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Physiopathology and regeneration of osteoarticular tissue


For information

Gina Lisignoli, MSc
phone +39-051-6366804


The research activity of the "Physiopathology and regeneration of osteoarticular tissue" Unit (Head Dr. Gina Lisignoli) is aimed at studying musculoskeletal tissues which, due to ageing, trauma and/or degenerative diseases, lose their original characteristics and need to be regenerated or treated with cell therapies. The simple structure is mainly concerned with: studying innovative cell therapies focusing on possible solutions to mimic the development of degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis, and counteracting the inflammatory process; regenerative medicine using technologies involving the development of innovative biomaterials (3-dimensional constructs -3D) which, combined with cells, are able to promote the regeneration of damaged osteoarticular tissues.

In particular, the main research activities are aimed at: evaluation of the potential of mesenchymal cells to regenerate damaged joint tissues and to counteract the action of immune system cells (macrophages, lymphocytes) involved in the inflammatory process; validation of preclinical in vitro models of degenerative diseases (osteoarthritis) using cellular co-cultures to recreate the joint microenvironment (synovium, cartilage, bone) under both static and dynamic conditions; evaluation of biomarkers of anabolic and catabolic processes in joint tissues; identification of strategies for osteoarticular tissue regeneration using innovative biomaterials combined with 3D printing technologies; evaluation of cell-biomaterial interactions: studies on the ability of mesenchymal cells to differentiate into mature tissues (bone and cartilage) using dynamic growth systems (bioreactor) and different oxygen tensions; evaluation of the effect of innovative therapies, such as ultrasound, on cell differentiation and the inflammatory response (2D and 3D models).

Immagine rigenerazione dei tessuti osteoarticolari

On these research topics, students and PhD students who need to write their degree and PhD theses may be admitted.

Researchers and Collaborators: Dott.ssa Elena Gabusi Dirigente Biologo, Dott.ssa Cristina Manferdini, Tecnico Sanitario di Laboratorio Biomedico, Dott.ssa Yasmin Saleh Borsista, Dott. Enrico Lenzi Borsista, Ing. Diego Trucco PhD Candidate.

Active research projects:

  • 2019-2023, European Project H2020 "Advanced nanocomposite MAterials fOr in situ treatment and ultrasound-mediated management of Osteoarthritis" (ADMAIORA) (n. 814413). IRCCS Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute Responsible and for WP6. Web site:,
  • 2021-2025 AIRC MFAG 2020 project ID 24932: "Study of the mechanisms underlying progression from indolent monoclonal gammopathy to multiple myeloma". Partners in the project research group.

Completed research projects:

  • 2017-2019, Project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Executive programme for scientific and technological cooperation between the Italian Republic and the Republic of India, "Development of osteochondral tissue using 3 D printing technology" (no. IN17MO03), Italian responsible.
  • 2015-2019, European Project H2020 "Clinical trial of autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASC) in the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis" ADIPOA2 (n.643809), responsible for IOR and WP4. 2008-2011, Emilia Romagna Region-University of Bologna, project: “Regenerative medicine in osteo-articular diseases”, WP2 responsible.
  • 2013-2016, Emilia-Romagna Region-University of Bologna Project "Regenerative medicine of cartilage and bone", Operational Unit in WP2 responsible. 2005-2007, Targeted research project, Ministry of Health “Use of mesenchymal cells in tissue engineering for the prevention of cartilage damage”, Operational Unit responsible.
  • 2001-2003, Target research project, Ministry of Health: Biological and genetic markers of osteoarthritis severity, Operational Unit responsible.

Scientific Societies: International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society (ICRS); Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI); Stem Cell Research Italy (SCR-Italy).


  • 2020, "Material and system for the therapeutic treatment of joints" IT201900002697A1, 2020-08-25, Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna [IT].
  • 2020, "Pharmaceutical compositions including amide derivatives of hyaluronic acid for use in the treatment of bone traumas, in particular in patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis", IT201900009933A1, 2020-12-24, Fidia Farmaceutici [IT].
  • 2016, "New molecules for bone tissue regeneration" US10016444B2 (A1), 2018-07-10, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli [IT].
  • 1997: "Device for the support and containment of biological cell cultures" IT1285959B1 (A1), 1998-06-26, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli [IT].