Lead PI: prof. Antonella Motta
Regenerative Medicine Innovation Crossing -Research and Innovation Staff Exchange in Regenerative Medicine — REMIX — is a research and mobility project funded by the European Union under the MSCA-RISE instrument, G.A. 778078. The main objective of REMIX is to actively investigate and develop natural or nature-inspired biomaterials for tissue engineering and regeneration therapy through intensive collaboration among European and Asian experts with different academic and scientific backgrounds, aiming at the build-up of a research hub of nature-derived biomaterials for TERM.
The project’s partners are the University of Trento (Italy – Coordinator), University of Minho (Portugal), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), Chonbuk National University (South Korea).
The project has been researching the use of silk proteins (sericin and fibroin), keratin derived from animal hair, animal-derived collagen and molecules extracted from marine organisms in a variety of scaffold types to test their capability to support cellular proliferation and regeneration. One important characteristic of these materials is that they originate from the waste of other productive processes and thus they do not require additional production costs.
More information on REMIX can be found at www.remix-term.eu
Smart environments for healthy aging
On the streaming of AUSILIA living lab project we are developing hardware and software technologies for the extension of the concept of Body Area Network to the surrounding environment to make concrete the concept of remote and integrated care in different settings of individual daily life (living environment, work, mobility, sport, recreational and rehabilitative physical activity,..). The extension of the BAN to the environment of life constitutes an evolution in step with the times that requires the complex integration of multimodal data and information: signals, images, voice, etcetera, their processing is pursued on the basis of Network Physiology paradigm for the extraction of features and by subsequent analysis phase that benefit from matching learning and deep learning techniques.
CAPTAIN proposes a “transparent” technology designed to turn the home of the older adult into a ubiquitous assistant specifically designed to compensate for their physical and memory impairments during their daily living. CAPTAIN aims to turn the homes of older adults into a gentle coach, providing smart assistant whenever and wherever it is needed, based on their activity. To do so, CAPTAIN uses micro-projects and projected augmented reality to turn all surfaces into tangible interfaces for personalized information and reminders.
CAPTAIN is an idea that came after many years of research and piloting in the Active and Healthy Ageing domain. Our vision is to design the future home where smart assistance will enhance the usefulness and effectiveness of the personalized recommendations, allowing older adults leave their cozy place as it is when there is no need... CAPTAIN will foster a truly user-centered co-design philosophy with constant involvement of older adult in the design, development, and testing of:
A smart home appliance which will embed miniaturised 3D scanners, cameras, pico-projectors, microphone arrays and environmental loudspeakers. It will be used to turn a room into an interactive, tangible interface. Different configurations of the appliance will be designed together with seniors to ensure the device blends with the room decor (e.g. resembling a lamp), to avoid stigmatisation and to enhance end-user acceptability.
A software environment turning the home itself into a projective and very user-friendly interface, capable to capture relevant physiological, behavioural data and user actions, and to provide personalised "virtual coaching", based on a gentle emotional computing metaphor through
The CAPTAIN consortium is made of multi-disciplinary team which feature: Sound experience in all key technologies required for the implementation, scientific, business, clinical, economic and policy-level competence to deal will all project’s needs, pre-existing developments as starting point for the project, previous experience in similar initiatives, competence in the design of clinical trials and testing, access to key infrastructures, including living labs, as well as major involvement in all EU initiatives of Active and Healthy Ageing and Co-creation and strong coordinati capacity and long cooperation track record.
Lead PI: prof. Antonella Motta
Regenera is our main, long-term endeavour, a project designed by prof. Claudio Migliaresi that gathers together several researchers from UNITN’s Department of Industrial Engineering and external collaborators as well.
The main objective of the project is to develop technologies and materials to generate a platform for the design and fabrication of customizable, fully integrable and tissue regenerating biomedical prostheses.
Materials and methods of fabrication of vertebra/intervertebral disc replacements that can osteogenically integrate in the lumbar spine to substitute damaged vertebrae and/or discs will be designed and optimized, while fulfilling the biomechanical requirements and induce regeneration of the tissues considering also patients with osteoporosis.
As specific case study, an innovative total spinal disc/vertebra replacement will be designed, osteointegrable, regenerative, biomechanically tailored, provided with biosensors able to monitor changes in cell–matrix interactions as a function of tissue growth and development and applicable to less invasive surgical procedures. Integrated approaches will be followed and nanotechnologies will be applied to develop surface-modified osteointegrable and wear-resistant surfaces, nanostructured bioactive “smart” gels and nanocomposites.
The research will be validated by the fabrication of demonstrators that will undergo physico-mechanical as well as biological in vitro evaluation, using a market-oriented approach. A major task of the project is also the study of a specific simulator to evaluate in vitro the mechanical performance of the system under physiological like conditions, and the vertebral district regeneration pattern, and the definition of test methods, biological and mechanical testing procedures that could contribute to the setting of standards. The exploited technologies (osteointegrative and wear resistant surface treatments and coatings, regeneration inducing materials, use of cells and growth factors, alloys, nanocomposites, sensing, simulation tests and standards) could also be applied to other sectors of biomedicine and bioengineering.
Planning and design of massive public health interventions
The second wave of the Covid19 pandemic is hitting many Italian territories hard. The provinces and regions where restrictive measures have been introduced to limit the number of new infections among the population are multiplying. Beyond this passive approach, however, it is also possible to support a proactive one, through massive population test campaigns.
This relevant objective brings with it very considerable organizational complexities, in particular inherent in the assessment of the number of human and material resources needed for public health interventions such as mass diagnostic screening and the vast vaccination campaign. .
The researchers of BIOtech together with the group of industrial plants of the Department of Industrial Engineering of Trento propose to support the South Tyrol Healthcare Company (SABES) in this ambitious challenge with their distinctive skills, scientific and research activities concerning the efficiency of logistic processes. through the quantitative simulation approaches. The research is carried out in collaboration with the Prevention Department of the Italian Ministry of Health.
Optical Sensors for Virus SARS-CoV-2
Lead PI: prof. Devid Maniglio
The objective of this project is the design and construction of an optical sensor to detect the viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 in biological samples such as saliva, for quick and sensitive diagnosis on people who access public facilities like airports or schools. This result would represent a substantial improvement of the diagnostic techniques currently in use, which do not normally ensure both sensitivity and speed.
The sensor will be made from optic fiber covered with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP), also known as plastic antibodies, robust, as stable as plastic but selective like natural antibodies; antibodies that have the capacity to recognize, bind specific sections of the virus could be used as an alternative. The molecular recognition events will produce an alteration of the optic signal transmitted by the fiber itseld, which allows the detection of the viral load.
Study and research of clinical healthcare innovations
Collaborative project with the department of Biomedical Surgical and Dental Sciences of the University of Milan, aimed to develop competences in the field of clinical research, clinical study design and research findings evaluation. The project will support clinicians in their primary and secondary research activity by planning and handling clinical investigations in the different fields of medicine practice, and by proposing educational courses focused on clinical innovation and outcome evaluation.
Associated laboratory for the development and validation of technologies for the contrast of epidemic infections
The Covid-19 Pandemic has put infection fighting technologies back at the center of industrial development. The aim of the project is the consolidation and expansion of the potential of the LASS-TN-Covid -19 Laboratory (Associated Laboratory for the validation of protective devices, born as an emergency response to the pandemic in progress) to create a resource for the development of technologies for containment epidemic infections to support innovation in healthcare and Trentino entrepreneurship. the laboratory is involved in the optimization of products and collaborates with companies on the issues of reuse of protective devices and in the evaluation of alternative materials. These issues are now important to address the shortage of raw materials and the induced ecological load aspects.
Since its inception, the laboratory has operated in a network with the sister initiatives of other Italian universities (Politecnico Marche, Camerino, Catania, Naples, Modena-Reggio Emilia, Cagliari). These topics require a set of skills transversally present in the laboratories of the University of Trento (BIOtech, CIBIO, DII), ranging from the classic fields of materials technologies, such as polymer analysis, corrosion mechanisms, performance of composite materials, to those more specific to medical devices, their performance and reference standards, to the issues of clinical microbiology and virology. The participation of the APSS laboratories in the LASS adds specific knowledge in the topics of prevention, medical devices and public hygiene.
The multidisciplinarity that LASS expresses makes it a candidate to become a key reference point in the development of innovation in the cross-infection safety sector, both with industrial objectives (product innovation) and health (process innovation). In the biomaterials sector, among the participants in the LASS, skills are now available in the field of surface treatment for the contrast of biofilms and in the cleaning and disinfection of medical devices. Participation in projects and an international research network is active on this theme.
Lead PI: prof. Antonella Motta
Shaping Innovative Designs for Sustainable Tissue Engineering Products — SHIFT — is the successor to REMIX, funded by the European Union under the MSCA-RISE instrument.
The project features an expanded partnership with the University of Trento (Italy – Coordinator), University of Minho (Portugal), University of Birmingham (UK), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Mongolian University of Science and Technology (Mongolia), Chonbuk National University (South Korea), National University of Malaysia (Malaysia) and University of Sydney (Australia).
The start date is scheduled for mid-2021.
One-Step 3D bioprinting and in vitro validation of a full-thickness corneal tissue
Lead PI: dr Yuejiao Yang
One-Step 3D bioprinting of corneal tissue is our newest project. Funded by Caritro Foundation (Italy), the research will be performed by our Post-Doc dr. Yuejiao Yang, with the Scientific Supervision of prof. Claudio Migliaresi and the cooperation of the San Camillo Hospital (Trento) and the Eye Clinic of Verona University and Verona Hospital.
Damage of cornea affects millions of people worldwide requiring cadaveric cornea transplantation or, in case of failure, keratoprostheses. Generally transplanted corneas are well tolerated with a high success rate in restoring sight; however, the number of patients in need of transplants greatly exceeds the number of donor corneas with a dramatic mismatch evaluated in one cornea available for every 70 needed.
The project aims to bioprint a full-thickness corneal scaffold and to validate it in vitro. Bioprinting consists of a layer by layer deposition of polymeric gels (bioinks) containing cells and eventually growth factors, to generate a tissue-like 3D structure. In optimized conditions, the bioinks degrade while cells generate the extracellular matrix of the target tissue. The procedure is fast, precise, and reproducible, and offers great potential for the fabrication of the multi-layered cornea (epithelium, stroma, and endothelium). For the application, hyaluronic acid (HA) based bioinks will be used due to HA biocompatibility and anti-angiogenic property. The conjugation with tyramine and the crosslinking by enzymes can produce hydrogels with tunable gelation time and degradation rate. Formulations with other bioactive components (e.g., silk fibroin, collagen, growth factors) will be investigated and optimized as a function of process requirements, biological outcomes, and interaction with cells in the different layers. Besides their physical properties, the bioprinted corneal scaffolds will be evaluated in vitro in human cornea environment-like bioreactors, and the progress of the regeneration will be investigated via histology and biological markers.