Group leader - Carmine Gentile
Our main goals are unveiling novel molecular targets and experimenting with new cellular approaches to reverse damage and promote new tissue formation to further improve the health of cardiovascular patients.
Several mechanisms for heart regeneration in humans are lost during development, representing the main reason why adult patients do not recover following a heart attack. Current therapies provide excellent results if applied early in patients following a heart attack, but delay in reperfusion of the infarcted heart can result in irreversible damage and transplantation may be considered.
Our studies focussing on blood vessel regeneration led us to study the fine and complex crosstalk between blood vessels and the musculature in the human heart, and highlighted the critical role played by a molecule released by blood vessels, called nitric oxide (NO), for a healthy human heart.
Our ground breaking research has pioneered the engineering of 3D cardiac microtissues containing blood vessels, called “vascularized cardiac spheroids”. Vascularized cardiac spheroids are currently used for our biochemical, physiological and pharmacological studies of the human heart.
Thanks to our state-of-the-art 3D bioprinter, we are now exploring how to employ stem cell technology for the bioprinting of human cardiac patches for cardiovascular regeneration.