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Meniscus Conference – Eco di Savona

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On the campus of the University of Savona on Friday, March 3, an event was held in which the speaker was the research member of the Association Professor Andrea Barbero Which revealed the research activity conducted by his group on the reconstruction of damaged cartilage tissue. The date of the meeting was set on the 16th, with the possibility of following the conference also via the Zoom platform. The focus was based on the meniscus. This particular tissue has a limited ability to regenerate, and therefore the damage to this tissue is not repaired by the body, as is the case with bone for example, and therefore the resulting deterioration in cartilage often requires very invasive interventions such as the use of prostheses. Current surgical techniques do not guarantee a long-term functional repair of the cartilage, especially if the lesions are extensive. Implantation of cartilage generated in the laboratory with autologous cells (of the patient’s own) using tissue engineering techniques presents a valid possibility for the treatment of joint damage. By definitiontissue engineering It is “an interdisciplinary field that applies engineering and life science principles to develop biological alternatives to restore, maintain, or improve the function of damaged tissues and organs.” In this research, the disciplines of cell biology, engineering, and materials science are integrated in order to construct new functional tissues by combining cells, biomaterials, and bioreactors. Fundamental research has been carried out and is still in progress in the Cartilage Engineering Laboratory of the University Hospital Basel with the aim of studying the behavior of chondrocytes (chondrocytes) and determining the optimal conditions for the formation of cartilage tissue for use as grafts. For the treatment of cartilage lesions. Thanks to the excellent results obtained in the laboratory, it has become possible to carry out engineering meniscus in the clinic for the treatment of patients with meniscus lesions. At the conference, Professor Andrea Barbero explained how the laboratory results made this clinical application accessible, and thus from the laboratory to the clinic, and how the results obtained in the clinic led to new research activities to improve treatment. Effectiveness of engineered cartilage from the clinic to the laboratory. Andrea Barbero was born in Savona in 1972, graduated from the Galileo Ferraris State Industrial-Technical Institute (ITIS) in Savona, majoring in chemistry (1991), and then, while studying for a degree course in biological sciences at the University of Genoa, molecular biology major which he obtained In 1997, after an internship at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology in Genoa where he dealt with the reconstruction of human epithelial tissue for the purpose of transplantation in burn patients (1992). After graduation, he worked as a researcher in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the National Institute for Cancer Research, where he pursued the study of the mechanisms involved in the migration of cancer cells (1998-2000), after which he obtained his medical specialty at the University of Milan. Specialist in Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry (2001). At this point, Andrea moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he worked as a researcher in the Laboratory of Tissue Engineering, Department of Biomedicine (University Hospital Basel), where he conducted a study on the differentiation potential of stem cells from human bone marrow (2001-2008), then became responsible for research activity in cartilage tissue engineering in the same tissue engineering laboratory (2008-2020). Meanwhile, in 2010 he was awarded the academic title of Privatdozent (“Privatdozent”, PD) in Experimental Medicine at the University of Basel and in 2017 he was awarded the title of Professor (“Honorary Professor”) in Experimental Medicine also at the University of Basel. Andrea has been Head of the Cartilage Engineering Laboratory at the Department of Biomedicine at the University Hospital Basel since 2020.

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