Laboratory of Biotechnological Applications – RT: Regenerative potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Laboratory of Biotechnological Applications

Director: Prof. Anna Brini

Research Topics

Regenerative potential of Mesenchymal Stem / Stromal Cells for orthopaedic and odontostomatological applications

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For several years we have been studying the regenerative potential of human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) from different sources, mostly adipose tissue (ASCs) and bone marrow (BMSCs). We particularly focused on their ability to efficiently support bone regeneration, either alone or in association with scaffolds, both in vitro and in vivo. We characterized MSCs from several species such as mice, rats, rabbits, pigs, and horses. We also showed that in vitro expanded ASCs loaded on scaffolds, were able to heal critical bone defects and osteochondral lesions, in rabbits and in minipigs, respectively.

We still study expanded MSCs testing new biomaterials and and 3D culture conditions for possible orthopaedic and/or odontostomatological applications. In addition, by studying the in vitro effects of hemoderivatives, that favor tissue healing, we have been able to confirm that Activated Platelet Concentrate exerts a trophic action on MSCs, suggesting that its clinical beneficial action can be due to the recruitment of progenitor cells at the lesion site together with the positive effects on osteoblasts that might favor bone formation in vivo. Furthermore, being interested in bone regeneration and in studying diseases affecting bone tissue, we have investigated the effect of bisphosphonates on primary osteoblasts in vitro. We looked at the effect of Alendronate and Zoledronate and we showed that both bisphosphonates alter the expression of extracellular matrix components and the release of soluble mediators by osteoblasts. We believe that our results in the laboratory might be related to the onset and persistence of some side effects described in patients under treatment with these drugs, such as atypical femoral fractures or osteonecrosis of the jaw.