Collhear Project

Conductive hearing loss, due to traumas or pathologies of the middle ear, affects more than 5% of the population worldwide and more than 15% of the elderly. COLLHEAR (3D printed COLLagen type I-Hydroxyapatite prostheses for the middle EAR) aims at giving a contribution by developing a new generation of 3D-printed biocompatible middle-ear micro-prostheses through an interdisciplinary approach involving material science, engineering, and tissue engineering. This bioengineering and clinical subject is strongly related to the current European Community priorities: indeed it is a fact that by living in a world basing upon communication, any hearing impairments can be considered a relevant obstacle in human relations that can lead to isolation and depression.

BUDGET: € 244.269,00
PERIOD: Jul 2018 - Jul 2021
MSCA FELLOW: Dr. Mario Milazzo
SUPERVISOR: Prof. Cesare Stefanini
PARTNER ORGANIZATION: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Short CV of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow

Dr. Mario Milazzo graduated in 2010 in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pisa (Pisa, Italy) and received his PhD in BioRobotics in 2016 at the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy) working in the micro-prosthetics field. His research interests cover a large number of fields: multiscale modeling, mechanics of acoustics, biomaterials, mechatronics, and industrial robotics. He has been working, as Visiting Scientist, at Columbia University (New York, NY USA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA). He currently holds two appointments with Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been recipient of the 3-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF-GF) in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), University of Antwerp (Belgium), Tufts University (USA), Massachusetts Eye&Ear (USA) and University of Pisa (Italy). He has co-authored 25+ papers on international journals, 2 book chapters, 9 patents, and 24 contributions to national/international conferences and workshops, serving also as an invited and keynote speaker. He has been co-organizer/co-chair of the symposium entitled: “Frontiers in Biocomposites for Cell Modulation” at the AM-Termis Conference (2019, Orlando (FL), USA). Currently, he is serving as a reviewer for 20+ international journals and as a guest editor in the Special Issue “New Frontiers for Bioactive Biomedical Polymers”, Polymers (MDPI). In parallel to the academic activity, he has been involved, both as a Project Manager and Team Leader, in several projects and collaborations with national and international companies (e.g., Ge Oil&Gas, Brembo, Magneti Marelli, Piaggio).


Papers on ISI Journals (available on or open access)

  • Milazzo, M., Gallone, G., Marcello, E., Mariniello, M. D., Bruschini, L., Roy, I., & Danti, S. (2020). Biodegradable Polymeric Micro/Nano-Structures with Intrinsic Antifouling/Antimicrobial Properties: Relevance in Damaged Skin and Other Biomedical Applications. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 11(3), 60. doi: 10.3390/jfb11030060;
  • Milazzo, M., Jung, G. S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M. J. (2020). Mechanics of Mineralized Collagen Fibrils upon Transient Loads. ACS Nano, 14(7), 8307-8316. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c02180;
  • Milazzo, M., Jung, G. S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M. J. (2020). Wave propagation and energy dissipation in collagen molecules. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. doi:10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b01742;
  • Milazzo, M., Muyshondt, P. G., Carstensen, J., Dirckx, J. J., Danti, S., & Buehler, M. J. (2019). De novo topology optimization of total ossicular replacement prostheses. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 103541. doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.103541;
  • Milazzo, M., Contessi Negrini, N., Scialla, S., Marelli, B., Farè, S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M. J. (2019). Additive Manufacturing Approaches for Hydroxyapatite‐Reinforced Composites. Advanced Functional Materials, 29(35), 1903055. doi:10.1002/adfm.201903055;

Book Chapter

  • Milazzo, M., Libonati, F., Zhou, S., Guo, K., & Buehler M.J., (2020). “Biomimicry for natural and hybrid composites and the use of machine learning in hierarchical design” in “Biomimicry for Materials, Design and Architecture (Habitats): Innovations and Applications”. Elsevier. Accepted


Participation to national/international conferences

  • Milazzo, M., Motallebzadeh, H., Tubelli, A., & Puria, S. (2021). Non-Invasive Measures of the Efficiency of Middle-Ear Prosthesis Placement and Length. ARO – 44nd Annual MidWinter Meeting, Feb. 20 - 24, 2021. Virtual Conference (ex Orlando (FL), USA). Poster - Submitted
  • Milazzo, M., (2020). Viscoelasticity in collagen-based materials: a Molecular Dynamics Study. 5th Healthcare & Life Science & Entrepreneurship #Workshop". Sep. 3 – 4. Pisa, Italy. Invited Speaker
  • Milazzo, M., David, A., Jung, G.S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M.J. (2020). Investigating the viscoelastic behavior of collagen fibrils via atomics scale modeling.2020 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit, Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2020. Virtual Conference. (ex Boston (MA), USA). Oral - Accepted
  • Milazzo, M., Jung, G.S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M.J. (2020). Wave propagation and energy dissipation along collagen peptides: new insight for bioinspired tissue regeneration. 11th World Biomaterials Congress, Dec. 11 - 16, 2020. Virtual Conference. (ex Glasgow, Scotland, UK). Oral - Accepted
  • Milazzo, M., Muyshondt, P.G.G., Carstensen, J., Dirckx, J.J.J., Danti, S., & Buehler, M.J. (2020). Computational Optimization of Total Ossicular Replacement Prosthesis Shape. ARO – 43rd Annual MidWinter Meeting, Jan. 24 - 28, 2020. San Josè (CA), USA. Poster
  • Milazzo, M., Danti, S., & Buehler, M.J. (2019). Modeling Collagen Type 1/Hydroxyapatite Structures for Middle Ear Prosthetics. AM-Termis, Dec. 2 - 5, 2019. Orlando (FL), USA. Poster
  • Milazzo, M., Jung, G.S., Danti, S., & Buehler, M.J. (2019). Mechanical energy transmission in collagen segments. 2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit, Dec. 1 - 6, 2019. Boston (MA), USA. Oral
  • Milazzo, M. (2019). Hydroxyapatite and Prosthetics. International Day of Table of Elements 2019 sponsored by UNESCO. Latina, Italy. Keynote speaker
  • Milazzo, M., Danti, S., Buehler, M.J., & Stefanini, C. (2019). Multiscale Modelling Approaches and Advanced Manufacturing Techniques for a New Generation of Biocompatible Middle Ear Prostheses. ARO – 42nd Annual MidWinter Meeting, Feb. 9 - 13, 2019. Baltimore (MD), USA. Poster
  • Milazzo, M. (2018) “Additive Manufacturing for Bio-Composites: new challenges and opportunities for tissue engineering". Symposium on Additive Manufacturing and Innovative Technologies. Sept. 27-28, 2018. Steyr, Austria. Keynote speaker

Invited Seminar

  • Fowler Lab, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States of America – “Wave propagation and energy dissipation in collagen molecules”
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL, United States of America – “BioRobotics and Materiomics: tools and approaches for scientific and technologic advancements”.
  • Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States of America – “Multiscale modeling for collagenous and bone tissues for middle ear prosthetics”
  • Salzburg Center for Smart Materials, Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria – “Biomateriomics at the Nexus of Sound and Matter”
  • Dept. of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy – “Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions: research opportunities for young researchers from the European Commission -Tips, tricks and personal experiences”
  • The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Pontedera, Italy – “Research opportunities for young researchers from the European Commission-Tips, tricks and personal experiences”

Organizer/Chair At Conferences

  • Danti, S., Chew, S. A., Milazzo, M., (2019). Co-organizer/Co-chair for the symposium entitled: “Frontiers in Biocomposites for Cell Modulation” at the AM-Termis, Dec. 2 - 5, 2019. Orlando (FL), USA.