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Ennio Tasciotti, PhD

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full 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 Regenerative medicine Nanotechnology Drug delivery Bioengineering
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

Trends towards biomimicry in theranostics
Evangelopoulos, M, Parodi, A, Martinez, JO & Tasciotti, E 2018, Nanomaterials, vol. 8, no. 9, 637. DOI: 10.3390/nano8090637

Exosome-like nanovectors for drug delivery in cancer
Arrighetti, N, Corbo, C, Evangelopoulos, M, Pasto, A, Zuco, V & Tasciotti, E 2018, Current Medicinal Chemistry. DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180831150259

Controlled Release of Small Molecules for Cardiac Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells
Tsao, C, Taraballi, F, Pandolfi, L, Velasquez-Mao, AJ, Ruano, R, Tasciotti, E & Jacot, JG 2018, Tissue Engineering - Part A. DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2018.0054

A model-based approach to investigate the effect of a long bone fracture on ultrasound strain elastography
Tang, S, Sabonghy, EP, Chaudhry, A, Shajudeen, PS, Islam, MT, Kim, N, Cabrera, FJ, Reddy, JN, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. DOI: 10.1109/TMI.2018.2849996

Smart cancer therapy with DNA origami
Tasciotti, E 2018, Nature Biotechnology, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 234-235. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.4095

Corrigendum: Heparan sulfate: A potential candidate for the development of biomimetic immunomodulatory membranes [Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol, 5, (2017), (54)] DOI:10.3389/fbioe.2017.00054
Corradetti, B, Taraballi, F, Giretti, I, Bauza, G, Pistillo, RS, Niclot, FB, Pandolfi, L, Demarchi, D & Tasciotti, E 2018, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 5, no. JAN, 86. DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2017.00086

A new method for estimating the effective Poisson’s ratio in ultrasound poroelastography
Islam, MT, Chaudhry, A, Tang, S, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. DOI: 10.1109/TMI.2018.2792437

Bone surface enhancement in ultrasound images using a new Doppler-based acquisition/processing method
Yang, X, Tang, S, Tasciotti, E & Righetti, R 2018, Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 63, no. 2, 025035. DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa9c5e

Biomimetic nanoparticles with enhanced affinity towards activated endothelium as versatile tools for theranostic drug delivery
Martinez, JO, Molinaro, R, Hartman, KA, Boada, C, Sukhovershin, R, De Rosa, E, Kirui, D, Zhang, S, Evangelopoulos, M, Carter, AM, Bibb, JA, Cooke, JP & Tasciotti, E 2018, Theranostics, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1131-1145. DOI: 10.7150/thno.22078

Design and Development of Biomimetic Nanovesicles Using a Microfluidic Approach
Molinaro, R, Evangelopoulos, M, Hoffman, JR, Corbo, C, Taraballi, F, Martinez, JO, Hartman, KA, Cosco, D, Costa, G, Romeo, I, Sherman, M, Paolino, D, Alcaro, S & Tasciotti, E 2018, Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201702749

Microfluidic assembly of liposomes with tunable size and coloading capabilities
Hoffman, JR, Tasciotti, E & Molinaro, R 2018, . in Methods in Molecular Biology. vol. 1792, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1792, Humana Press, pp. 205-214. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7865-6_15

Biomimetic Tissue Engineering: Tuning the Immune and Inflammatory Response to Implantable Biomaterials
Taraballi, F, Sushnitha, M, Tsao, C, Bauza, G, Liverani, C, Shi, A & Tasciotti, E 2018, Advanced Healthcare Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201800490

In vivo imaging of radiopaque resorbable inferior vena cava filter infused with gold nanoparticles
Tian, L, Lee, P, Singhana, B, Chen, A, Qiao, Y, Lu, L, Martinez, J, Tasciotti, E, Jacobsen, MC, Melancon, A, McArthur, M, Eggers, M, Huang, S & Melancon, MP 2018, . in Medical Imaging 2018: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling. vol. 10576, 105762S, SPIE, Medical Imaging 2018: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, Houston, United States, 2/12/18. DOI: 10.1117/12.2293738

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

Concise Review: Biomimetic Functionalization of Biomaterials to Stimulate the Endogenous Healing Process of Cartilage and Bone Tissue
Taraballi, F, Bauza, G, McCulloch, P, Harris, J & Tasciotti, E 2017, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vol. 6, no. 12, pp. 2186-2196. DOI: 10.1002/sctm.17-0181

Immune tuning scaffold for the local induction of a pro-regenerative environment
Corradetti, B, Taraballi, F, Corbo, C, Cabrera, F, Pandolfi, L, Minardi, S, Wang, X, Van Eps, J, Bauza, G, Weiner, B & Tasciotti, E 2017, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 17030. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16895-0

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, 7991, pp. 7991. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08687-3

Diagnostic Devices for Circulating Biomarkers Detection and Quantification
Bedin, C, Crotti, S, Tasciotti, E & Agostini, M 2017, Current Medicinal Chemistry. DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666171116124255

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