Padua, Italy
Padua, Italy

The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in Italy. The University of Padua is one of Italy’s leading universities and ranks in the first position in all the recent ranking of Italian large universities. In 2010 the university had approximately 65,000 students and in 2009 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students. Wikipedia.


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RATIONALE:: Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a life-threatening complication of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In patients who are ineligible for revascularization procedures, there are few therapeutic alternatives, leading to amputations and death. OBJECTIVE:: To provide a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis of studies evaluating safety and efficacy of autologous cell therapy for intractable PAD/CLI. METHODS AND RESULTS:: We retrieved 19 randomized controlled trials (RCTs; 837 patients), 7 non-randomized trials (338 patients), and 41 non-controlled studies (1,177 patients). The primary outcome was major amputation. Heterogeneity was high and publication bias could not be excluded. Despite these limitations, the primary analysis (all RCTs) showed that cell therapy reduced the risk of amputation by 37%, improved amputation-free survival by 18% and improved wound healing by 59%, without affecting mortality. Cell therapy significantly increased ABI, TcO2, and reduced rest pain. The secondary analysis (all controlled trials; n=1,175 patients) shows there may be potential to avoid approximately 1 amputation/year for every 2 patients successfully treated. The tertiary analysis (all studies; n=2,332 patients) precisely estimated the changes in ABI, TcO2, rest pain, and walking capacity after cell therapy. Intra-muscular implantation appeared more effective than intra-arterial infusion, and mobilized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) may outperform bone marrow-MNCs and mesenchymal stem cells. Amputation rate was improved more in trials wherein the prevalence of diabetes was high. Cell therapy was not associated with severe adverse events. Remarkably, efficacy of cell therapy on all end-points was no longer significant in placebo-controlled RCTs and disappeared in RCTs with a low risk of bias. CONCLUSIONS:: Although this meta-analysis highlights the need for more high quality placebo-controlled trials, equipoise may no longer be guaranteed, because autologous cell therapy has the potential to modify the natural history of intractable CLI. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-15-2015 | Award Amount: 52.36M | Year: 2016

In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of environmental monitoring and Earth observation have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers for supporting key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERA-PLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation to Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and the Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen the European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET will reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart cities and Resilient societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge in different domain of Earth Observation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2017

MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stag ebiotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2017

SUMCASTEC explores radically new approach for cancer stem cells (CSCs) real time isolation (i.e. within minutes vs current 40 days) and neutralization. A novel micro-optofluidic lab-on-chip (LOC) platform will be developed through a joint and iterative effort by biologists, clinicians and engineers. For the first time, a single LOC will be capable of delivering ultra-wide broadband radiation to compare cell spectral signatures, image subcellular features, and hence modulate CSCs microenvironment conditions with unprecedented space and time resolution. It will be driven to isolate CSCs from heterogeneous differentiated and stem cell populations, and force CSCs differentiation, ultimately inducing sensitivity to anticancer treatments. Extensive in vitro and in vivo testing along with biophysical modelling will validate the approach and establish the proof-of-principle within the project life-time, while laying the groundwork for further development of future electrosurgical tools that will be capable CSCs neutralization in tissue. This will not only establish a new line of treatment for brain cancers such as Glioblastoma Multiforme and Medulloblastoma, whose initiation and recurrence were linked to CSCs, and that claim tremendous human and economic tolls, worldwide; it will also push the current boundaries of microbiological analysis by enabling microenvironment characterization/manipulation and real-time ionic channels monitoring without cytotoxic patch-clamping or electron microscopy. By investing in efforts such as SUMCASTECs, Europe will stand at the forefront of global biomedical innovation and push through a similar miniaturization trend as the one that propelled mobile communications, yet with much deeper societal impact. All the required competences are gathered within this consortium. The ambitious objectives of the project are planned over 42 months with a requested grant of 3 978 517,5 .


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-09-2016 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2017

Liver cirrhosis is a very common chronic disease and one of the leading causes of death in European. Moreover, cirrhosis has a marked impact in patients quality of life and represents a major burden for health systems. Treatment of cirrhosis is currently based on symptomatic management of complications and has not changed substantially in the last 20 years. There is an unmet need for therapies that target the pathobiology of cirrhosis. The objective of LIVERHOPE project is to evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy for patients with cirrhosis based on a combination of rifaximin and simvastatin, targeting the main pathophysiological mechanisms of disease progression , namely the impairment in the gut-liver axis and the persistent hepatic and systemic inflammatory response. This dual therapeutic approach is supported by preclinical data showing excellent and very promising results. We will perform two randomized double-blind trials to investigate safety, tolerability and efficacy of combination of simvastatin plus rifaximin in patients with decompensated cirrhosis in 5 EU countries (285 patients will be enrolled in two trials in DE, ES, FR, IT, UK). The expected impact is to halt progression to acute-on-chronic liver failure, the main cause of death, to decrease complications of the disease, to reduce hospital readmissions, to improve cost-effectiveness of therapy. Our final aim is to improve patients quality-of-life and increase survival as patients care is the core of LIVERHOPE. Within the project we will also investigate biomarkers of response to treatment and disease progression that can be useful in clinical practice for improving the treatment of patients. We will invest our effort also in communication and dissemination activities for increasing awareness about chronic liver diseases in European countries so that preventive measures can be established to decrease the burden of cirrhosis and reduce social stigmatization of patients with chronic liver diseases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-02-2016 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2017

The main objective of this proposal is to develop reliable GaN-based power devices and systems for high and medium power electronics targeting industrial and automotive applications and bringing the GaN power devices another step towards the wide usability in the energy saving environment to further tap the full potential which this new material brings along. This proposal addresses two subjects, one of which is medium power (till 10kW) GaN-on-Si based lateral HEMT structures, with special focus on high reliability, which is still a major blocking item to allow wide-spread market adoption. Hence, the impact of the GaN material quality, in combination with the device layout in view of long-term reliability will be addressed. The project aims an in-depth reliability study and qualification strategy development whereby the study of the impact of dislocations and other structural disturbances inside the materials on the long term device reliability will be specifically addressed. In addition, this proposal aims to demonstrate new device concepts with increased robustness and reliability, which will be realized, evaluated and tested thoroughly. This will demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the known limitations of the GaN on Silicon technology, like e.g. the vertical leakage, trapping phenomena and/or breakdown of lateral HEMTs. The current proposal also contains the development of novel device architecture (dual channel, substrate removal, e-mode), as well as the exploration of new material systems (Aluminum Nitride (Al-based) devices) which can also largely contribute to overcome drawbacks of the GaN on Si technology. The applicability of the novel GaN-on-Si concepts in form of an industrial inverter will be demonstrated finally, with the development of an innovative low inductance packaging system for power devices, making full benefits of the fast switching capability of GaN-based power devices.


Urciuolo A.,University of Padua
Nature communications | Year: 2013

Adult muscle stem cells, or satellite cells have essential roles in homeostasis and regeneration of skeletal muscles. Satellite cells are located within a niche that includes myofibers and extracellular matrix. The function of specific extracellular matrix molecules in regulating SCs is poorly understood. Here, we show that the extracellular matrix protein collagen VI is a key component of the satellite cell niche. Lack of collagen VI in Col6a1(-/-) mice causes impaired muscle regeneration and reduced satellite cell self-renewal capability after injury. Collagen VI null muscles display significant decrease of stiffness, which is able to compromise the in vitro and in vivo activity of wild-type satellite cells. When collagen VI is reinstated in vivo by grafting wild-type fibroblasts, the biomechanical properties of Col6a1(-/-) muscles are ameliorated and satellite cell defects rescued. Our findings establish a critical role for an extracellular matrix molecule in satellite cell self-renewal and open new venues for therapies of collagen VI-related muscle diseases.


The assessment of mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) enzymatic activities is essential for investigating mitochondrial function in several situations, including mitochondrial disorders, diabetes, cancer, aging and neurodegeneration, as well as for many toxicological assays. Muscle is the most commonly analyzed tissue because of its high metabolic rates and accessibility, although other tissues and cultured cell lines can be used. We describe a step-by-step protocol for a simple and reliable assessment of the RC enzymatic function (complexes I-IV) for minute quantities of muscle, cultured cells and isolated mitochondria from a variety of species and tissues, by using a single-wavelength spectrophotometer. An efficient tissue disruption and the choice for each assay of specific buffers, substrates, adjuvants and detergents in a narrow concentration range allow maximal sensitivity, specificity and linearity of the kinetics. This protocol can be completed in 3 h.


Collini E.,University of Padua
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

One of the most surprising and significant advances in the study of the photosynthetic light-harvesting process is the discovery that the electronic energy transfer might involve long-lived electronic coherences, under physiologically relevant conditions. This means that the transfer of energy among different chromophores does not follow the expected classical incoherent hopping mechanism, but that quantum-mechanical laws can steer the migration of energy. The implications of such a quantum transport regime, although currently under debate, might have a tremendous impact on our way of thinking about natural and artificial light-harvesting. Central to these discoveries has been the development of new ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, in particular two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, which is now the primary tool to obtain clear and definitive experimental proof of such effects. This review aims to provide an overview of the experimental techniques developed with the purpose of attaining a more detailed picture of the coherent and incoherent quantum dynamics relevant to energy transfer processes, not limited to the two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy. With the idea of summarizing the experimental and theoretical basic notions necessary to introduce the field, the connection between experimental observables and coherence dynamics will be analysed in detail for each technique, highlighting how electronic coherences could be manifested in different experimental signatures. Similarities and differences among coherent signals as well as advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be critically discussed. Current opinions and debated issues will be emphasised and some possible future directions to address still open questions will be suggested. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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