Decellularized tissues as scaffolds for tissue engineering of auricular and larynx
The reconstruction of auricula and larynx are key issues in otorhinolaryngology clinics.
Auricula malformations represent not only an aesthetic problem but also a physical impairment, that is alteration of auditory perception. Current reconstruction treatments, based on autologous cartilage transplants, are obtained by surgical explants of costal cartilage, requiring high surgical skills and often causing adverse effects. Similar biocompatibility problems have been detected for larynx reconstruction, especially concerning the immunitary response.
The purpose of this project is to develop innovative protocols for the reconstruction of the auricula and the larynx by tissue decellularization resulting in whole biological scaffolds that could be subsequently repopulated with autologous stem cells.
Professor Astolfi directs the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory (Dep of Neurosciences, University of Padua). Since February 2007, she is involved in studies concerning the improvement of acoustic prosthetics by application of cochlear implants on experimental models, in studies of ototoxicity prevention which employ nanotechnologies, gene and stem cell therapies for hearing loss treatment. Presently she supervises the research activities of two post-doctoral research fellows and one PhD student in Biomedical Sciences. Since 2008 she has been involved in many national and international research programs. As a Principal Investigator she supervised several research projects dealing with ototoxicity, hearing loss causes and ear and neck tissue regeneration. Recently she has been responsible for the in vivo experimental part of 7 research projects about prevention of hearing loss and hearing recovery in mouse, rat and Guinea pig models.
From 2007 to 2017, she worked at the Section of Endocrinology of the University of Ferrara (Italy). She worked on mechanisms of endocrine cancers. Specifically, her projects focused on translational medicine, with a particular attention on pituitary diseases. From 2017 to present, she has been a fellow at Bioacoustic Research Laboratory of the University of Padua (Italy). Currently she is involved in studies on inner ear ototoxicity, using in vitro and in vivo models, aimed at preventing or reducing hearing loss employing nanotechnology and drug delivery systems. Recently, her researches are focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies of regenerative medicine for larynx and auricula. Dr Gentilin has had some experiences abroad. In 2010, she had an Erasmus placement at the institute of Biomedical research of the University of Birmingham (UK), working under the supervision of Prof. Christopher McCabe. In 2014, She was a guest researcher at the Flow Cytometry Core Facility of the University College London (London, UK), working under the supervision of Dr Ayad Eddaoudi. Dr Gentilin has received several awards, among which “Young Researchers 2014 grant”, provided by the University of Ferrara (Italy).
Student in Neurosciences at the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua.
She is involved in research on inner-ear pharmacology and protection from artificially induced cochlear stress in in vivo and in vitro models, which employ nanotechnologies and stem cell therapies.
Graduated in Biological Sciences with a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences.
From 2001 to 2005 she worked at the University of Ferrara (Prof. Baharam Dezfuli). She carried out histological studies to evaluate the morphological damages caused by fish parasites and the mechanisms involved in the host-parasite interactions.
From 2006 to 2018 she worked at the Bioacoustics laboratory of the University of Padua (Prof. Alessandro Martini and Prof. Laura Astolfi). She carried out experimental studies on in vitro and in vivo models in order to prevent or treat deafness. In these years, she focused on analyzing the protective effects of therapies applied locally in the inner ear such as stem cells and cochlear implants or nanoparticles able to delivery drugs.
From 2018 to 2019 she worked at the Human Anatomy section of the University of Padua (Prof. De Caro) dealing with the preparation and analysis of histological samples from human tissues.
Currently, she works at the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory (Prof. Laura Astolfi), where she is evaluating the quality of the rat and porcine biological scaffolds obtained by decellularization of the auricle and larynx.