Our interests focus on cardiac arrhythmia
mechanisms and possible therapies as arrhythmia is a well-known
condition that leads to sudden death in the normal and failing
heart. Specifically we applied novel medical and customized
technologies for supporting these aims. Cardiac tissue encounters
modifications that start at nanoscale levels, by altering,
locally, the physiology of the subcellular compartments, inducing
structural/functional remodeling and leading to cardiac
arrhythmia. Ongoing efforts aim to define the full range of
subcellular modifications and the functional consequences thereof.
The laboratory is equipped with the state-or art-technologies for
cardiac electrophysiology and nanophysiology: 3D bioprinters,
scanning probe microscopy, non-linear microscopical imaging, FACS,
high-resolution epicardial array, computer vision technology,
optogenetics, long-terms EP acquisitions, cell culture facilities.
Novel molecular probes for 4D sensing of electromechanical activity in cardiac tissue (PR-4D-EMA) 2021-2024
The proposed research project is devoted to the design and synthesis of electrochromic and mechanochromic fluorophores working as highly sensitive probes of membrane potential and tension in cells. The stained specimens will be investigated thanks to the recently installed multiphoton microscope, a brand-new facility of the Parma University @ the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. Multiphoton microscopy provides 3D fluorescence imaging based on a multiphoton excitation, leading to in-depth imaging up to 2 mm, with sub-micrometer spatial resolution. Sensing in the 4D space-time will then be possible for any variable (electric field, strain, shear stress, etc.) that induces changes in the emission spectrum for the evaluation of electromechanical coupling.
Young Research Investigator Grant. Organoids on a Chip for
the investigation of inherited cardiac arrhythmias.
The project focus on the formation of 4 postdocs in one of the thematic of PNR 2021-2027: the recapitulation of inherited diseases in-vitro. For achieving this, we employed human iPSC derived in Cardiomyocytes for building organoids for functional and molecular HTS, in the LOKI System. A new Bioreactor with novel technologies are on the go for pursuing the aims of the project. Thanks with the collaboration with DIA and SCVSA Departments @UNIPR. Arrhythmia will be studied functional and drug screening using nanodelivery will be investigated.
and cardiac drug delivery: targeting the disease heart via
respiratory pathway. The Project CUPIDO 2017-2021
This is indeed, the other side of the coin, i.e. developing nanoparticles able to carry and deliver specific drugs to the failing heart (such as microRNAs or specific peptides). This is possible with manipulation of the physicochemical nanoparticle characteristics. The goal of this subproject, conducted in collaboration with the Department of Life Science University of Parma, IRGB-CNR and ISTEC-CNR, joint partners in the European Project Cupido, is to obtain a deeper understating of the possibility to use electrically charged nanoparticles (promising results are obtained with calcium phosphate nanoparticles) for carrying drugs specifically to the failing heart. more details at: www.cupidoproject.eu
New method for assessing cardiac contraction parameters for the in-vivo beating cardiac tissue: The Project LVAD-STRAT ERAPERMED 2019-2022
We are developing, in collaboration with the Bio engineer Department and Mathematical Department at University of Pavia, and the University of Verona a new method for studying kinematic evaluation of cardiac contraction (ViKiE) at high spatial and temporal resolutions. The ViKiE computer vision technology is part of the new European Project on Personalized Medicine ERAPERMED that aims to acquire right ventricular performance in patients during Left ventricular assistant device implantation.
The system works in a different way as compared to the commercial ones: briefly, we are recording, in a contact-less fashion manner, the cardiac beating cycle from a beating syncytium, ranging from a single sarcomere of the cardiomyocyte to the entire heart with a high-speed bright-field camera for 1-5 sec. From the video file, a customized algorithm follows the trajectories of a given location during contraction/relaxation processes and returns Hamiltonian mechanical equations such as force, contraction velocity, kinetic energy and displacement. In clinics, VikiE works in parallel with trans-esophageal ecocardiografy during open-chest cardiac surgery and return, in real-time, prognostics and diagnostic values to the surgeons. LVAD-STRAT
method for predict arrhythmia in Obstructive sleep Apnea
Patients: The project SLEEP@SA 2019-2022
SLEEP@SA is a funded project from BRIC INAIL
where our team are entitle to develop an Artificial Intelligence
able to predict the worsening of cardiac dysfunction in OSA
patients. In details we will acquire from worker (pilots, drivers
that have a unbalanced biorhythm) ECG, BP and stress
biomarkers. All acquired and analyzed data will feed a machine
learning for developing such prediction more information at SLEEPOSAS
for cardiovascular nanomedicine: SPOKE 1, Materials for
sustainability and ecological transition. WP4: Advanced
materials and devices for health industry, diagnostics and
therapeutics with a one-Health approach. Source of Funding :
PNRR : Next Generation EU: 2022-2025
The firsr subproject aims to develop and test nanomaterials for cardiovascular nanomedicine: in details we are producing and testing Silicon Carbide Conductive Nanowires capable to synthetically reinstate impulse propagaiton in the heart (please see our recent Nature Communications article. In this project we aim to approach SiC-NWs for terminating sustained arrhythmias.
The second subproject aims to develop phytocomplex metal nanoparticles capable to exert antimicrobial and antiviral activity once inhaled at the pulmonary and cardiovascular level. A patent is pending for the administration procedure. This project adopt 3D biopriting for developing materials capable to local release of pharmacological compounds.