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Miguel Fuzeta to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Miguel Fuzeta to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

 Miguel de Almeida Fuzeta will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering on Wednesday the 27th october 2021 at 10:00 h (https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/81143862412). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG and BERG-IBB and Diana Maria Diez Gaspar from FEUP, Miguel focused his efforts on the development of Bioprocesses for the scalable manufacturing of extracellular vesicles derived from mesenchymal stromal cells. The title of the thesis is “Scalable Production of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Cancer-Targeted Drug Delivery”.

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Urinary Bladder Bioprinting for Transplantation

Urinary Bladder Bioprinting for Transplantation | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "UROPRINT: Urinary bladder bioprinting for fully autologous transplantation" has been recommended for funding by the EU. The goal of UROPRINT is to laser print fully functional immunocompatible urothelial tissue ex vivo and in vivo for bladder augmentation and replacement. The project is led by the Institute of Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens and involves iBB-SCERG, Asphalion SL, Institute of Comunication and Computer Systems, Optics11 BV and METATISSUE/JFCC-Biosolutions, LDA.

 

Photo details: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Tailored Cytokine Optimization for ex vivo Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells

Tailored Cytokine Optimization for ex vivo Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells | iBB | Scoop.it

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an accepted and appealing alternative source of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) for hematopoietic cell transplants. However, low UCB volume recovered from births results in an unsatisfactory cell dose for transplants in adults, having initially limited transplants of a single UCB unit to pediatric patients. Ex vivo expansion of HSPC based on the addition of exogenous cytokines.has been pursued to address this problem. Notably, selection of individual cytokines and their concentrations for an expansion cocktail has differed between existing strategies. To improve the effectiveness of these platforms, namely targeting clinical approval, iBB researchers optimized the cytokine cocktails in two clinically relevant expansion platforms for HSPC, a liquid suspension culture system (CS_HSPC) and a co-culture system with bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (CS_HSPC/MSC).. The tailored and novel optimized cocktails determined made it possible to individually maximize cytokine contribution in both studied platforms, leading to an increase in the expansion platform performance, while allowing a rational side-by-side comparison between them and enhancing our knowledge on the impact of cytokine supplementation on the HSPC expansion process. The results achieved were published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Stem Cell Systems Bioengineering section.

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Development of Extruded Perfusion Bioreactor Platform for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Development of Extruded Perfusion Bioreactor Platform for Cartilage Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Bioreactors that provide different biophysical stimuli have been used in tissue engineering approaches aimed at enhancing the quality of the cartilage tissue generated. However, such systems are often highly complex, costly and not very versatile. In a recent study published in Biotechnology Journal, researchers from SCERG-iBB working with colleagues from the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA) developed a novel, cost-effective and customizable perfusion bioreactor fabricated by additive manufacturing (AM) to study of the effect of fluid flow on the chondrogenic differentiation of human bone-marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBMSCs) in 3D porous poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds. Results suggest that the chondrogenic differentiation of hBMSCs was enhanced in cell-scaffold constructs cultured under perfusion and highlights the potential of customizable AM platforms for developing more reliable in vitro models and improved personalized cartilage repair strategies.

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Development of Cell-derived Extracellular Matrices to Enhance Bone Regeneration

Development of Cell-derived Extracellular Matrices to Enhance Bone Regeneration | iBB | Scoop.it

Cultured cell-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) has been used as a scaffold for tissue engineering settings to create a biomimetic microenvironment, providing physical, chemical and mechanical cues to cells and support cellular activities, mimicking the composition and organization of native ECM microenvironment. In a recent study published in Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, researchers from SCERG-iBB working with colleagues from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a new strategy to produce different combinations of decellularized cultured cell-derived ECM obtained from different cultured cell types, namely mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), as well as the co-culture of MSC:HUVEC and investigate the effects of its various compositions on osteogenic differentiation and angiogenic properties of human bone marrow (BM)-derived MSC, vital features for adult bone tissue regeneration and repair. These results suggest that decellularized ECM derived from a co-culture of MSC:HUVEC impacts the osteogenic and angiogenic capabilities of BM MSC, suggesting the potential use of MSC:HUVEC ECM as a therapeutic product to improve clinical outcomes in bone regeneration. 

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Synergistic Effect of Osteopontin and Osteocalcin on Stem Cell Properties

Synergistic Effect of Osteopontin and Osteocalcin on Stem Cell Properties | iBB | Scoop.it

There is a high demand for functional bone grafts worldwide partly due to the increased life expectancy. Bone matrix proteins, especially osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin (OC), have been reported to regulate some physiological process, such as cell migration and bone mineralization. However, the effects of OPN and OC on cell proliferation, osteogenic differentiation, mineralization and angiogenesis are still undefined.  In a recent study published in Journal of Cellular and Biochemistry, researchers from SCERG-iBB working with colleagues from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute assessed the exogenous effect of OPN and OC supplementation on human bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells proliferation and osteogenic differentiation.  These results suggest that OC and OPN stimulate bone regeneration by inducing stem cell proliferation, osteogenesis and by enhancing angiogenic properties. The synergistic effect of OC and OPN observed in this study can be applied as an attractive strategy for bone regeneration therapeutics by targeting different vital cellular processes.

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Francisco Moreira Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Francisco Moreira Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Francisco Moreira has just defended his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 12th December 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB, Francisco focused on the establishment of a scalable three-dimensional dynamic culture for the expansion of adipose tissue-derived MSC under xeno-free conditions. The title of his thesis is "Scalable Platform for the Expansion of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Under Dynamic Conditions”.

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Raquel Cunha Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal)

Raquel Cunha Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) | iBB | Scoop.it

Raquel Medina dos Santos Cunha will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, tuesday the 20th November 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB, Jeffrey Karp from Harvard Medical School and António Fiarresga from Hospital de Santa Marta, Raquel worked on the development of platforms for the production and characterisation of clinical grade stem cell-based therapies with enhanced regenerative potential. The title of her thesis is "Towards the development of potency assays and 3D inflammation models to evaluate the regenerative potential of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell (MSC) and MSC-derived products”.

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Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation

Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation | iBB | Scoop.it

The book "Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation", edited by Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB has just been released by CRC Press. In the book, an international team of investigators presents thought-provoking reviews of bioreactors for stem cell expansion and differentiation and provides cutting-edge information on different bioreactor systems. The authors offer novel insights into bioreactor-based culture systems specific for tissue engineering, including sophisticated and cost-effective manufacturing strategies geared to overcome technological shortcomings that currently preclude advances towards product commercialization.

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Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy

Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a debilitating condition characterized by the blockage of arteries, which leads to limb amputation in more severe cases. Researchers from SCERG- and BERG-iBB propose the use of human bone marrow (BM) MSC transiently transfected with minicircles encoding for VEGF as an ex vivo gene therapy strategy to enhance angiogenesis in PAD patients. The data shows that VEGF overexpression improved the angiogenic potential of MSC in vitro, as confirmed by endothelial cell tube formation and cell migration assays.These results suggest that minicircle-mediated VEGF gene delivery, combined with the unique properties of human MSC, could represent a promising ex vivo gene therapy approach to improve angiogenesis in the context of PAD. The work was published in Human Gene Therapy.

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Biomimetic Cues Improve the Functionality of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells

Biomimetic Cues Improve the Functionality of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells | iBB | Scoop.it
The adult bone marrow (BM) niche is a complex entity where a homeostatic hematopoietic system is maintained through a dynamic crosstalk between different cellular and non-cellular players. Different signaling mechanisms are involved in controlling quiescence, self-renewal, differentiation and migration of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC). A promising strategy to efficiently expand HSPC numbers and tune their properties ex-vivo is to mimic the hematopoietic niche through integration of adjuvant stromal cells, soluble cues and/or biomaterial-based approaches in HSPC culture systems. In a recent recview published in Biotechnology Journal, SCERG-researchers led by Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva focus on depicting the characteristics of co-culture systems, as well as other bioengineering approaches to improve the functionality of HSPC ex-vivo. Click on title to access the review.
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Marta Costa Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Marta Costa Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it
Marta Costa will be defending her Ph D thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal program) at Instituto Superior Técnico, friday the 24th may 2017 (11:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Frederico Ferreira and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-IBB, and from Todd McDevitt from the USA, Cláudia focused her efforts on the manipulation of the microenvironment of MSCs. The title of Marta's thesis is “Engineering the microenvironment of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSC) to tune their trophic activity”.
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Acellular Urethra Bioscaffolds

Acellular Urethra Bioscaffolds | iBB | Scoop.it
Stress urinary incontinence patients mainly suffer from malfunction of the urethra closure mechanism. Through a cross-disciplinary strategy involving engineers, urologists and veterinary physicians, iBB researchers together with Pedro M. Baptista from Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria de Aragó, in Zaragoza, Spain, led a pioneer study on the decellularization of porcine urethras to produce acellular urethra bioscaffolds. These bioscaffolds retained vital extracellular matrix proteins and were liable to cell repopulation, a crucial first step towards the generation of urethra bioscaffold-based Tissue Engineering products. Click on title to learn more. 
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Minicircle‐based Expression of VEGF in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Human Tissues

Minicircle‐based Expression of VEGF in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Human Tissues | iBB | Scoop.it

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been exploited for the treatment of ischemic diseases given their angiogenic potential. A recent study published in the Journal of Gene Medicine by BERG and SCERG researchers compares the angiogenic potential of MSC obtained from bone marrow (BM), adipose tissue (AT) and umbilical cord matrix (UCM) that were genetically modified with VEGF‐encoding minicircle vectors. Transfected cells displayed higher in vitro angiogenic potential than non‐transfected controls, as demonstrated by functional in vitro assays, but no significant differences were observed among cells from different sources.

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Production of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Bioreactors

Production of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

Cell-based therapies have been showing unprecedented therapeutic potential, already changing the landscape of medical care. Extracellular vesicles are nanoparticles naturally secreted by cells, which are important mediators of intercellular communication in our organism and are able to mediate therapeutic effects from their cells of origin. These vesicles can also be used as drug delivery vehicles to target multiple diseases. In a paper recently published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, iBB researchers in collaboration with iMM Lisboa, CQE-IST and the companies PBS Biotech and AventaCell Biomedical, developed a new strategy for the robust and scalable production of extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stromal cells, using bioreactors and an animal serum-free cell culture supplement. This strategy, developed within the frame of the PhD Program in Bioengineering of Miguel de Almeida Fuzeta, is a relevant step towards the large scale production of extracellular vesicles form different human tissue sources, which are promising tools for the development of new therapies against a variety of diseases, from cardiovascular diseases to cancer.

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Conditioned Medium from Azurin-expressing MSC Demonstrates Anti-tumor Activity

Conditioned Medium from Azurin-expressing MSC Demonstrates Anti-tumor Activity | iBB | Scoop.it

Cell-based therapies can enhance the specificity of anti-cancer therapeutic agents. In this context, human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) hold a promising future as cell delivery systems for anti-cancer proteins due to their innate tropism for tumors. iBB researchers Marília Silva, Gabriel Monteiro, Arsénio Fialho, Nuno Bernardes and Cláudia Lobato da Silva, engineered human MSC through non-viral methods to secrete a human codon-optimized version of azurin (hazu), a bacterial protein with demonstrated anti-cancer activity towards different cancer models in vitro and in vivo. Upon treatment with conditioned media (CM) from these engineered cells, a decrease in cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion was seen, and an increase in cell death was observed for breast and lung cancer cell models. The results achieved by SCERG- and BSRG-iBB researchers were published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Stem Cell Research section.

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Sara Rosa to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Sara Rosa to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Sara Lourenço Rosa will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciencesat Instituto Superior Técnico, monday the 9th september 2019 (14:30 H, room PA-3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Ana Azevedo from BERG-iBB and Cláudia Lobato-Silva from SCERG-iBB, Sara explored phenyl boronate chromatography as an alternative technique to purify biomolecules such as antibodies. The title of her thesis is "A phenylboronate chromatography based approach as an effective alternative for downstream processing of biomolecules".

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Joana Serra to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Joana Serra to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Joana Serra will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, friday the 7th June 2019 (10:30 H, room Q4.41). During the last years, and under the supervision of Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB and Cláudia Lobato-Silva from SCERG-iBB, Joana focused her efforts on the genetic modification of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells with VEGF-coding minicircles to improve their therapeutic features in the context of ischemia. The title of her thesis is "Ex-vivo gene therapy to improve the regenerative features of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) in a model of limb ischemia".

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Cell-derived Electrospun Microfibrous Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

Cell-derived Electrospun Microfibrous Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Cell-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) has been employed as scaffolds for tissue engineering. SCERG-iBB researchers working with colleagues from the Rensselaer Polytechnic developed bioactive cell-derived ECM electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds produced from ECM derived from human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and their combination based on the hypothesis that the cell-derived ECM incorporated into the PCL fibers would enhance the biofunctionality of the scaffold. The findings show that all cell-derived ECM electrospun scaffolds promoted significant cell proliferation compared to PCL alone, while presenting similar physical/mechanical properties. Additionally, MSC:HUVEC-ECM electrospun scaffolds significantly enhanced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. The study was published in Materials Science and Engineering: C.

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Marta Carvalho Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Marta Carvalho Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Marta Monteiro Silva Carvalho will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) at Instituto Superior Técnico, tuesday the 4th December 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB and Deepak Vashisth from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Marta focused on the development of biomimetic 3-D matrices for stem cell mediated bone formation, with a particular interest on evaluating the influence of non-collagenous proteins present in the bone matrix. The title of her thesis is "Stem Cell-mediated bone formation on biomimetic 3-D matrices”.

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Diogo Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal)

Diogo Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) | iBB | Scoop.it

Diogo Pinto will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, thursday the 15th November 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB and António Fiarresga from Hospital de Santa Marta, Diogo worked on the development of a mesenchymal stem/stromal cells product derived from the umbilical cord matrix with enhanced therapeutic features for myocardial regeneration. The title of his thesis is "Towards the Development of a Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Product with Enhanced Therapeutic Features for Myocardial Infarction”.

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Rapid Formation of Mineralized Bone Tissue Based on Stem Cell-mediated Osteogenesis

Rapid Formation of Mineralized Bone Tissue Based on Stem Cell-mediated Osteogenesis | iBB | Scoop.it

Bone regeneration, following fracture, relies on autologous and allogenic bone grafts. However, majority of fracture population consists of older individuals with poor quality bone associated with loss and/or modification of matrix proteins critical for bone formation and mineralization. Allografts sufer from same limitations and carry the risk of delayed healing, infection, immune rejection and eventual fracture. Researchers from SCERG-iBB, working in collaboration with colleagues from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US, have applied a synergistic biomimetic strategy to develop matrices that rapidly form bone tissue. Collagen matrices, enhanced with osteocalcin and/or osteopontin, increased the rate and quantity of synthesized bone matrix by increasing mesenchymal stem/stromal (MSC) cell proliferation, accelerating osteogenic diferentiation and enhancing angiogenesis The work was published in Scientific Reports.

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Márcia Mata Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Márcia Mata Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Márcia Andreia Faria da Mata has defended her Ph D thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico on the 9th May 2018. During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB and Prof. Marco Costa from Case Western Reserve University, Márcia has investigated how stem cell engineering can contribute to the development of angiogenic cell therapies for the management of ischemia. The title of her thesis is "Stem Cell Engineering Approaches Towards Angiogenic Cell Therapy for Ischemic Diseases”.

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Alginate Encapsulation of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells

Alginate Encapsulation of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells | iBB | Scoop.it
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) can stimulate tissue regeneration during wound healing. SCERG-iBB researchers Cláudia Lobato Silva, Frederico Ferreira and Joaquim Cabral, working in collaboration with Todd McDevittt from UCSF, propose the use of alginate encapsulation as a strategy to assess the activity of 3D- and 2D-cultured human bone marrow MSC in the setting of wound repair and regeneration processes. The study, published in Journal of Biotechnology, shows that encapsulation within alginate matrices protects MSC from oxidative stress and extends its therapeutic potential. Click on title to learn more.
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António Soure Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

António Soure Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it
António Soure will be defending his Ph D thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal program) at Instituto Superior Técnico, friday the 17th march 2017 (11:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-IBB, António focused his efforts on the study of the manufacturing of MSC for cell therapy applications. The title of António's thesis is “Scalable Manufacturing of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells for Cell Therapies and the Role of the Notch Signaling Pathway in the Human Hematopoietic Systems”.
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