The researchactivity of the laboratory focuses on the development of new methodologies for tissue and organ regeneration by using stem cells and modulating developmental processes.
Generation of 3D human renal tissues
- 3D renal tissues (organoids) are generated with human stem and progenitor cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells are stimulated and guided by 3D culture systems to form a kidney tissue similar to the fetal counterpart. - Optimization of experimental procedure for creating organoids suitable for transplantation in patients and able to grow and mature once in vivo.
Engineering renal tubules with patient-derived cells
Complex and functional renal tubular structures are generated with patient’s own cells -iPSCs or primary cells- by using 3D culture systems and applying 3D bioprinting technologies. Engineered tubules can be used to model kidney disease in vitro, perform personalized toxicology studies, identify novel compounds with therapeutic potential (precision medicine), and study human kidney development and its defects.
Cell therapy to cure anemia
Development of a protocol to differentiate hiPSCs into cells able to (i) produce erythropoietin (EPO) under hypoxic conditions and (ii) induce human hematopoietic stem cell differentiation into erythroblasts/erythrocytes. For patients with renal anemia, transplanting EPO-producing cells would represent a safer and more effective therapeutic approach than the administration of exogenous recombinant human EPO.
Regeneration of diabetic kidney in vivo
-Identification of pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying the reactivation of kidney developmental programme in response to chronic stress (e.g. diabetic milieu). -Development of novel therapeutic strategies to arrest kidney alterations induced by chronic injuries, and promote the organ’s regeneration by pharmacological modulation of the identified targets.
International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.