The mission of my research group is to develop multi-scale (nano-micro-meso) 3D fabrication paradigms to address open questions in cell biology. We are interested in particular in the design and fabrication of 3D biomimetic architectures by employing light-assisted additive manufacturing techniques (such as two-photon polymerization and stereolithography). We also develop multi-technique 3D imaging protocols combining conventional morphological characterization techniques (based on Scanning Electron Microscopy) and advanced 3D fluorescence imaging (Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy and Two-photon confocal imaging) for unveiling cellular features in the most hidden regions of the scaffolds.
We plan to exploit these engineered microenvironments for studying the mechanobiology and differentiation mechanisms of primary/stem cells coming from different tissues (e.g. brain, bone, cancer). Our vision is to use our hybrid approach merging different disciplines such as microfabrication, polymer chemistry, imaging and cell biology to pave the way for the creation of in-vitro engineered cell microenvironments that can: help the understanding of diseases; allow reliable animal-free drug screening; and tackle tissue engineering demands.
- 3D/4D Engineered Scaffolds, Biomaterials
- Neuroscience, Cancer
- 3D microfabrication, Polymers/hydrogels
- Mechanical Nanoindenting
- Cell/biomaterials interactions
Models and equipment:
- Two-photon polymerization (2PP, Nanoscribe GT+)
- Masked Stereolithography (MSLA, Prusa SL1)
- Digital light projection printer (DLP, Envisiontec Microplus)
- Scanning electron microscope (Jeol JSM-6010LA)
- Nanoindenter setups (Piuma, Femtotool)
BioOptoMechatronics facility (to be constructed @ 3mE next year): Micro-CT, confocal microscopy.