90920 - Stem Cells and 3D Organoid Systems

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows: - the molecular pathways that control the degree of staminality and stem cell differentiation potential; - the key elements concerning the innovations and development of 3D culture systems for drug discovery and their use for disease modeling; - the methods for the in vitro preparation of cellular models useful for defining 3D spheroidal cultures.

Course contents

Frontal lessons (2 UC)

Pluripotent stem cells. Embryonic stem cells: phenotypic characterization and therapeutic potential.

Somatic nuclear transfer for the generation of pluripotent cells. Reprogrammng strategies for generation of induced pluripotetn stem cells (iPSCs).

Adult stem cells: phenotypic characterization, multipotential ability and comparison with Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Extraembryonic Tissues as sources of Perinatal Stem Cells: phenotypic characterization and biologial features.

3D Scaffold application in cell culture and organoid models: tissue engineering approach for disease modelling and regenerative medicine approaches.

3D organoid development and growh: general overview of the background and current methods for the generation and characterization of organoids

Application of human derived organoids: cerebral, liver, skin and intestinal model of organoids.

Lab work experience (1 UC)

Introduction to the lab work of the stem cell course; macroscopic description of the placenta and extraembryonic tissues; laboratory experience: isolation of human mesenchymal cells derived from fetal membranes.

Laboratory experience: isolation of human epithelial cells derived from amniotic membrane and preparation of 3D cellular models for 3D culture system.

Laboratory experience: Morphological evaluation of the cell cultures obtained and discussion of research findings.


Recommended Textbook: G.P. Bagnara, Stem Cells, Ed. Esculapio.

Recommended scientific papers given during the lessons.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures and Laboratory work experience in Cell Culture Lab.

Assessment methods

The final test focuses on the achievement of learning objectives about:

- stem cell basics and classification

- stem cell applications, cell therapy and tissue engineering

- 3D organoid l research and techniques

Oral examination on two topics among a list of topics covered during the course.

The online registration to the examination is mandatory.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations will be available online as downloadable content.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Alviano