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

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

PI: Prof. Gloria Pelizzo, Università degli Studi di Milano and “Vittore Buzzi” Paediatric Hospital, Milano, Italy

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

Project abstract

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.


Barzaghini B., Carelli S., Messa L., Rey F., Avanzini M.A., Jacchetti E., Maghraby E., Berardo C., Zuccotti G., Raimondi M.T., Cereda C., Calcaterra V., Pelizzo G. Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Expanded Inside the Nichoid Micro-Scaffold: a Focus on Anti-Inflammatory Response. Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine 2023. doi: 10.1007/s40883-023-00296-z

Messa L, Rey F, Pandini C, Barzaghini B, Micheletto G, Raimondi MT, Bertoli S, Cereda C, Zuccotti G, Cancello R, Carelli S. RNA-seq dataset of subcutaneous adipose tissue: Transcriptional differences between obesity and healthy women. Data Brief. 2021 Nov 27;39:107647. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2021.107647

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

Raimondi MT,  Donnaloja F,  Barzaghini B, Bocconi A, Conci C, Parodi V, Jacchetti E, Carelli S. Bioengineering tools to speed up the discovery and preclinical testing of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and therapeutic agents for COVID-19. Theranostics 2020; 10(16):7034-7052. doi:10.7150/thno.47406. Available from: doi:10.7150/thno.47406