di Nardo, Director of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Cardiology, Center of Regenerative Medicine and Dept. of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine on the topic:


The health sector is confronting, among others, an increased demand in terms of quality of treatments and reduced costs. In this context, transplants remain a crucial issue owing to the donor shortage and the very elevated costs (8% of healthcare expenses) that have created a huge gap between the number of patients in the waiting lists awaiting organ / tissue transplantation. To circumvent these hurdles great attention is presently paid to the possibility of using tissue-engineering approaches to manufacture biological tissues that substitute only the damaged region of the affected organ. Many laboratories have demonstrated the feasibility of this approach, although several technical issues, as well as regulatory and societal factors remain to be addressed.

The manufacture of a functional biological tissue (engineered tissue) requires that cells are grown and differentiated on a polymeric template capable to release complex arrays of physical and chemical signals inducing proper cell-cell and cell-template interactions, and tissue architectural organization (instructive template). Conventional laboratory techniques have allowed to demonstrate novel concepts and procedures, but the technology is still immature and not yet reliable for the clinical setting. In fact, many aspects of the fabrication procedure require further improvements. Among them, novel and more reliable materials to manufacture the instructive template must be identified. The materials so far investigated are characterized by their “biological inertness” in respect to living materials (cells/tissues); instead, it is now consolidated the notion that the material must participate in the process of governing cell fate and tissue organization (instructive material). A second major aspect is the manufacturing procedure: currently it is performed on the bench by manual techniques. A leap forward could be taken by applying 3D printing technologies that could allow a very high level of accuracy in both the instructive template manufacturing and cell seeding.

Aim of the initiative is to develop novel biomaterials displaying physical, chemical and biological characteristics to manufacture instructive templates matching the specific needs of different cell types and functional tissues. In addition, these biomaterials must display the capability to be handled by 3D printing systems. To this purpose, 3D equipments will be re-designed to comply with biomaterials characteristics.

Noteworthily, the sector is one of the fastest growing investment areas and employment prospects are excellent.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

University of Miami Health System – Clinical Research Building 1120 N.W. 14th Street, Miami-Dade County, FL 33136




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