Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering
Welcome to CNTE
The Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering was established in 2008 as one the first multi-disciplinary research centres focused on the application of nanomedicine to tissue regeneration. CNTE is an inter-institutional research centre featuring state-of-the-art lab equipment and professional expertise from different scientific disciplines, ranging from physics, chemistry and material science to cell biology and medicine. At the core of the vision of CNTE is the development of translational research approaches for tissue engineering applications, working side by side to both medical departments and universities, bridging the gap between basic science and clinical application. By merging different disciplines for each specific medical target, we bring forward and promote our holistic vision for the ever more complex tasks coming from biomedical sciences.
Vision of CNTE
"Nanomedicine allows for the design and synthesis of biomaterials at the molecular level, bringing to engineers the power to select multiple biological functions and tuned biomechanical properties in bioabsorbable bioprostheses hence designed for specific pathology and, in the near future, customised for each patient. Nonetheless, nanomedicine should not be confined to the exploitation of nanoparticles for target drug delivery/diagnostic purposes: It is much more than that. Recently developed nanostructured scaffolds feature more and more high-performance mechano-chemical properties that, together with their easy customisation, will likely provide priceless assets for tissue engineering.
At CNTE the research is multidisciplinary, it is a synergism of Computational Biomodelling of SAPs, Synthetic Chemistry, Fabrication, and in vitro and in vivo experimentation. Major focused areas of research are listed below:
Molecular modelling of biomimetic SAPs
Tailoring SAP chemical and physical properties
Post-processing of biomimetic SAPs
3D cell cultures & organoids
SAP-based bioprostheses for nervous regeneration
Morphoscanner2.0: A new python module for analysis of molecular dynamics simulations
Molecular dynamics simulations, at different scales, have been exploited for investigating complex mechanisms ruling biologically inspired systems. Nonetheless, with recent advances and unprecedented achievements, the analysis of molecular dynamics simulations requires customized workflows. In 2018, we developed Morphoscanner to retrieve structural relations within self-assembling peptide systems. In particular, we conceived Morphoscanner for tracking the emergence of β-structured domains in self-assembling peptide systems. Here, we introduce Morphoscanner2.0. Morphoscanner2.0 is an object-oriented library for structural and temporal analysis of atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CG-MD) simulations written in Python. The library leverages MDAnalysis, PyTorch and NetworkX to perform the pattern recognition of secondary structure patterns, and interfaces with Pandas, Numpy and Matplotlib to make the results accessible to the user. We used Morphoscanner2.0 on both simulation trajectories and protein structures. Because of its dependencies on the MDAnalysis package, Morphoscanner2.0 can read several file formats generated by widely-used molecular simulation packages such as NAMD, Gromacs, OpenMM. Morphoscanner2.0 also includes a routine for tracking the alpha-helix domain formation.