Principal investigators: Monica Montesi and Silvia Panseri

Personnel involved: Giada Bassi and Arianna Rossi

The laboratory of Cell-Material BioLAB aims to evaluate the biocompatibility and biofunctionality of novel biomaterials (3D scaffolds, micro- and nanoparticles, films, hydrogels, etc.) for several applications (e.g. regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, tissue engineering).

Mammalian cell lines and primary cells (differentiated or stem cells), isolated from different tissues, are used to evaluate proliferation, adhesion, vitality, apoptosis, extracellular matrix protein synthesis activity, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.

Two main macro-areas of interest are:

Tissue/Tumor engineering.

In tissue engineering studies, 3D biomaterials are analysed in vitro looking at the cell colonization and cell differentiation together with the neo-formed tissue according to chemical and structural characteristics of biomimetic scaffolds. Biomaterials are studied also in association to biological stimulators (differentiated and dedifferentiated cells, growth factors and other signal molecules, biophysical stimulations). A perfusion bioreactor gives us the possibility to create in vitro a 3D engineered construct mimicking physiological conditions. In the last years, the lab moved toward a new approach named TUMOR ENGINEERING focusing on the development of 3D-scaffodl-based osteosarcoma model, mimicking the tumour complexity and heterogeneity, as a more predictive platform for preclinical study.


Nanostructured materials (e.g. novel nanoparticles) are studied as innovative biomolecules delivery systems (e.g. drugs, growth factors, miRNA). Real Time analysis gives us the possibility to understand how they interact with the cell membrane and follow the system inside the cells. Biophysical stimulations, like electromagnetic fields, are used for remote delivery.

In the last years, the lab focused on the design and development of injectable materials for minimally invasive surgery responsive to different stimuli (magnetic, mechanical, electrical) for the regeneration of different organs and tissues (e.g. nervous system, musculoskeletal system) and for the controlled release of biomolecules and/or extracellular vesicles.

Further aims of the lab are centred on excellence:

  • Innovation, develop ad hoc systems/protocols for the biological study of biomaterials.
  • Increase of the know-how of the cell-material interaction
  • Training of young researchers in nanomedicine
  • Internationality, attract foreign researchers and/or establish international collaborations
  • Offer activities to the biomedical enterprises (SMEs)

Equipment and processes (

  • In vitro evaluation of cytotoxicity and bioactivity of new biomaterials
  • 3D cell cultures with innovative biomaterials in static and dynamic conditions
  • Analysis of cell viability, morphology, proliferation, gene and protein expression (Advanced fluorescence inverted microscope with TimeLapse, Real Time PCR, Western Blot)



REGROWTH PRIN MIUR (2019-2022) - Italian Minister of University and Research.

“Osteosarcoma and Mesenchymal Stem Cells to assay innovative materials, bioactive injectable bone cements, with drug delivery ability, to contrast spine tumour recurrence and to enhance healthy bone regrowth”. Total funding: Euro 395.830,00. ISSMC-CNR 118.474,00 Euro Unit Leader N. 2 partners

MIS-RIGENERA Italian Minister of Defence PNRM (2020-2023)

“Innovative technology to regenerate spinal cord lesions” ISSMC-CNR COORDINATOR Total funding: 400.000 €


NAO4TARMED NANO4TARMED H2020-WIDESPREAD-2020-5-952063 (2021-2023).

Advanced hybrid theranostic nanoplatforms for an active drug delivery in the cancer treatment. Total funding:  Euro 744,898. ISSMC-CNR 159,195 WP Leader. N. 3 partners

PREDICTOS HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-03-01-Twinning (2023-2025)

 “Strengthening excellence for advanced osteosarcoma’s predictive models” Total funding 1 375 188 Euro.  ISSMC-CNR 252. 813,00 WP Leader. N.4 partners


National Program “European Scientific Networks” – Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (2020-2023) “Enlarging cancer research knowledge and medication discovery of novel drugs and novel targets for cancer therapy” Total Funding: 390.000 Euro. N. 4 partners