Chiara E. Ghezzi

Chiara E. Ghezzi
University of Massachusetts Lowell | UML · Department of Biomedical Engineering

PhD

About

54
Publications
5,898
Reads
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1,861
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - October 2016
Tufts University
Position
  • Research Assistant Professor
February 2013 - present
Tufts University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2009 - July 2012
McGill University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (54)
Patent
Full-text available
In some embodiments, the present invention provides tissue compositions including a first silk scaffold comprising a plurality of epithelial cells, a second silk scaffold comprising a plurality of stromal cells, and a plurality of neurons. In some embodiments, provided compositions can function as physiologically relevant corneal model systems for,...
Article
Full-text available
Biomaterial scaffold designs are needed for self‐organizing features related to tissue formation while also simplifying the fabrication processes involved. Toward this goal, silk protein‐based self‐folding scaffolds to support 3D cell culture, while providing directional guidance and promotion of cell growth and differentiation, are reported. A sim...
Article
Multiple ophthalmic pathologies, such as retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy, require the removal and replacement of the vitreous humor. Clinical tamponades such as silicone oil and fluorinated gases are utilized but limited due to complications and toxicity. Therefore, there is a need for biocompatible, stable, vitreous humor substitutes....
Article
The cornea provides a functional barrier separating the outside environment from the intraocular environment, thereby protecting posterior segments of the eye from infection and damage. Pathological changes that compromise the structure or integrity of the cornea may occur as a result of injury or disease and can lead to debilitating effects on vis...
Article
Full-text available
Cervical insufficiency (CI) is an important cause of preterm birth, which leads to severe newborn complications. Standard treatment for CI is cerclage, which has variable success rates, resulting in a clinical need for alternative treatments. Our objective was to develop an ex vivo model of softened cervical tissue to study an injectable silk‐based...
Article
Full-text available
Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by innate or acquired insulin deficiency, resulting in altered glucose metabolism and high blood glucose levels. Chronic hyperglycemia is linked to development of several ocular pathologies affecting the anterior segment, including diabetic corneal neuropathy and keratopathy, neovascular glaucoma, edema, and ca...
Article
The cornea is a valuable tissue for studying peripheral sensory nerve structure and regeneration due to its avascularity, transparency, and dense innervation. Somatosensory innervation of the cornea serves to identify changes in environmental stimuli at the ocular surface, thereby promoting barrier function to protect the eye against injury or infe...
Article
New in vitro tissue models to mimic in vivo conditions are needed to provide insight into mechanisms involved in peripheral pain responses, potential therapeutic strategies to address these responses, and to replace animal models for such indications. For example, the rabbit cornea Draize test has become the standard method used for decades to scre...
Chapter
Natural biopolymers have applications in a variety of applications, including sensing, bioengineering, drug delivery, and tissue regeneration. In this review, we highlight the recent advances and application developments using the natural biopolymer, silk fibroin, derived from the cocoons of the Bombyx mori silkworm. The work highlighted here showc...
Article
With insufficient options to meet the clinical demand for cornea transplants, one emerging area of emphasis is on cornea tissue engineering. In the present study, the goal was to combine the corneal stroma and epithelium into one co-culture system, in order to monitor both human corneal stromal stem cell (hCSSC) and human corneal epithelial cell (h...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: Mid-urethral slings have become the gold standard treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women. Their tensile properties should be evaluated to measure how they wear off with time. Our objective was long-term assessment of the tensile properties of 2 synthetic tapes (TVT-O and I-STOP) after in vivo implantation in rats in terms of elasti...
Article
In this study, silk fibroin and hyaluronic acid (HA) were enzymatically crosslinked to form biocompatible composite hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties similar to that of native tissues. The formation of di-tyrosine crosslinks between silk fibroin proteins via horseradish peroxidase has resulted in a highly elastic hydrogel but exhibits ti...
Article
Full-text available
The worldwide need for human cornea equivalents continues to grow. Few clinical options are limited to allogenic and synthetic material replacements. We hypothesized that tissue engineered human cornea systems based on mechanically robust, patterned, porous, thin, optically clear silk protein films, in combination with human corneal stromal stem ce...
Article
Partial circumferential, full thickness defects of the esophagus can occur as a result of organ perforation, tumor resection, or during surgical reconstruction of strictured segments. Complications associated with autologous tissue flaps conventionally utilized for defect repair necessitate the development of new graft options. In this study, bi-la...
Article
Purpose We fabricated and investigated polymeric scaffolds that can substitute for the conjunctival extracellular matrix to provide a substrate for autologous expansion of human conjunctival goblet cells in culture. Methods We fabricated two hydrogels and two silk films: (1) recombinant human collagen (RHC) hydrogel, (2) recombinant human collagen...
Article
The interactions between corneal nerve, epithelium, and stroma are essential for maintaining a healthy cornea. Thus, corneal tissue models that more fully mimic the anatomy, mechanical properties and cellular components of corneal tissue would provide useful systems to study cellular interactions, corneal diseases and provide options for improved d...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The need for human cornea tissues continues to grow as an alternative option to donor tissues. Silk protein has been successfully used as a substrate to engineer corneal epithelium and stroma in vitro. Herein, we investigated the in vivo response and the effect of silk crystalline structure (beta sheet) on degradation rate of silk fi...
Article
The response of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in three-dimensional (3D) charged protein hydrogels was studied. Combining silk fibroin (S) with recombinant human tropoelastin (E) or silk ionomers (I) provided protein composite alloys with tunable physicochemical and biological features for regulating the bioac...
Article
Type I collagen is a major structural and functional protein in connective tissues. However, collagen gels exhibit unstable geometrical properties, arising from extensive cell-mediated contraction. In an effort to stabilize collagen-based hydrogels, plastic compression was used to hybridize dense collagen (DC) with electrospun silk fibroin (SF) mat...
Article
Instructive biomaterials capable of controlling the behaviour of the cells are particularly interesting scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Novel biomaterials are particularly important in societies with rapidly aging populations, where demand for organ/tissue donations is greater than their supply. Herein we describe the pr...
Article
Full-text available
Tissues in the body are hierarchically structured composite materials with tissue-specific properties. Urea self-assembles via hydrogen bonding interactions into crystalline supracolloidal assemblies that can be used to impart macroscopic pores to polymer-based tissue scaffolds. In this communication, we explain the solvent interactions governing t...
Article
Silk fibroin from the Bombyx mori caterpillar has been processed into many material forms, with potential applications in areas ranging from optoelectronics to tissue engineering. As a hydrogel, silk fibroin has been engineered as a substrate for the regeneration of soft tissues where hydration and mechanical compatibility are necessary. Current fa...
Article
Surgical management of long-gap esophageal defects with autologous gastrointestinal tissues is frequently associated with adverse complications including organ dysmotility, dysphagia, and donor site morbidity. In order to develop alternative graft options, bi-layer silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds were investigated for their potential to support functio...
Article
Copper is becoming recognised as a key cation in a variety of biological processes. Copper chelation has been studied as a potential anti-angiogenic strategy for arresting tumour growth. Conversely the delivery of copper ions and complexes in vivo can elicit a pro-angiogenic effect. Previously we unexpectedly found that copper-stimulated intraperit...
Article
The corneal epithelium is the first cellular barrier to protect the cornea. Thus, functional tissue engineering of the corneal epithelium is a strategy for clinical transplantation. In this study, the optimization of silk films (SFs) as substrates for functional human corneal epithelium growth was investigated with primary human corneal epithelial...
Article
Corneal tissue displays the highest peripheral nerve density in the human body. Engineering of biomaterials to promote interactions between neurons and corneal tissue could provide tissue models for nerve/cornea development, platforms for drug screening, as well as innovative opportunities to regenerate cornea tissue. The focus of this study was to...
Article
Full-text available
We present a programmable bioengineered three-dimensional silk based bone marrow niche tissue system that successfully mimics the physiology of human bone marrow environment allowing us to manufacture functional human platelets ex vivo. Using stem/progenitor cells, megakaryocyte function and platelet generation were recorded in response to variatio...
Chapter
Vascular and respiratory systems have high priority in clinical research due to their cardinal role in human physiology. Significant clinical demand has raised the need to produce tissue engineered constructs, to repair or substitute functional parts, and to develop suitable models to study and cure severe pathologies of vascular and respiratory sy...
Article
Naturally derived polymeric biomaterials, such as collagens, silks, elastins, alginates, and fibrins are utilized in tissue engineering due to their biocompatibility, bioactivity, and tunable mechanical and degradation kinetics. The use of these natural biopolymers in biomedical applications is advantageous because they do not release cytotoxic deg...
Article
To address the growing need for corneal transplants two main approaches are being pursued: allogenic and synthetic materials. Allogenic tissue from human donors is currently the preferred choice; however, there is a world-wide shortage in donated corneal tissue. In addition, tissue rejection often limits the long-term success of this approach. Alte...
Article
Technological improvements in collagen gel fabrication are highly desirable as they may enable significant advances in the formation of tissue-equivalent biomaterials for regenerative medicine, three-dimensional (3D) in vitro tissue models, and injectable scaffolds for cell and drug delivery applications. Thus, strategies to modulate collagen gel f...
Article
We demonstrate that intrafibrillar, homogenous collagen biomineralization can be achieved by controlling self-assembly under mildly alkaline conditions. Using dense collagen (DC) gels as an osteoid model, we modulated their fibrillogenesis environment to evaluate the effects of fibrillogenesis pH on the protein charge distribution and ultimately on...
Article
Airway tracts serve as a conduit of transport in the respiratory system. Architecturally, these are composed of cartilage rings that offer flexibility and prevent collapse during normal breathing. To this end, the successful regeneration of an airway tract requires the presence of differentiated chondrocytes and airway smooth muscle cells. This stu...
Article
Incorporation of anionic fibroin derived polypeptides into dense collagen gels provided a dynamic, three-dimensional, tissue-equivalent matrix together with biochemical cues that resembled the role of the bone morphogenic growth factors commonly used to promote osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
Article
Full-text available
New multifunctional, degradable, polymeric biomaterial systems would provide versatile platforms to address cell and tissue needs in both in vitro and in vivo environments. While protein-based composites or alloys are the building blocks of biological organisms, similar systems have not been largely exploited, to date, to generate ad hoc biomateria...
Article
Tissue engineering approaches for articular cartilage (AC) repair using collagen type I (Coll)-based hydrogels are limited by their low collagen fibrillar density (CFD; < 0.5 wt %) and their poor capacity to support chondrocyte differentiation. Chitosan (CTS) is a well-characterized polysaccharide that mimics the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) present i...
Article
As a major component of the body, type I collagen has long been considered as a biomaterial with an enormous potential. In bone, type I collagen constitutes 95 weight % (wt%) of the total organic matter, which in combination with carbonated hydroxyapatite constitutes a highly organised natural nanobiocomposite. Therefore, the mineralization of coll...
Article
Bioengineered tissue equivalents should provide physiologically relevant biochemical and mechanical cues to support the growth and differentiation of seeded cells. Herein, tubular dense collagen constructs (TDCCs) with collagen content comparable to native extracellular matrix were used to investigate the effect of shear stress alone (i.e. under la...
Article
Silk fibroin (SF) is extensively investigated in osteoregenerative therapy as it combines extraordinary mechanical properties and directs calcium-phosphate formation. However, the role of the peptidic fractions in inducing the protein mineralization has not been previously decoded. In this study, we investigated the mineralization of fibroin-derive...
Article
The intrinsic complexity of tissues and organs demands tissue engineering approaches that extend beyond planar constructs currently in clinical use. However, the engineering of cylindrical or tubular tissue constructs with a hollow lumen presents significant challenges arising from geometrical and architectural considerations required to tailor bio...
Article
Current in vitro models have provided insights into collagenmineralization. However, the role of the collagen fibrillar framework in the formation of carbonated hydroxylapatite (CHA) has not been clarified due to difficulties in processing biomimetic fibrillar collagen gels with tailored properties. In this work, reconstituted collagen gels underwe...
Article
Tissue engineering of multilayered constructs that model complex tissues poses a significant challenge for regenerative medicine. In this study, a three-layered scaffold consisting of an electrospun silk fibroin (SF) mat sandwiched between two dense collagen (DC) layers was designed and characterized. It was hypothesized that the SF layer would end...
Article
Plastically compressed dense collagen (DC) gels mimic the microstructural, mechanical, and biological properties of native osteoid. This study investigated the effect of hybridizing DC with osteoinductive nano-sized bioactive glass (nBG) particles in order to potentially produce readily implantable, and mineralizable, cell seeded hydrogel scaffolds...
Article
In vitro reconstituted type I collagen hydrogels are widely utilized for tissue engineering studies. However, highly hydrated collagen (HHC) gels exhibit insufficient mechanical strength and unstable geometrical properties, thereby limiting their therapeutic application. Plastic compression (PC) is a simple and reproducible approach for the immedia...
Article
Bone extracellular matrix (ECM) is a 3D network, composed of collagen type I and a number of other macromolecules, including glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which stimulate signaling pathways that regulate osteoblast growth and differentiation. To model the ECM of bone for tissue regenerative approaches, dense collagen/chitosan (Coll/CTS) hybrid hydroge...
Article
Scaffolds for bone tissue engineering must meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility, osteoconductivity, osteoinductivity, biodegradability, and appropriate biomechanical properties. A combination of type I collagen and 45S5 Bioglass may meet these requirements, however, little has been demonstrated on the effect of Bioglass on the pot...

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