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Francesca Taraballi, PhD

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

Taraballi Lab

Dr. Taraballi earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences and her M.S. in Biochemistry at University of Milan - Bicocca, Italy. After another M.S. in Structural Biochemistry, she earned her Ph.D. in Nanostructures and Nanotechnologies from a joint program of the Materials Science Department of University of Milan - Bicocca with the Lawrence National Berkeley Laboratory (LBNL) in 2009.

Dr. Taraballi is currently an Assistant Professor at the Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration at Houston Methodist Research Institute affiliated to the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital. Dr. Taraballi's research is focused on the development of smart biomaterials, both injectable and implantable, to target the immune system toward tissue restoration. Her main research area of interest is to develop new therapies and devices for articular cartilage repair.

Description of Research

  • Materials fabrication and functionalization to promote cells' survival and differentiation in cartilage repair
  • Materials fabrication and functionalization to enhance immunemodulatories capabilities of mesenchymal stem cells from different sources
  • Development of smart biomaterials to tune the immune system
  • Synthesis and functionalization of micro and nanoparticles for immunemodulation
  • Synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles for targeted cancer drug delivery


Improving the immunosuppressive potential of articular chondroprogenitors in a three-dimensional culture setting
Bauza, G, Pasto, A, Mcculloch, P, Lintner, D, Brozovich, A, Niclot, FB, Khan, I, Francis, LW, Tasciotti, E & Taraballi, F 2020, , Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, 16610.

Endosomal Escape of Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles in Endothelial Cells
Parodi, A, Evangelopoulos, M, Arrighetti, N, Cevenini, A, Livingston, M, Khaled, SZ, Brown, BS, Yazdi, IK, Paradiso, F, Campa-Carranza, JN, De Vita, A, Taraballi, F & Tasciotti, E 2020, , Small, vol. 16, no. 36, 1907693.

Mimicking the Organic and Inorganic Composition of Anabolic Bone Enhances Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Osteoinduction and Scaffold Mechanical Properties
Mondragón, E, Cowdin, M, Taraballi, F, Minardi, S, Tasciotti, E, Gregory, CA & Kaunas, R 2020, , Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 8, 753.

Cell Membrane-Based Biomimetic Nanoparticles and the Immune System: Immunomodulatory Interactions to Therapeutic Applications
Sushnitha, M, Evangelopoulos, M, Tasciotti, E & Taraballi, F 2020, , Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 8, 627.

Electrospun anti-inflammatory patch loaded with essential oils for wound healing
García-Salinas, S, Evangelopoulos, M, Gámez-Herrera, E, Arruebo, M, Irusta, S, Taraballi, F, Mendoza, G & Tasciotti, E 2020, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol. 577, 119067.

Acute physiologic effects of performing yoga in the heat on energy expenditure, range of motion, and inflammatory biomarkers
Lambert, BS, Miller, KE, Delgado, DA, Chaliki, K, Lee, J, Bauza, G, Taraballi, F, Dong, D, Tasciotti, E, Harris, JD & McCulloch, P 2020, , International Journal of Exercise Science, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 802-817.

Enhanced In Vivo Vascularization of 3D-Printed Cell Encapsulation Device Using Platelet-Rich Plasma and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Paez-Mayorga, J, Capuani, S, Farina, M, Lotito, ML, Niles, JA, Salazar, HF, Rhudy, J, Esnaola, L, Chua, CYX, Taraballi, F, Corradetti, B, Shelton, KA, Nehete, PN, Nichols, JE & Grattoni, A 2020, , Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 9, no. 19, 2000670.

Marine Collagen Substrates for 2D and 3D Ovarian Cancer Cell Systems
Paradiso, F, Fitzgerald, J, Yao, S, Barry, F, Taraballi, F, Gonzalez, D, Conlan, RS & Francis, L 2019, , Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 7.

Macrophage-derived nanovesicles exert intrinsic anti-inflammatory properties and prolong survival in sepsis through a direct interaction with macrophages
Molinaro, R, Pastò, A, Corbo, C, Taraballi, F, Giordano, F, Martinez, JO, Zhao, P, Wang, X, Zinger, A, Boada, C, Hartman, KA & Tasciotti, E 2019, Nanoscale, vol. 11, no. 28, pp. 13576-13586.

Helix-A peptide prevents gp120-mediated neuronal loss
Avdoshina, V, Taraballi, F, Tasciotti, E, Üren, A & Mocchetti, I 2019, Molecular Brain, vol. 12, no. 1, 61.

Immunomodulatory potential of mesenchymal stem cell role in diseases and therapies: A bioengineering prospective
Taraballi, F 2019, Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine.

Biomimetic hydroxyapatite/collagen composite drives bone niche recapitulation in a rabbit orthotopic model
Minardi, S, Taraballi, F, Cabrera, FJ, Van Eps, J, Wang, X, Gazze, SA, Fernandez-Mourev, JS, Tampieri, A, Francis, L, Weiner, BK & Tasciotti, E 2019, , Materials Today Bio, vol. 2, 100005.

Targeting infiltrating immune cells to improve articular cartilage regeneration
Taraballi, F, Bauza, G, Francis, L, Zhang, A, Hopson, M, Shaikh, S, Cabrera, F, Wang, X, Shi, A, Hamilton, DJ, McCulloch, P & Tasciotti, E 2019, . in Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence - Transactions of the 42nd Annual Meeting. vol. 40, Society for Biomaterials, 42nd Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence, Seattle, United States, 4/3/19.

Thermosensitive Hydrogel Sealing of the Left Atrial Appendage to Prevent Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation".
Taraballi, F 2019, , Patent No. 62/935,084 .

Biomimicry in 3D Nanomaterial Design: Implications for Regenerative Medicine
Taraballi, F 2019, Front Bioeng Biotechnol.

Cell-Instructive Microenvironment to Direct Stem Cell Fate
Taraballi, F 2019, Stem Cell International.

Electrospun Patch Functionalized with Nanoparticles Allows for Spatiotemporal Release of VEGF and PDGF-BB Promoting in Vivo Neovascularization
Tsao, CJ, Pandolfi, L, Wang, X, Minardi, S, Lupo, C, Evangelopoulos, M, Hendrickson, T, Shi, A, Storci, G, Taraballi, F & Tasciotti, E 2018, , ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 10, no. 51, pp. 44344-44353.

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, vol. 24, no. 23-24, pp. 1798-1807.,

Corrigendum: Heparan Sulfate: A Potential Candidate for the Development of Biomimetic Immunomodulatory Membranes
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, pp. 86.

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.