Our research areas

Gina project

liver fibrosis: oral phospho-lipids on a molecular perspective

Bild2

liver fibrosis: a novel non-invasive targeted diagnostic

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Lipid-based therapeutics for liver fibrosis and their impact on extracellular vesicles

lisa project 3

Development of a phospholipid-based depot technology for sustained drug release

Oral phospholipids and liver fibrosis: a molecular perspective

Chronic liver diseases cover a spectrum of pathologies headed by a process that involves a progressive destruction and regeneration of liver functional parts leading to fibrosis and then cirrhosis. Oral dosage forms can help to increase patient compliance significantly improving the course of such chronic disorders and lipid-based oral medications have been shown to be suitable candidates. The aim of this project is to develop and characterize novel oral lipid-based formulations for chronic liver pathologies by means of validated and optimized in vitro models. In order to select the most efficient excipients for novel phospholipid-based antifibrotic therapies, the role of single lipids is investigated by the screening of lipid components and thorough quantitative and qualitative analyses of their effect are performed at a molecular and cellular level.

Exploring novel non-invasive targeted diagnostic possibilities for liver fibrosis

The possibility of an early diagnosis to detect the evolution of liver disease to liver fibrosis remains a Holy Grail in hepatology. The lack of accurate, reproducible, and easily applicable methods for the assessment of hepatic fibrosis has been the major limitation for both the clinical management and research in liver diseases. Liver biopsy remains the gold standard to reach the certainty of diagnosis. The nature of the procedure, however, creates a quest for a less invasive diagnostic modality through which the evolution of the disease and the effectiveness of the anti-fibrotic therapies could be followed. The identification of biomarkers specific for enzymes responsible for the early alterations of liver microstructure, combined with a non-invasive optical imaging modality, could guide the clinicians towards a timely therapeutic strategy. The biomarkers, indeed, could be also used as a tool to achieve a highly specific treatment in the fibrosis-affected areas in the liver. Liposomes represent an optimal platform to combine diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic efficiency. In this research project emphasis is placed on the development and physicochemical characterization as well as on the use of in vitro cell culture to test targeted liposomes designed to improve management strategies of this chronic fibro-proliferative disease.

Lipid-based therapeutics for liver fibrosis and their impact on extracellular vesicles

Liver fibrosis is the wound-healing response to chronic hepatic insults, often leading to the loss of organ function. It is characterized by the excessive deposition of scar tissue, a process driven by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSC). The broader aim of our research is to assess the impact of lipid-based therapeutics on extracellular vesicles isolated from hepatic cell lines, used as an in vitro model for the progression of liver fibrosis.
This project is financially supported by the Phospholipid Research Center.

Development of a phospholipid-based depot technology for sustained drug release

The topic of this project is the development of a novel phospholipid-based depot formulation for sustained release of drugs. The main principle of the depot building is the aggregation of liposomes encapsulating a model drug. Besides the screening of appropriate formulations and the physico-chemical characterisation of the aggregates, the emphasis is the investigation of different encapsulation methods and following release studies. Another focus is the development of a novel manufacturing process and application system for this depot formulation compared to existing market products.
This project is financially supported by the Phospholipid Research Center.