Stem Cell Center of Competence ::: Uni Basel, Switzerland





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Dr. Anna Marsano


Dr. Anna Marsano
Department of Biomedicine and
Department of Surgery
University Hospital Basel,
Hebelstrasse 20
CH-4031 Basel / Switzerland


Phone +41 61 328 74 48
Fax +41 61 265 23 50
Anna Marsano leads the Cardiac Surgery and Engineering group at the Institute for Surgical Research and Hospital Management, within the University Hospital Basel and the University of Basel. The ultimate goal of the group is to develop tissue engineering-based strategies to induce therapeutic angiogenesis and regeneration in the myocardium for treatment of chronic ischemia. Engineered tissues, namely ‘cardiac patches’, are generated in 3D perfusion-based bioreactor culture by using human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASC). Prompt and efficient angiogenesis is induced in vivo by delivery of 1. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) by using genetically modified ASC (in collaboration with Dr. Andrea Banfi) or 2. freshly isolated stromal vascular fraction cells, known to have a high vasculogenic potential (in collaboration with Dr. Arnaud Scherberich). Expertise in advanced and highly controlled bioreactors, acquired during Marsano’s post-doctoral studies in Columbia University (NY, USA), is also being exploited for the standardization of cardiac graft generation protocols. Functional cardiac engineered tissues are used as 3D biological in vitro models to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms. In particular, the group investigates the role of electrical stimulation for inducing cardiac differentiation with standard culture system and other novel interdigitated electrodes-based bioreactors. Perfusion-based bioreactors are employed for achieving an initial spatial uniform cell distribution and high cell survival and functional cardiac assembly during the culture time in a scaffold of clinically relevant size.

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Recent publications related to stem cells

  • Marsano A, Maidhof R., Luo J, Morales A, Fujikara K, Konofagou E, Banfi A and Vunjak-Novakovic G. (2013). Controlled VEGF expression by transduced cells in a cardiac patch improves vascularization and cardiac function in a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Biomaterials 34:393-401
  • Centola M, Abbruzzese F, Scotti C, Barbero A, Vadalà G, Denaro V, Martin I, Trombetta M, Rainer A, Marsano A. (2013). Scaffold-based delivery of a clinically relevant anti-angiogenic drug promotes the formation of in vivo stable cartilage. Tissue Eng Part A. 19:1960-71.
  • Cerino G, Gaudiello E, Grussenmeyer T, Melly L, Massai D, Banfi A, Martin I, Eckstein F, Grapow M, Marsano A. (2016). Three dimensional multi-cellular muscle-like tissue engineering in perfusion-based bioreactors. Biotechnol Bioeng.113:226-36.
  • Marsano A, Medeiros da Cunha CM, Ghanaati S, Gueven S, Centola M, Tsaryk R, Barbeck M, Stuedle C, Barbero A, Helmrich U, Schaeren S, Kirkpatrick JC, Banfi A, Martin I. (2016). Spontaneous In Vivo Chondrogenesis of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells by Blocking Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Signaling. Stem Cells Transl Med. Jul 26. pii: sctm.2015-0321. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Boccardo S, Gaudiello E, Melly L, Cerino G, Ricci D, Martin I, Eckstein F, Banfi A, Marsano A. (2016). Engineered mesenchymal cell-based patches as controlled VEGF delivery systems to induce extrinsic angiogenesis. Acta Biomater. 42:127-35.
  • Staubli SM, Cerino G, Gonzalez De Torre I, Alonso M, Oertli D, Eckstein F, Glatz K, Rodríguez Cabello JC, Marsano A. (2017). Control of angiogenesis and host response by modulating the cell adhesion properties of an Elastin-Like Recombinamer-based hydrogel. Biomaterials 135:30-41.