NAnoparticles based countermeasures for Treatment of microgravity induced Osteoporosis. NATO.


2014-2016. Contratto N. 2013-060-I.0 Bando di Volo Umano Spaziale per ricerche e dimostrazioni tecnologiche sulla ISS DC-MIC-2012-024. Italian Space Agency.


Exposure to microgravity has been associated with several physiological changes in astronauts, including an osteoporosis-like loss in bone mass. Osteoporosis is a bones-disease leading to a high risk of fracture and other problems, mainly due to the reduction of the bone mineral density. The lack of weight-bearing forces makes microgravity an ideal physical stimulus to assess bone cell responses. In this project, we aimed to determine the effect of nanoparticles as a countermeasure to microgravity-induced osteoporosis on osteoblasts cells. We have studied the spatiotemporal dynamics of mineral deposition by human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells differentiating toward osteoblasts promoted by the presence of exogenous hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. At molecular level, the added nanoparticles positively modulated the expression of bone-specific markers and enhanced calcified matrix deposition during osteogenic differentiation. The nucleation, growth and spatial arrangement of newly deposited hydroxyapatite nanocrystals have been evaluated using Scanning Micro X-Ray Diffraction and Scanning Micro X-Ray Fluorescence. As leading results, we have found the emergence of a complex scenario where the spatial organization and temporal evolution of the process exhibit a heterogeneous and self-organizing dynamics.

Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia, IT (Coordinatore)
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, IT
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Cristallografia, Roma, IT
Kayser Italia S.r.l., Livorno, IT


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