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Understanding the identity of the amniotic fluid stem cells

Descrizione del progetto

Scoprire il potenziale terapeutico delle cellule staminali del liquido amniotico

Il liquido amniotico, noto per il suo ruolo trofico e di supporto nello sviluppo embrionale, contiene una piccola popolazione di cellule conosciute come cellule staminali del liquido amniotico. Sebbene queste cellule siano sfruttate per scopi diagnostici prenatali, poco si sa sulla loro origine o ruolo. Lo scopo del progetto AmnioticID, finanziato dall’UE, è quello di determinare l’identità del lignaggio di queste cellule e il loro ruolo nello sviluppo utilizzando il sequenziamento di prossima generazione e approcci di tracciamento del lignaggio in vivo. I risultati apriranno la strada all’isolamento e all’espansione di queste cellule per strategie di medicina rigenerativa.


The amniotic fluid surrounds and protects the foetus during development, providing trophic and mechanical support to its growth. This liquid contains a variety of cells shedding from embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues that have long been utilised for prenatal diagnosis. In a seminal 2007 article, Professor De Coppi identified in the amniotic fluid, a small population of cells with broad multi-lineage differentiation ability defined as Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells (AFSCs). AFSCs can be isolated, expanded and differentiated during gestation, making them ideal for the development of pre-/perinatal autologous regenerative medicine strategies. In the last decade, a series of studies focused on investigating the therapeutic relevance of the AFSCs for various tissue compartments, such as skeletal and cardiac muscle, lung and liver. However, very little is known about the AFSCs origin, lineage identity and role during human development. This knowledge gaps have relevant impact on these cells' clinical translation and a list of important questions remains to be addressed: Which tissue releases the AFSCs? Are these cells constantly generated, or part of a self-renewing niche? What is the function of the AFSCs during human development? This proposal aims at addressing these questions, by using a combination of next generation sequencing analyses, cell biology assays and in vivo linage tracing approaches. Ultimately defining the origin and identity of the AFSCs will not only increase our knowledge of their physiological role, but will also allow to better direct future studies on their therapeutic implications. Thanks to this project, I will gain a comprehensive, multi-faceted understanding of the biology and regenerative potential of AFSCs. This will open up new research agendas, foster international collaborations and provide me valuable transferrable skills of crucial relevance to develop my independent career, in line with the mission of the Marie Curie action.


Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 212 933,76
Gower street
WC1E 6BT London
Regno Unito

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London Inner London — West Camden and City of London
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Altri finanziamenti
€ 0,00