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Titolo: Applicazioni innovative dell’ingegneria biomedica
Data di pubblicazione: 16-mag-2014
Abstract: The recent important advances in engineering and medicine at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels together with the significant modifications in people life style, the rapid aging, and the improved life quality expectations for the world population make urgent for the scientific committee to learn more about human body functions at a macro-, micro-, and nano-scale. In this context, Biomedical Engineering has emerged: it uses methods and techniques proper of the engineer field to describe, understand, and solve medical and biological issues and it allows the cooperation among engineers, bio-physicists, physicians, and biologists. Tissue engineering is one of the main branches of Biomedical Engineering and it has sprout to satisfy the need of designing and building living biological tissues in vitro. This is for sure a promising alternative to transplantation, especially to autologous transplantation. This strategy of growing and using autologous tissues as grafts possibly makes available tissues/organs immunologically compatible with the recipient, thus avoiding immunosuppressive therapies and partially solving the constant shortage of donor tissues and organs. Among recent strategies to obtain tissues in vitro, decellularization has developed. This method aims at producing acellular biological matrices to be used as scaffolds for new organs suitable for transplantation. The first part of PhD has dealt with the optimization of a decellularization protocol for ovine carotids, designed to obtain an adequate biological matrix for small vascular graft. Besides, progresses and growth of Biomedical Engineering imply the rapid spreading of innovative materials. As a consequence, in order to guarantee the appropriate protection of human health and of the environment, it is essential to foresee eventual adverse effects of the exposure to such new materials, and evaluate their potential risk, both with toxicological analyses and preclinical and clinical studies. In particular, this is a crucial issue within one of the most recent fields of Biomedical Engineering, i.e. nanotechnologies, which are still lacking a specific regulation. This is the reason why the second part of PhD thesis is focused on the development of a new acute oral toxicological test in vitro, based on the use of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and designed according to ICCVAM guidelines. These were drafted during the validation process of the two in vitro tests which are now approved and used, despite their limits, to evaluate acute oral toxicology and to predict the starting dose for acute toxicity tests in vivo (ICCVAM, 2006). Considering the promising results obtained, the hMSC test was adopted to estimate nanoparticle cytotoxicity.
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