Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 5%–7% of people worldwide and kills millions of patients every year. Developing human tissues that can help us to understand the pathogenesis of CKD and for replacement therapies would significantly improve the life of many patients. In the laboratory of Organ Regeneration (Mario Negri Institute), we engineer complex human tissues using 3D culture systems, bioprinting technologies, and patient’ derived cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model human kidney diseases, to test drugs, and also to study the development of human tissues. In this webinar, we will share our experiences with engineering patient-derived tissues and how to use them to study the etio-pathogenesis of human kidney diseases in vitro. We will also describe a translational approach to treat anaemia by engineering human iPSC-derived bio-artificial tissues that can be transplanted and can produce erythropoietin in a physiological manner. Finally, we will share an example of an emerging nephron-on-chip technology that can potentially be used to mimic the essential physiological and mechanical features of the human glomerulus and study kidney disease.

Benedetta Petracca


Dr. Benedetta Petracca holds a master degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and gained a strong expertise in tissue engineering during her master thesis performed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds a PhD in biology from the Faculty of Science of the University of Fribourg. She is currently working at Mario Negri Institute in the Laboratory of Organ Regeneration. Her research work aims at developing a human glomerulus on a chip for kidney disease modelling and drug testing.

Silvia Scaglione is the founder and chief scientist of React4life, author of more than 80 international peer-reviewed papers, and owner of 7 patents. She coordinated a Future Emerging Technology (FET-OPEN) European H2020 project, entitled “Modeling spontaneous Breast cancer metastasis TO the Bone with a first-of-its-kind 3D device that recapitulates physiological tissue-level complexity -B2B”. She’s been nominated as Ambassador of the European Innovation Council (EIC) for her capacity to bring basic research results to the market, generating impact for society. She has also won the innovative start-up award of Gamma Donna 2021.

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