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Industrial Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory accredited by Emilia Romagna Region (DGR 1213/2007) with Deliberation n.GPG/2012/119 of February 6, 2012.

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Rete Alta Tecnologia
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  • Areas of expertise

    The Biobank service research group has acquired a great expertise in the biomedical research field. In particular, the group has gain experience in cell biology, molecular biology, vascular pathology, stem cells and onco-haematology (the numerous publications in international peer-reviewed journals are listed in the Publications section).

    Our technical and scientific expertise can help to design studies aiming at evaluating the effects of several drugs/molecules on cell viability, proliferation, morphology, differentiation and maturation by analysing (in collaboration with other departments at LTTA) various parameters such as:

    • apoptosis
    • cell cycle modulation
    • cytokine release
    • surface markers expression

    The technologies available at the Biobank service are able to offer:

    • the purification of populations and subpopulations of primary human cells derived from different tissues (peripheral blood and bone marrow, umbilical cord vein tissue, peripheral vein tissue, Wharton’s jelly, etc.) isolated from healthy donors or patients suffering from various diseases
    • their expansion
    • their phenotypical and functional characterization
    • the safe storage of viable cell samples, creating a reserve of high quality cells for future studies that can be defined later on by the researcher/customer.

    The cryopreservation system is managed using an integrated software platform and containers for cryopreservation in vapour phase liquid nitrogen, to ensure the confidential storage of the samples and their related information. Each storage tube containing a sample and deposited in the nitrogen-filled containers is labelled by a specific bar code that can be read by the platform scanner which, in addition of ensuring the anonymity of the sample, makes it easy to be identified.

    The software facilitates the identification of stored samples that have the same characteristics (e.g. samples with the same sensitivity to an in vitro treatment, or with the same level of expression of a surface marker, or samples from donor patients that underwent the same anti-cancer therapy), if these data have been entered into the database. This option offers a great advantage when there is a biobanking of a high number of samples because it allows the retrieve of selected samples for new experimental studies with a specific aim.

    The products and data provided by the Biobank are intended for research purposes only.

    • The Biobank service is joined with research studies oriented toward the ex vivo expansion of highly characterized cell populations (in terms of phenotype and functionality) for in vitro preclinical experimentation and/or in vivo studies in animal models. In particular, the research is focused on the numerous issues concerning the cardiovascular, oncological and neurological fields.

    • The Biobank service activities mainly consist of isolating, purifying and expanding ex vivo cell populations derived from various human organs and/or tissues (primary cells). These populations can be characterized in terms of morphology, functionality and phenotype (in collaboration with the Flow Cytometry and Microscopy services) and cryopreserved in large numbers in vapour phase liquid nitrogen for long periods of time (up to 5-10 years).

      Banking and cryopreservation of human biological fluids (e.g. plasma and sera) is another service that can be offered by the LTTA Biobank.

      In addition, the Biobank service includes the design and execution of specific cell assays, such as studies focused on the cytotoxic effects triggered by specific chemical compounds (either synthetic or natural), drugs or other biologically significant stressful events.

      With the Luminex technology available in our laboratories, the Biobank is also able to analyze the release of cytokines/chemokines (and other protein biomarkers) in precious small volumes samples, such as serum/plasma of patients, cell supernatants, cell lysates, etc.

      The details of our basic service are listed in the price list .

      Services can be modified upon request in accordance with the individual specific requests of companies/users.

      Services may be provided upon request on a subscription basis.

      The group also performs protein analyses by western blotting and ELISA assays, and gene analyses using real-time PCR. These services can be discussed during the preliminary consultation.

      Recently, the Biobank has started a new banking of viable tumor samples obtained from surgical resections of surgical specimens.

  • Main equipment

    Main equipment in our labs:

    AutoMACS pro-separator: an automated system for cell subsets purification based on immunomagnetic techniques. The instrument and the technology involved allow the isolation or enrichment of almost any type of cell, even from whole blood, using fully standardized procedures. Starting from 105 up to 109 of total cells in volumes going from 0.2 ml to 50 ml, this system allows the separation of up to 10 million cells per second. Moreover, there is the possibility to work with a large number of samples at the same time and to obtain from the same sample the desired positively selected population (or more), the depleted and untouched populations.

    Biobanking platform solution and liquid nitrogen containers: an electronic banking system and cryopreservation system in vapour phase liquid nitrogen with automated refill for cell and tissue samples; this ensures the confidentiality of the clinical data and the anonymity of samples which are traceable only by the operator using a barcode reader. In a single container it is possible to store more than 10,000 vials of viable samples.

    Freezer -80°C for cryopreservation of biological materials such as serum and plasma.

    MAGPIX System: based on the use of magnetic beads read by a CCD camera through the Luminex technology, it provides a complete solution for rapid and accurate quantitation of panels of analytes (up to 50 at a time) in small sample volumes (25 µl). Available kits covering large areas of research and a wide selection of protein biomarkers, both human and murine, are available.

    CO2 incubators with decontamination system: instruments that enable to mantain the cell cultures in optimal conditions in terms of temperature and gas.

    Laminar flow hoods, inverted microscope and refrigerated bench centrifuges: essential instruments for maintaining the sterility of cell cultures and performing cell-based experiments.

    Refrigerated cabinets: for the storage of cell culture media and reagents required for the maintenance and the experimental treatment of cell cultures.

    Other instruments available in our laboratory:
    Rotor Gene 6000, 5-plex HRM, for real-time PCR
    Western blotting apparatus
    Elisa Plate Reader

    The Biobank service is located in dedicated rooms with tightly controlled access in order to ensure the optimal isolation from outside contaminations.

  • Contacts


    Laboratorio per le Tecnologie delle Terapie Avanzate (LTTA Centre)
    Area Polo Chimico Biomedico “CUBO” – second floor
    via Fossato di Mortara 70 - 44121 Ferrara
    +39 0532 45 5572/5822
    +39 0532 455950

    Technical Director

    Prof. Paola Secchiero
    +39 0532 455572

    Contact Person

    Dr Rebecca Voltan (Ph.D.)
    +39 0532 455572


    Dr Rebecca Voltan
    Dr Elisabetta Melloni
    Dr Veronica Tisato

    Our team is qualified to i) receive samples and provide quality controls, ii) purify, isolate and characterize cells of interest (in collaboration with the Flow Cytometry and Microscopy services), iii) cryopreserve them and iv) design and execute assays for applied research.

    The Staff is constantly working towards improving systems and procedures. The Staff is regularly updated with the latest technical and scientific progresses of the field, to guarantee the highest quality service.

    Organisation Chart

  • Publications

    Zauli G, Tisato V, Secchiero P. Rationale for Considering Oral Idasanutlin as a Therapeutic Option for COVID-19 Patients. Front Pharmacol. 2020 Jul 29;11:1156. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.01156. PMCID: PMC7403220. PubMed
    Tisato V, Muggeo P, Lupiano T, Longo G, Serino ML, Grassi M, Arcamone E, Secchiero P, Zauli G, Santoro N, Gemmati D. Maternal Haplotypes in DHFR Promoter and MTHFR Gene in Tuning Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Onset-Latency: Genetic/Epigenetic Mother/Child Dyad Study (GEMCDS). Genes (Basel). 2019 Aug 22;10(9):634. doi: 10.3390/genes10090634. PMCID: PMC6770441. PubMed
    Tisato V, Romani A, Tavanti E, Melloni E, Milani D, Bonaccorsi G, Sanz JM, Gemmati D, Passaro A, Cervellati C. Crosstalk Between Adipokines and Paraoxonase1: A New Potential Axis Linking Oxidative Stress and Inflammation. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Aug 6;8(8):287. doi: 10.3390/antiox8080287. PMCID:PMC6719214. PubMed
    Bernardi S, Voltan R, Rimondi E, Melloni E, Milani D, Cervellati C, Gemmati D, Celeghini C, Secchiero P, Zauli G, Tisato V. TRAIL, OPG, and TWEAK in kidney disease: biomarkers or therapeutic targets? Clin Sci (Lond). 2019 May 16;133(10):1145-1166. doi: 10.1042/CS20181116. PMCID:PMC6526163. PubMed
    Trapella C, Rizzo R, Gallo S, Alogna A, Bortolotti D, Casciano F, Zauli G, Secchiero P, Voltan R. HelixComplex snail mucus exhibits pro-survival, proliferative and pro-migration effects on mammalian fibroblasts. Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 5;8(1):17665. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35816-3. Erratum in: Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 30;10(1):1834. PMCID: PMC6281574. PubMed
    Tisato V, Voltan R, Gonelli A, Secchiero P, Zauli G. MDM2/X inhibitors under clinical evaluation: perspectives for the management of hematological malignancies and pediatric cancer. J Hematol Oncol. 2017 Jul 3;10(1):133. doi: 10.1186/s13045-017-0500-5. PMCID: PMC5496368. PubMed
    Voltan R, Secchiero P, Casciano F, Milani D, Zauli G, Tisato V. Redox signaling and oxidative stress: Cross talk with TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand activity. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016 Dec;81(Pt B):364-374. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2016.09.019. Epub 2016 Sep 26. PubMed
    Voltan R, Zauli G, Rizzo P, Fucili A, Pannella M, Marci R, Tisato V, Ferrari R, Secchiero P. In vitro endothelial cell proliferation assay reveals distinct levels of proangiogenic cytokines characterizing sera of healthy subjects and of patients with heart failure. Mediators Inflamm. 2014;2014:257081. doi: 10.1155/2014/257081. Epub 2014 Mar 23. PMCID: PMC3981563. PubMed
    Voltan R, Secchiero P, Ruozi B, Forni F, Agostinis C, Caruso L, Vandelli MA, Zauli G. Nanoparticles engineered with rituximab and loaded with Nutlin-3 show promising therapeutic activity in B-leukemic xenografts. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 15;19(14):3871-80. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0015. Epub 2013 May 29. PubMed
    Tisato V, Zauli G, Voltan R, Gianesini S, di Iasio MG, Volpi I, Fiorentini G, Zamboni P, Secchiero P. Endothelial cells obtained from patients affected by chronic venous disease exhibit a pro-inflammatory phenotype. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39543. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039543. Epub 2012 Jun 21. PMCID: PMC3380919. PubMed
  • Collaborations

    • University-Hospital of Ferrara
    • CRO National Cancer Institute, Aviano
    • IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste
    • Hospital of Cremona
    • Hospital of Udine
    • Democenter
    • Tecnopolo di Mirandola
    • Istituto tumori della Romagna IRST IRCCS
  • Price list

    Code no. Brief description of the services Price (€)
    Preliminary consultation on formulation of experimental design; during the consultation an estimate of the overall cost of the analyses can be provided.
    The Service offers consultations for specific projects, and estimations of the overall cost are provided free of charge according to the needs of the client.
    Please contact us for special requirements not shown in the price list, since the packages offered can be tailored to requirements outside the standard service.
    For routine analysis prices can be arranged (subscriptions may be possible).
    BB-PUR-01 PBMC purification from peripheral blood or bone marrow (up to 10 ml) (ficoll) 30.00
    BB-PUR-02 PBMC purification from peripheral blood (up to 100 ml) (ficoll) 30.00-150.00
    BB-PUR-03 Immunomagnetic purification of lymphocyte subpopulation (e.g. CD20, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD14) since 50.00
    BB-PUR-04 Immunomagnetic purification of rare lymphocyte subpopulation (e.g. CD34) Please ask for a quote
    BB-TES-01 Preparation of primary endothelial cell culture from peripheral venous tissue (VEC) 500.00
    BB-TES-02 Preparation of primary endothelial cell culture from umbilical vein (HUVEC) 300.00
    BB-TES-03 Preparation of primary mesenchymal cells (MSC) from amniotic membrane Please ask for a quote
    BB-TES-04 Preparation of primary culture of explanted tissue of interest Please ask for a quote
    BB-ESP-01 Expansion of primary cells (e.g. fibroblasts) (standard medium) (price per T75 flask/week) 12.00
    BB-ESP-02 Expansion of primary cells (e.g. HUVEC) (enriched medium) (price per T75 flask/week) 22.00
    BB-ESP-03 Expansion of primary cells (e.g. vein endothelial) (highly enriched medium) (price per T75 flask/week) 35.00
    BB-CITO-01 Analysis of toxicity and/or cell differentiation/maturation following in vitro treatment (with drugs, synthetic molecules, natural substances, etc), through:
    1) apoptosis quantification*
    2) analysis of cell cycle modulation*
    3) analysis of surface antigens*
    4) pathway activation study (protein analysis)^
    5) analysis of gene expression from nucleic acids°
    others on request.
    Please ask for a quote
    BB-CITO-02 Flow cytometry analysis of purified cells from primary cultures, also for immunophenotyping* Please ask for a quote
    BB-CITO-03 Analysis of cytokine release (specific panels screening with Luminex technology and E.L.I.S.A. assays) Please ask for a quote
    BB-CITO-04 Microscopic analysis of cultured primary cells or of tissues of origin§ Please ask for a quote
    BB-CRIO-01 Cryopreservation of primary cells in nitrogen vapours:1 vial (price per year) 50.00
    BB-CRIO-02 Cryopreservation of primary cells in nitrogen vapours: 25 vials (1 box, reservation possible) (price per year) 600.00
    BB-CRIO-03 Cryopreservation of primary cells in nitrogen vapours: 96 vials (1 box, reservation possible) (price per year) 1500.00
    BB-CRIO-04 Cryopreservation of large stock of biological samples (cells, plasma, RNA, etc) in nitrogen vapours or in -80°C freezer Please ask for a quote
    BB-EMA-01 Storage of onco-haematological samples (molecular characterization in collaboration with the Microarray-Bioinformatics Service°) Please ask for a quote
    BB-DEC-01 Thawing 1 vial and cell viability test 20.00
    BB-DEC-02 Thawing pool of vials (up to 5) from the same sample and cell viability test 50.00
    BB-INVIO Shipment of 1 vial of frozen cells from the Biobank Service (only for Italy) 70.00
    RC-12 Angiogenic activity determination: Endothelial cells tubes formation in Matrigel Please ask for a quote
    RC-13 Angiogenic activity determination: sprouting in aortic rings cultures 350.00
    RC-14 Assessment of endothelial cells function: permeability assay Please ask for a quote
    MB-VIR-01 Assessment of the antiviral activity of different compounds in cellular models Please ask for a quote
    BB-ECC-01 Consultancy/ technical-practical courses/ other services Please ask for a quote

    Some of the services/products offered may be provided with the help of other Services of the LTTA Laboratory.

    *Flow cytometry and Cell sorting
    °Bioinformatics Microarray
    ^Molecular interactions, Biomarkers and Delivery
    §Electronic Microscopy and Digital and Confocal Microscopy

    Images and/or files of each service will be supply for scientific publication purposes.
    Prices are shown without VAT and are subjected to change according to the cost of consumables necessary (every 12 months).