Development and characterization of a novel patch sensor for the detection of pathological muscle tissue in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy animal model

Proponente Emanuele Rizzuto - Ricercatore
Sottosettore ERC del proponente del progetto
Componenti gruppo di ricerca
Componente Categoria
Gabriella Dobrowolny Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca
Serena Carraro Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente non strutturato del gruppo di ricerca
Antonio Musaro' Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca
Livio D'Alvia Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente non strutturato del gruppo di ricerca

In this project, we will design and test a novel system for assessing pathological skeletal muscle tissue in an animal model of Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy (DMD), to be used as a biosensor for drug testing and, as a long-term application, for patients¿ diagnosis. Microwave patch antennas allow the measurement of the dielectric properties of the material under test, and the sensors based on this technology represent a novel and interesting approach for the noninvasive measurement of biological tissues¿ properties. In DMD, skeletal muscle degenerates and is infiltrated by inflammatory cells; the functions of muscle stem cells, namely satellite cells, become impeded, yielding to the substitution of myotubes with non-functional fibrotic tissue. In view of this, we aim at developing a sensor able to recognize pathological muscles based on the altered ratio between muscle fibers and fibrotic tissue. To reach this goal, we will initially develop a sensor able to distinguish, in vitro, a myoblast from a fibroblastic cell line. This first step will allow us to determine the basal difference between the two main cell populations involved in DMD pathogenesis of muscle tissue in a very controlled environment, yielding a precise assessment of the sensor metrological properties before moving to animal testing. Subsequently, the proposed sensor will be optimized to discern, ex vivo, control and pathological murine skeletal muscle. It is worth noting that skeletal muscle is a heterogeneous tissue, and that this second step will yield an improved sensor capable of recognizing an increase of fibrotic tissue in a more complex system. In parallel, morphological evaluations will be performed to assess the amount of differentiated myotubes and fibroblasts in the tested muscles. Finally, the sensor will be optimized to distinguish healthy and pathological skeletal muscles in vivo, which represents the most complex condition, only by placing the sensor in contact with the tissue of interest.

PE2_15, PE7_11, LS3_8

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