The project is part of the latest trends in regenerative medicine (whose goal is to regenerate, replace or repair damaged tissues or organs), such as decellularization of animal and human hearts, meaning the removal of immunogenic elements, such as cells and their components, while the native extracellular matrix is maintained unaltered in its composition and distribution, including the original vascular and nerve scaffold,necessary to guide subsequent recellularization.
However, the process is currently unstable, poorly repeatable, operator-dependent and poorly controlled. Indeed, there are no dedicated and easily modularized industrial instruments for decellularization of organs, including the heart, and the entire procedure is mostly performed manually. The realization of a device that can combine modularity, sterility, monitoring and automatic control to perform decellularization, acting on different parameters such as temperature,pressure and flows, would make the procedure accessible, standardized and able to allow the regeneration of heart parts or whole hearts.
The goal of the project is to create a modular, automated platform that, starting from a heart or parts of a heart, allows obtaining a decellularized matrix with preserved intact original biochemical composition and structure, as well as cellular bioactivity.
- Analysis and definition of the characteristics of the decellularization platform (definition of the procedure to be automated, choice of biocompatibility evalutation materials, integration of enabling technologies, and front end for the operator).
- Device design (technical definition of thermal management of fluids and organs,sensors, software for instrument control and online monitoring of parameters acquired from sensors, hardware schematic definition).
- Fabrication of a prototype modular system for organ decellularization.
Validation by testing and characterization of the extracellular matrix obtained by the different decellularization protocols.
Project co-funded by ERDF PR Advance 2021-2027. Incentives to enterprises for collaborative industrial research and experimental development activities. Call for proposals DGR 2026/2021
Allowable expenditure: 270,242.00 €.
Grant granted: €141,911.90 (EU share: €56,764.76; State share: €59,602.99; Region share: €25,544.15)