66656 - In Vitro Biotechnology of Human Tissues

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Laura Bonsi
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: BIO/17
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Biotechnology (cod. 8005)

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student has the basic knowledge of the main human body tissues as well as the issues and the latest biotechnological applications. At the end of the lab exercises, students acquire skills to work in sterile conditions and learns the main methods used for the study of different tissues.

Course contents

The morphological study of tissues

- Microscopes and Techniques.

- Preservation and preparation of tissue samples for microscopy: fixation and inclusion.

- Histological staining: basic, acid and vital dyes

- Histochemical staining methods

- Immunohistochemistry tecniques and flow cytometry

The "in vitro" tissue cultures

- The Prevention of bacterial or mycoplasma contaminations: the cell culture laboratory.

- The main nutrients used to grow animal tissues: the culture medium, serum, growth factors.

- Monolayer cell cultures, the cultures in cell suspension, the organotypic cultures, the cocultures.

-The primary cultures, long term cultures, the semisolid cell cultures.

-The preservation of in vitro cell culture: freezing and thawing techniques.

-The concept of stemness.

-Morphological and functional characteristics of different stem cell populations. The Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) and the induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). The Adult Stem Cells (ASCs). The Perinatal Stem Cells. 

- Synthetic, semi-synthetic or natural materials as scaffolds for growing cells isolated from various tissues.

-The Production of artificial tissues to be implanted in humans. Stem cell-derived three-dimensional cultures called organoids.

-The stem cell factory.

-An outline of the safety in the laboratory for in vitro biotechnology of human tissues.


-Induction of differentiation of a neuroectodermic cell line.

-Isolation of chromosomes from cells of an erythromegakaryoblastic cell line.

-Semi-solid cell culture for studying the clonogenic activity of erythroid and granulomonocytic progenitors.

-Preparation of slides via Cytocentrifuge using cells from two hematopoietic cell lines.

- Preparation of three-dimentional cultures by using previously treated plates in order to avoid cell adhesion.

-Observation of different tissue cultures and histological setions under the microscope light.


Students can use a Histology text and a Cell Biology text already available from the courses of previous years.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons and practical experience in the cell culture laboratory.

Assessment methods

The exam is done through the final exam that ensures the acquisition of expected knowledge by conducting a written test lasting 2 hours. The written exam will be on two topics that the student shall select a list of ten topics of the lessons. The online registration to the examination is mandatory.

In case of impossibility to take the exam in presence due to the health emergency, the exam will be oral on Teams platform.

Teaching tools

The teaching material presented in class will be made available to the student electronically as downloadable content through the Platform (Virtual Learning Environment).


Office hours

See the website of Laura Bonsi


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.