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Biomaterial lab

Paolo A. Netti

Filippo Causa

Francesco Urciuolo

Enza Toino

Maurizio Ventre

Valeria Panzetta

Biomaterials are defined as materials that interact with living beings and which have the purpose of restoring the functions of injured or diseased tissues and organs, or more generally of improving the quality of life. Based on this, a huge amount of objects or devices are classified as biomaterials: from contact lenses to hip prostheses, from dental fillers to artificial hearts. In recent decades, enormous improvements have been achieved in the field of biomaterials thanks to advances in science and technology and, above all, thanks to the integration of materials science and process engineering with the principles of life sciences. The scientific community and the industrial sector are constantly working to make biomaterials safer, more effective and less invasive.
The biomaterials market is vast and constantly growing. It has an estimated global value of 62 billion dollars, with a growth of 16% and is expected to reach 130 billion dollars in 2020. Cardiovascular and orthopedic are the segments representing the largest shares. In Europe, for example, due to the increase in the geriatric population, more and more patients need prostheses to restore degenerated tissues and organs. Every year, 800,000 hip replacements, 1,200,000 vascular stents and 50,000 heart valve replacement surgeries are implanted.
Tissue engineering uses specially designed biomaterials to house cells and stimulate them to generate functional tissues in vitro or in vivo. Tissue engineering promises to solve therapeutic problems where conventional prostheses can exert only a partial or limited effect (e.g. corneal tissue, nerve replacement, cartilage replacement, etc.). To implement a tissue-engineered product or device, understanding cellular behavior in synthetic systems, tailoring the biochemical and biophysical properties of materials, and processing cells in vitro are all crucial. Today, more than 100 commercial companies involved in the field of tissue engineering operate in the United States alone, most of which have orthopedics or wound healing as their primary business. The development of this industry was very expensive, however this trend has reversed over the last 10 years and today sales are comparable to investments (~$4 billion per year).
In the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, students will study and understand the principles underlying the design and fabrication of biomaterials, prosthetics and scaffolds, how devices are tested, and how their performance can be evaluated.

Cappa – flusso laminare

Incubatori

Centrifughe

Microscopi

Conservazione delle cellule (-80°C & -210°C)

Stazione di sterilizzazione (autoclave)

Piazzale Tecchio 80, Polo ovest ‘Ingegneria’ Fuorigrotta

Floor -1 section Polymers (DICMaPI)

Room 09

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