90935 - Stem Cell Therapy

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Francesco Alviano

  • Learning modules Francesco Alviano (Modulo 1)
    Pasquale Marrazzo (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 4

  • SSD BIO/17

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Medical Biotechnology (cod. 9081)


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

Identify and discuss stem cell features, molecular mechanisms of differentiation and possible applications related to regenerative medicine. Recognise the characteristics of embryonic stem cells and those of the adult stem cells. Describe the methods for stem cell isolation to obtain progenitor cells from extraembryonic tissues.​

Course contents

Frontal lessons (2 UC)

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs): historical background, isolation, immunophenotypic characterization, differentiation ability, trophic and immunomodulatory features.

Alternative source and clinical perspectives of MSCs.

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) and induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs).

Resident angiogenic mesenchymal stem cells from heart-beating multiorgan donors

Stem cells for the regeneration of chondrogenic and osteogenic.

The regeneration of the skin. The stem cell niches of epithelial stem cells.

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

Cell Culture Laboratory for studying stem cells. The risks of contamination: cryopreservation.

The safety devices in the cell culture laboratories.

Lab work experience (2 UC)

1- Demonstration of human term placenta. Human mesenchymal cell isolation from the Wharton's jelly of the umbilical cord;

2 - Isolation of epithelial cells from the amniotic membrane;

3 - Isolation of mononuclear cells from blood and preparation of a co-culture to evaluate the immunomodulatory action of the epithelial cells isolated from amniotic membrane;

4 - Evaluation of the cycle phases of mononuclear cells maintained in co-cultured with epithelial cells of the amniotic membrane;

5 - Evaluation of perinatal cell differentiation potential by attempting an angiogenic assay based on a 3D semi-solid culture system.

Discussion of data and comparison with those reported by scientific literature.


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

- stem cell research and techniques

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

The final mark of the "Stem Cell Therapy" course will be mediated with the marks reported in the “Human Embryology course and with the “Molecular Basis of Haematological Disorders” course.

The online registration to the examination is mandatory.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations that will be available online as downloadable content.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Alviano

See the website of Pasquale Marrazzo