G.A. FISR2020IP02959 – Duration 1/09/2021 – 31/03/2022- Funded by MUR-FISR2020

Mesenchymal stromal cells secretome in chronic lung diseases: validation study as a novel therapeutic option to treat pulmonary fibrosis induced by COVID-19

NEW Video with preliminary results (relevant publications are linked at the bottom of this page)

The aim of the project is to test the use of mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) secretome from different sources, primarily from adipose tissue, for a possible clinical translation to cure paediatric pulmonary fibrosis induced by COVID-19.

We will study the enhancement of the activity of MSCs and their secretome in three-dimensional cell models in vitro. We will scale-up the expansion protocols of MSCs isolated from peri-umbilical adipose tissue using the NICHOID substrate. We will also test the applicability of the MOAB-NICHOID bioreactor for the production of secretome to be used as biodrug in experimental 3D models of lung fibrosis. The specific project aims are: 1) to develop a strategy for the secretome production process and a real-time monitoring method of functional parameters of MSCs in culture, such as cell viability and density, pH and metabolism; 2) to investigate the protective effect of MSC secretome on pulmonary cells.

The project will be carried out at the laboratories of the “Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi” Pediatric Research Center, University of Milan and at the Mechanobiology laboratory of Polytechnic University of Milan.


Rey F, Messa L, Pandini C, Barzaghini B, Micheletto G, Raimondi MT, Bertoli S, Cereda C, Zuccotti GV, Cancello R, Carelli S. Transcriptional characterization of subcutaneous adipose tissue in obesity affected women highlights metabolic dysfunction and implications for lncRNAs. Genomics. 2021 Sep 21;113(6):3919-3934. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.09.014