Regenerative medicine, the BioRobotics Institute of the Sant'Anna School tests a new therapy based on ultrasonic stimulation to achieve anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages, the cells of the immune system
A new therapy based on ultrasonic stimulation is able to achieve anti-inflammatory effects on human macrophages and thus more effectively combat diseases in which chronic inflammation plays a major role. This is the main result of a study published in the journal APL Bioengineering and conducted by the BioRobotics Institute of the Sant’Anna School together with two companies producing medical devices, BAC Technology (Italy) and Image Guided Therapy (France). The research was carried out as part of the European project ADMAIORA (ADvanced nanocomposite MAterIals fOr in situ treatment and ultRAsound-mediated management of osteoarthritis), focusing on the treatment of osteoarthritis, coordinated by Prof. Leonardo Ricotti.
“The results could provide a solid basis for future clinical treatments of pathologies in which chronic inflammation plays an important role, such as osteoarthritis and polyneuropathies,' says Andrea Cafarelli, assistant professor at the BioRobotics Institute and at the ADMAIORA project on non-invasive stimulation technologies using ultrasound.
Ultrasonic stimulation to enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of macrophages
The control of inflammation represents a critical issue in several diseases such as cancer, peripheral polyneuropathies and osteoarthritis. Currently, anti-inflammatory drugs are not always satisfactory and can cause harmful side effects for the patient.
In order to trigger an immune response in the human body following inflammation, the first to intervene are the macrophages, the cells of the immune system that give rise to inflammatory signals underlying the immune response.
“In our study” comments Francesco Iacoponi, PhD student at the BioRobotics Institute and first author of the paper, “we investigated the bioeffects of a safe therapy consisting of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound. The study allows us to understand the best parameters that lower the inflammation induced on macrophages. We have used an in vitro ultrasound stimulation system developed in our laboratory, which allows controlled stimulation of the biological sample”.
Ultrasonic stimulation to combat chronic inflammation
The results of the study, a collaboration between Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, BAC Technology and Image Guided Therapy, could provide a solid basis for future clinical treatments aimed at reducing inflammation in specific areas of the body.
Francesco Iacoponi, Andrea Cafarelli, Francesco Fontana, Tiziano Pratellesi, Erik Dumont, Ivana Barravecchia, Debora Angeloni, Leonardo Ricotti, ‘Optimal low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation for promoting anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages’, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, Department of Excellence in Robotics & AI, Italy, BAC Technology s.r.l., Italy, Image Guided Therapy, France