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Since 2010, my research activity has focused on cell therapy, tissue engineering and in particular the study of biological and immunological properties of the extracellular matrix.

I have developed and studied cell-engineered decellularised matrices for the trachea, liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, pancreas, blood vessels and oesophagus, producing a number of publications exploring the potential of extracellular matrix-derived scaffolds in angiogenesis, tissue regeneration, transplantation, 3D cell culture, stem cell differentiation, disease modelling and immune-modulation.

My team is focused on the study of the cross-talk between the liver extracellular matrix and hepatic and cancer cells using novel 3D bioengineered culture.

To learn more about our research, click here

Key publications: 

  1. Crowley C, Butler C, Camilli C, Hynds R, Kolluri KK, Janes SM, De Coppi P, Urbani L (2019). Non-invasive longitudinal bioluminescence imaging of human mesoangioblasts in bioengineered esophagi. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2019 Feb;25(2):103-113.
  2. Urbani L, Camilli C, Phylactopoulos DE, Crowley C, Natarajan D, Scottoni F,  Maghsoudlou P, McCann CJ, Pellegata AF, Urciuolo A, Deguchi K, Khalaf S, Aruta S, Signorelli MC, Kiely D, Hannon E,  Trevisan M, Wong RR, Baradez MO, Moulding D, Virasami A, Gjinovci A, Loukogeorgakis S, Mantero S, Thapar N, Sebire N, Eaton S, Lowdell M, Cossu G, Bonfanti P, De Coppi P (2018). Multi-stage bioengineering of a layered oesophagus with in vitro expanded muscle and epithelial adult progenitors. Nature Communications 9, Article number: 4286.
  3. Urciuolo A, Urbani L (co-first author), Perin S, Maghsoudlou P, Scottoni F, Gjinovci A, Collins-Hooper H, Loukogeorgakis S, Tyraskis A, Torelli S, Germinario E, Alvarez Fallas ME, Julia-Vilella C, Eaton S, Blaauw B, Patel K, De Coppi P (2018). Decellularised skeletal muscles allow functional muscle regeneration by promoting host cell migration. Scientific Reports 2018 May 30;8(1):8398.
  4. Alvarez-Fallas ME, Piccoli M, Franzin C, Sgro’ A, Dedja A, Urbani L, Bertin E, Trevisan C, Gamba P, Burns AJ, De Coppi P, Pozzobon M (2018). Decellularized diaphragmatic muscle drives a constructive angiogenic response in vivo. Int J Mol Sci Apr 28: 19(5).
  5. Piccoli M, D’Angelo E, Crotti S, Sensi F, Urbani L, Maghin E, Burns A, De Coppi P, Fassan M, Rugge M, Rizzolio F, Giordano A, Pilati P, Mammano E, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M (2017). Decellularized colorectal cancer matrix as bioactive microenvironment for in vitro 3D cancer research. J Cell Physiol. 2017 Dec 15.
  6. Mazza G, Al-Akkad W, Telese A, Longato L, Urbani L, Robinson B, Hall A, Kong K, Frenguelli L, Marrone G, Willacy O, Shaeri M, Burns A, Malago M, Gilbertson J, Rendell N, Moore K, Hughes D, Notingher I, Jell G, Del Rio Hernandez A, De Coppi P, Rombouts K, Pinzani M (2017). Rapid production of human liver scaffolds for functional tissue engineering by high shear stress oscillation-decellularization. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 17;7(1):5534.
  7. Urbani L, Maghsoudlou P, Milan A, Menikou M, Hagen CK, Totonelli G, et al. (2017) Long-term cryopreservation of decellularised oesophagi for tissue engineering clinical application. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0179341.
  8. Butler C, Hynds RE, Crowley C, Gowersa KHC, Partington L, Hamilton NJ, Cavalhos C, Platé M, Samuel ER, Burns A, Urbani L, Birchall MA, Lowdellc MW, De Coppi P, Janes MJ (2017). Vacuum-assisted decellularization as an accelerated protocol to generate tissue-engineered human tracheal scaffolds. Biomaterials 2017 Apr;124:95-105.
  9. Maghsoudlou P, Georgiades F, Smith H, Milan A, Shangaris P, Urbani L, Loukogeorgakis SP, Lombardi B, Mazza G, et al (2016). Optimization of liver decellularization maintains extracellular matrix micro-architecture and composition predisposing to effective cell seeding. Plos One 2016 May 9;11(5):e0155324.
  10. Piccoli M, Urbani L (co-first author), Alvarez-Fallas ME, Franzin C, Dedja A, Bertin E, Zuccolotto G, Rosato A, Pavan P, Elvassore N, et al (2016). Improvement of diaphragmatic performance through orthotopic application of decellularized extracellular matrix patch. Biomaterials. 2016 Jan;74:245-55.
  11. Mazza G, Rombouts K, Rennie Hall A, Urbani L, Vinh Luong T, Al-Akkad W, Longato L, Brown D, Maghsoudlou P, Dhillon AP, Fuller B, et al (2015). Decellularized human liver as a natural 3D-scaffold for liver bioengineering and transplantation. Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 7;5:13079.
  12. Peloso A, Urbani L, Cravedi P, Katari R, Maghsoudlou P, Alvarez Fallas ME, Sordi V, Citro C, Purroy C, Niu G, et al (2015). The Human Pancreas as a Source of Protolerogenic Extracellular Matrix Scaffold for a New-Generation Bioartificial Endocrine Pancreas. ANNSURG-D-15-00175.
  13. Baiguera S, Urbani L, Del Gaudio C (2014). Tissue engineered scaffolds for an effective healing and regeneration: reviewing orthotopic studies. Biomed Res Int. 2014; Epub 2014 Aug 27.
  14. Fishman JM, Lowdell MW, Urbani L, Ansari T, Burns AJ, Turmaine M, North J, Sibbons P, Seifalian AM, Wood KJ, et al (2013). Immunomodulatory effect of a decellularized skeletal muscle scaffold in a discordant xenotransplantation model. PNAS Aug 27;110(35):14360-5.
  15. Urbani L, Piccoli M, Franzin C, Pozzobon M and De Coppi P (2012). Hypoxia increases mouse satellite cell clone proliferation maintaining both in vitro and in vivo heterogeneity and myogenic potential. PloS ONE Nov;7(11): e49860.