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Ennio Tasciotti, PhD

Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration
Houston Methodist

Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration


Dr. Tasciotti earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and his M.S. in Molecular Biology at Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy and a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from a joint program of the Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa with the International Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (ICGEB) in 2004. Dr. Tasciotti research as a PhD student focused on gene and stem cell therapy of cancer. He moved to the United States in 2006 as a senior postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. There, Dr. Tasciotti expanded his research to material science and nanotechnology and to their applications in the fields of early diagnostics, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. As a postdoctoral fellow he carried his research in molecular imaging of angiogenesis and cancer development at the Center of Molecular Medicine and in cancer nanomedicine at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center. There, he laid the groundwork of two nanotechnology platforms: protein nanochips for the early detection of diseases, and nanoporous silicon particles for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The latter was featured on the cover of Nature Nanotechnology and paved the way for a field of investigation called the Multistage Delivery Approach, which was selected as one of the “Five big ideas for nanotechnology” by Nature Medicine in 2008.

In 2008, Dr. Tasciotti was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Nanomedicine at the University of Texas Medical School. There, he conceived and coordinated the research project: “BioNanoScaffold for post-traumatic osteo-regeneration”, and developed multifunctional biomaterials that provide immediate mechanical stabilization to bone fractures and promote bone tissue regeneration. This project was funded within the Fracture Putty program of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and has involved over 60 investigators from multiple institutions over the course of the last 5 years. Thanks to this project, Dr. Tasciotti established strong ties within the community of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, particularly in the clinical fields of orthopedic, spine, maxillofacial, oral and dental surgery, and is now formalizing the clinical translation of this technology.

In 2010, he joined the Department of Nanomedicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Department of Nanomedicine, Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Scientific Director of the Surgical Advanced Technology Lab. There, Dr. Tasciotti directs a large research operation, with 25 research staff and trainees involved in the development of innovative nanotechnology platforms and biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Dr. Tasciotti is an inventor on six U.S. patents, serves as reviewer for more than 20 scientific journals and is a frequent speaker at international meetings. He served from 2010 to 2012 as the president of the council of reviewers for the Italian Ministry of Health and is a regular member of National Institute of Health, US Department of Defense and NCI Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) study sections. 

Description of Research

-Biomimetic materials to improve tissue regeneration and modulate the immune response.
-Artificial biomimetic extracellular matrices for musculoskeletal drug delivery and regenerative medicine.
-Bio-inspired and cell-based delivery platforms for the active targeting of inflammation.
-Nanostructured hydrogels for the localized sustained release of clinically approved drugs.
-Development of new surgical procedures and clinical approaches using nano-based therapeutics.

Areas Of Expertise

Cancer Nanotechnology Regenerative medicine Bioengineering Drug delivery
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Postdoctoral Fellowship , Molecular Medicine Laboratory, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste
MSc , Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
PhD , Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
MSc , University of Pisa

Radiopaque Resorbable Inferior Vena Cava Filter Infused with Gold Nanoparticles
Tian, L, Lee, P, Singhana, B, Chen, A, Qiao, Y, Lu, L, Martinez, JO, Tasciotti, E, Melancon, A, Huang, S, Eggers, M & Melancon, MP 2017, Scientific Reports, vol 7, no. 1, 2147. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02508-3

Bio-inspired engineering of cell- and virus-like nanoparticles for drug delivery
Parodi, A, Molinaro, R, Sushnitha, M, Evangelopoulos, M, Martinez, JO, Arrighetti, N, Corbo, C & Tasciotti, E 2017, Biomaterials, vol 147, pp. 155-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.09.020

Engineered biomimetic nanovesicles show intrinsic anti-inflammatory properties for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases
Corbo, C, Cromer, WE, Molinaro, R, Toledano Furman, NE, Hartman, KA, De Rosa, E, Boada, C, Wang, X, Zawieja, DC, Agostini, M, Salvatore, F, Abraham, BP & Tasciotti, E 2017, Nanoscale. DOI: 10.1039/c7nr04734g

Inflammation and Cancer: In Medio Stat Nano
Molinaro, R, Corbo, C, Livingston, M, Evangelopoulos, M, Parodi, A, Boada, C, Agostini, M & Tasciotti, E 2017, Current Medicinal Chemistry. DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170920160030

Hyaluronic acid coatings as a simple and efficient approach to improve MSC homing toward the site of inflammation
Corradetti, B , Taraballi, F, Martinez, JO, Minardi, S, Basu, N, Bauza, G, Evangelopoulos, M, Powell, S, Corbo, C & Tasciotti, E 2017, Scientific Reports, vol 7, no. 1, pp. 7991. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08687-3

Chlorin e6 Functionalized Theranostic Multistage Nanovectors Transported by Stem Cells for Effective Photodynamic Therapy
Näkki, S, Martinez, JO, Evangelopoulos, M, Xu, W, Lehto, V-P & Tasciotti, E 2017, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol 9, no. 28, pp. 23441-23449. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b05766

Nanoantibiotics: A new paradigm for the treatment of surgical infection
Moure, JSF, Evangelopoulos, M, Colvill, K, Van Eps, JL & Tasciotti, E 2017, Nanomedicine, vol 12, no. 11, pp. 1319-1334. DOI: 10.2217/nnm-2017-0401

Mesoporous silica nanoparticles trigger mitophagy in endothelial cells and perturb neuronal network activity in a size- and time-dependent manner
Orlando, A, Cazzaniga, EM, Tringali, M, Gullo, F, Becchetti, A, Minniti, S, Taraballi, F, Tasciotti, E & Re, F 2017, International Journal of Nanomedicine, vol 12, pp. 3547-3559. DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S127663

Enhancing Vascularization through the Controlled Release of Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB
Minardi, S, Pandolfi, L, Taraballi, F, Wang, X, De Rosa, E, Mills, ZD, Liu, X, Ferrari, M & Tasciotti, E 2017, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol 9, no. 17, pp. 14566-14575. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b13760

Inhibition of Non Canonical HIV-1 Tat Secretion Through the Cellular Na+,K+-ATPase Blocks HIV-1 Infection
Agostini, S, Ali, H, Vardabasso, C, Fittipaldi, A, Tasciotti, E, Cereseto, A, Bugatti, A, Rusnati, M, Lusic, M & Giacca, M 2017, EBioMedicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.06.011

Characterization of ventral incisional hernia and repair using shear wave elastography
Chaudhry, A, Fernandez-Moure, JS, Shajudeen, PS, Van Eps, JL, Cabrera, FJ, Weiner, BK, Dunkin, BJ, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2017, Journal of Surgical Research, vol 210, pp. 244-252. DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.11.041

Unveiling the in Vivo Protein Corona of Circulating Leukocyte-like Carriers
Corbo, C, Molinaro, R, Taraballi, F, Toledano Furman, NE, Hartman, KA, Sherman, MB, De Rosa, E, Kirui, DK, Salvatore, F & Tasciotti, E 2017, ACS Nano, vol 11, no. 3, pp. 3262-3273. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b00376

Endocytic Trafficking of HIV gp120 is Mediated by Dynamin and Plays a Role in gp120 Neurotoxicity
Wenzel, ED, Bachis, A, Avdoshina, V, Taraballi, F, Tasciotti, E & Mocchetti, I 2017, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s11481-017-9739-4

Investigating the Mechanobiology of Cancer Cell–ECM Interaction Through Collagen-Based 3D Scaffolds
Liverani, C, Mercatali, L, Cristofolini, L, Giordano, E, Minardi, S, Porta, GD, de Vita, A, Miserocchi, G, Spadazzi, C, Tasciotti, E, Amadori, D & Ibrahim, T 2017, Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s12195-017-0483-x

A nanofibrous electrospun patch to maintain human mesenchymal cell stemness
Pandolfi, L, Furman, NT, Wang, X, Lupo, C, Martinez, JO, Mohamed, M, Taraballi, F & Tasciotti, E 2017, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, vol 28, no. 3, 44, pp. 44. DOI: 10.1007/s10856-017-5856-0

Innovative approaches to establish and characterize primary cultures: An ex vivo 3D system and the zebrafish model
Liverani, C, La Manna, F, Groenewoud, A, Mercatali, L, Van Der Pluijm, G, Pieri, F, Cavaliere, D, De Vita, A, Spadazzi, C, Miserocchi, G, Bongiovanni, A, Recine, F, Riva, N, Amadori, D, Tasciotti, E, Snaar-Jagalska, E & Ibrahim, T 2017, Biology Open, vol 6, no. 2, pp. 133-140. DOI: 10.1242/bio.022483

Bioinspired approaches for cancer nanotheranostics
Evangelopoulos, M & Tasciotti, E 2017, Nanomedicine, vol 12, no. 1, pp. 5-7. DOI: 10.2217/nnm-2016-0374

Platelet-rich plasma: a biomimetic approach to enhancement of surgical wound healing
Fernandez-Moure, JS, Van Eps, JL, Cabrera, FJ, Barbosa, Z, Medrano del Rosal, G, Weiner, BK, Ellsworth, WA & Tasciotti, E 2017, Journal of Surgical Research, vol 207, pp. 33-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.08.063

Cross-linking of porcine acellular dermal matrices negatively affects induced neovessel formation using platelet-rich plasma in a rat model of hernia repair
Fernandez-Moure, JS, Van Eps, JL, Peterson, LE, Shirkey, BA, Menn, ZK, Cabrera, F, Karim, A, Tasciotti, E, Weiner, BK & Ellsworth, WA 2017, Wound Repair and Regeneration. DOI: 10.1111/wrr.12508

Heparan Sulfate: A Potential Candidate for the Development of Biomimetic Immunomodulatory Membranes
Corradetti, B , Taraballi, F, Giretti, I, Bauza, G, Pistillo, RS, Banche Niclot, F, Pandolfi, L & Tasciotti, E 2017, Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, vol 5, pp. 54. DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2017.00054