Activities in our research lab are mainly devoted to studying adult human stem cells, their potential and their capacity to regenerate damaged tissues. Stem cells are isolated from different tissues, including cord blood, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, adipose tissue and so on.
Cell Factory's research started in 1998, a branch of the Milano Cord Bank, one of the largest cord blood banks in Europe and Lorenza Lazzari co-founder of this bank is now in charge of research activities as R&D director.Almost twenty-years ago, this research group started working on ex-vivo expansion of human cord blood hematopoietic stem cells and this study ended up producing a successful clinical trial.
In early 2000, stem cell world starts talking about "stem cell plasticity" and in this field researchers and clinicians started speaking about a new branch of medicine, the regenerative medicine. Promptly our research laboratory began to work actively on mesenchymal stem cells that are the target of regenerative medicine.
Being associated to the Milan Cord Blood Bank and having thus the opportunity to study this new source of stem cells, our group has become a world leader research group for the isolation, characterization and culture of cord blood mesenchymal stem cells.
Important national and international links have been established, to broaden the group scientific aims and to proceed further with in vivo research testing stem cells into different animal models of tissue damage, including, for example, renal and lungs failures.
Currently, the most important research target of Cell Factory is to understand the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects observed in animal models. For this reason in our research lab new experimental approaches are going on, trying to connect microvesicles, mitochondria, metabolism and stem cells fate.
In addition, within an agreement recently signed with the University of Milano (Prof. Valentina Bollati, Environmental Epigenetics Lab, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health http://users.unimi.it/bollatilab/) our laboratory has started working on an interesting branch of research to study the effects of the environment, exposure to heavy metals and toxics on the stem cell compartment.
Few details regarding our activities:
Cord blood collection, characterization and cryopreservation.
Ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.
Isolation, characterization and cryopreservation of mesenchymal stem cells from different sources: cord blood, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, chorial villi, adipose tissue, bioptic samples.
Stem cell differentiation potential towards endothelial, adipogenic, chondrogenic, ostegenic, epithelial, alveolar and neural lineage.
Cell migration systems.
Stem cells and nanotechnology.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
Benzene-derivatives and hematopoietic stem cell compartment.
Microvesicles and mitochondria isolation and characterization.
Short and long term cultures
Co-culture with cell lines
Molecular biology (RT-PCR e Real Time-PCR)
Immunofluorescence with video confocal microscope