Personalized and precision medicine from the University of Chieti-Pescara at Expo 2020 Dubai

The “Autologous Bone-on-a-chip model in emerging personalized medicine” was presented at the Italian Pavilion. The interview with Prof. Oriana Trubiani, creator of the project


Science is a key tool for addressing the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted in this period of global health emergency. 

Scientific research associated with technological development is essential for improving the quality of life. 

Autologous Bone-on-a-chip model in emerging personalized medicine workshop 

A Italy Pavilion during the "Health & Wellness Week" there thematic week of Expo 2020 Dubai dedicated to health and well-being, as part of the Abruzzo Regional Day, theG. D'Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara promoted the workshop "Autologous Bone-on-a-chip model in emerging personalized medicine"

"Autologous Bone-on-a-chip model in emerging personalized medicine" is a project conceived by Oriana Trubiani, Professor of Histology and Director of the Department of Innovative Technologies in Medicine and Dentistry of the G. D'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara University and by team of the Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of the same University.

Reconstructing bone tissue damaged by aging or disease thanks to technological devices and the use of autologous stem cells could open a new frontier for personalized and precision medicine.

The goal of the “Autologous Bone-on-a-chip model in emerging personalized medicine” project is to develop an autologous bone model “in vitro” using bone-on-a-chip (BoC) applied to personalized medicine.

The system uses autologous oral stem cells and three-dimensional biomaterials, obtained through a 3D printer and enriched with autologous lyophilized secretome.

This innovative system can be used in research aimed both at bone regeneration and in the oncology field.

To find out more, we interviewed the Professor Oriana Trubiani, creator of the project. 

Oriana Trubiani

The University of Chieti-Pescara was the protagonist in the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai with two selected projects, including yours. What are the objectives of your participation and what does this experience represent?

When my University sent the request for a research project to the professors to be presented at the Dubai Expo, I joined immediately because I believe that promoting our activities externally is essential. Moreover, the University must necessarily interface with the outside world to create an osmosis between different situations. This is our mission!

What is personalized medicine and what is your team's research focused on?

My team's research has distant roots, as we have been working with autologous stem cells taken from the oral cavity for about twenty years, as true pioneers of personalized medicine.

The results we obtained with our projects confirmed that we were on the right path: today, in fact, personalized medicine represents an emerging approach that brings together numerous expertise to arrive at specific and individual diagnoses and therapies.

Research team

Can you tell us about the project presented at the Italian Pavilion?

The project concerns the development of a bone tissue starting from oral autologous stem cells and using a three-dimensional multifluidic chip where different cell types can coexist together as in a real artificial organ, representing a personalized in vitro study model.

What could be the future developments?

There are many future developments: first of all the methodology we use, organ-on-a-chip, allows us to overcome animal experimentation, avoiding ethical problems and with significant economic savings. 

Furthermore, it is possible to use this technology of constitution of artificial organs to analyze in vitro the personalized pharmacological response to various pathologies related to age, sex, lifestyles or during the physiological processes of aging.

Scientific research associated with technological development is essential for improving the quality of life. How do you carry out this combination in your research?

The advent of new technologies has radically changed the figure of the researcher. It is essential not only to bring together different professional figures such as doctors, biotechnologists, bioengineers, even from different institutions, to obtain emerging and significant results.

This is the mission of our University and in fact, gathering the input of my Rector, Prof. Sergio Caputi, we have established a specific doctorate in Innovative Technologies in Clinical Medicine & Dentistry which I currently coordinate. 

What are the next projects that you will dedicate yourself to together with your team?

We will continue to work together with other researchers on our lines of research focused on regenerative and personalized medicine.

She is a woman and has chosen a career in science ...

I fell in love with biomedical research when as a student I attended the laboratories and lectures at the Sapienza University of Rome.

Since then I have never departed from this path and despite the obstacles I have always found it very rewarding. 


What was your path?

My path can be summarized in a degree in Medicine, a long period of work in the laboratories of the National Research Council.

Finally my role at the University as a lecturer in Histology.

Do you think that enough is being done in our country to encourage girls to choose science subjects? 

As a delegate of my university's Orientation, I believe that a lot of work still needs to be done on this issue, even if the landscape is changing rapidly. 

Many girls do not undertake scientific studies, so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), not because they are not suitable but only because they are not well informed.

Moreover, the indications of the minister Maria Cristina Messa lead us to start orientation courses already from the first grades of secondary schools.

I believe that this is strategic precisely to make our girls understand their own scientific aptitudes to follow them without fear.