BIOSCENT, BIOACTIVE HIGHLY POROUS AND INJECTABLE SCAFFOLDS CONTROLLING STEM CELL RECRUITMENT, PROLIFERATION AND DIFFERENTIATION AND ENABLING ANGIOGENESIS FOR CARDIOVASCULAR ENGINEERED TISSUES
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Congenital and acquired diseases of the heart are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world today; 7.2 million people die each year due to coronary heart disease, being the first cause of mortality in population above 60 years old, and the second cause after HIV in world wide young population. There is an urgent demand for new methods to repair and replace damaged cardiovascular tissues. One of the most promising ways to achieve this goal is the development of regenerative therapies aided with novel intelligent nanobiomaterials such as bioactive scaffolds. The overall objective of this project is the development of innovative bioactive polymeric scaffolds able to guide tissue formation from dissociated stem cells, for engineering autologous cardiovascular replacements, namely vascular tissues, heart valves and cardiac muscle. Two different strategies will be followed to approach creating new engineered tissue: 1.In vitro tissue engineering: according to the most frequent tissue engineering paradigm, cells will be seeded on a scaffold composed of synthetic polymer or natural material and the tissue will be matured in vitro in a bioreactor, in order to obtain a construct that can be implanted in the appropriate anatomic location as a prosthesis; 2.In vivo tissue engineering: unseeded scaffolds that attract endogenous cells and control cell proliferation and differentiation will be implanted to repopulate and remodel an altered cardiovascular tissue. The strong innovative content of the project is in the realisation of multifunctional scaffolds which can guide complex cellular processes such as adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, processes fundamental for tissue regeneration. It is therefore necessary to design integrated material scaffolds and culture environments, which can appropriately confer biochemical, morphological, electrical and mechanical stimuli to a developing tissue.
- Alberto Audenino. (Responsabile Scientifico)
- UNIVERSITA' DI PISA