Dr Marco Cantini
- Lecturer in Medical Applications of Engineering Materials (Biomedical Engineering)
In 2004 I received my Bachelor and in 2006 my Master degree in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino in Italy, with full marks and honours. I then graduated from the school for young talents Alta Scuola Politecnica in 2007.
Between 2007 and 2010 I pursued a PhD in Biomedical and Biomechanical Engineering through a joint PhD program (Scuola Interpolitecnica) of the three Italian Technical Universities. I then held post-doctoral researcher positions at the Universitat Politècnica de València and at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Spain, focussing my interest on the modulation of cell-protein-material interactions to control cell fate.
In 2013, I moved to the University of Glasgow, where I have been working on material-based strategies to engineer tissue repair and regeneration as a Research Associate in the Microenvironments for Medicine group led by Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez.
My work, based at the Advanced Research Centre of the University of Glasgow, is carried out within the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment, a cross-college multidisciplinary initiative of the University, and the Acellular/Smart Materials Hub of the UKRMP.
My current research seeks to engineer microenvironments, based on dynamic biointerfaces and viscoelastic hydrogels, to harvest cell response to viscosity and viscoelasticity. Besides facilitating our understanding of the mechanotransductive mechanisms involved in the cell's interpretation of these mechanical cues, this work is instructing the design of advanced smart materials for the regulation of stem cell fate, for example for their chondrogenic differentiation for cartilage repair, or as in vitro models of healthy or pathological tissues.
My general research interests include the design of advanced materials that simulate the spatio-temporal cues of the extracellular matrix in both physiological and pathological conditions, for applications in regenerative medicine, drug testing and understanding of disease mechanisms. I'm also interested in protein adsorption at the cell-material interface, surface modification to control cell adhesion and differentiation, and atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy.
Sprott, M. R. , Gallego-Ferrer, G., Dalby, M. J. , Salmeron-Sanchez, M. and Cantini, M. (2019) Functionalisation of PLLA with polymer brushes to trigger the assembly of fibronectin into nanonetworks. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 8(3), 1801469. (doi: 10.1002/adhm.201801469) (PMID:30609243)
Bennett, M., Cantini, M. , Reboud, J. , Cooper, J. M. , Roca-Cusachs, P. and Salmeron-Sanchez, M. (2018) Molecular clutch drives cell response to surface viscosity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(6), pp. 1192-1197. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710653115) (PMID:29358406)
Ngandu Mpoyi, E., Cantini, M. , Reynolds, P. M. , Gadegaard, N. , Dalby, M. J. and Salmerón-Sánchez, M. (2016) Protein adsorption as a key mediator in the nanotopographical control of cell behavior. ACS Nano, 10(7), pp. 6638-6647. (doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b01649) (PMID:27391047) (PMCID:PMC4980054)
Llopis-Hernández, V. , Cantini, M. , González-García, C., Cheng, Z. A., Yang, J., Tsimbouri, P. M. , García, A. J., Dalby, M. J. and Salmerón-Sánchez, M. (2016) Material-driven fibronectin assembly for high-efficiency presentation of growth factors. Science Advances, 2(8), e1600188. (doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600188) (PMID:27574702) (PMCID:PMC5001810)
- The Royal Society (UK), Research Grants 2023, Harnessing viscoelasticity for regenerative medicine, RGS/R1/231400, 2023-2024, £70k
- Medical Research Council (UK), UKRI Innovation/Rutherford Fund Fellowship, Engineered microenvironments to harvest stem cell response to viscosity for cartilage repair, MR/S005412/1, 2018-2022, £600k
- Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (Italy), Doctoral Scolarship, Design of a dynamic culture system for the in vitro mimicry of the bone marrow microenvironment, 2007-2009, €45k
- Matthew Walker (Viscoelastic hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering, 2019-2022)
- Finlay Cunniffe (Viscoelasticity in the integrin-growth factor crosstalk, expected 2026)
- Eonan William Pringle (Dissipative microenvironments to understand cell response to viscosity, expected 2024)
- Dora Rogkoti (Modelling the bone marrow niche to study and predict tumourigenicity, expected 2025)
- Giuseppe Ciccone (Interplay between matrix geometry and viscoelasticity, expected 2024)
- Eva Barcelona-Estaje (Engineering surface mobility to control stem cell differentiation, 2017-2022)
- Vassilis Papalazarou (Bioengineering microenvironments for pancreatic cancer cell invasion, 2015-2019)
- Mark Sprott (Synergistic microenvironments to control stem cell fate, 2015-2019)
- Mark Bennett (Mobility dependent cellular behaviour on supported lipid bilayers, 2014-2018)
- Elie Ngandu Mpoyi (Engineering biointerfaces to reveal collagen IV disease mechanisms, 2014-2017)
- Frankie Vanterpool (Deconstructing the tumour microenvironment: the role of fibronectin, 2013-2017)
- Eleni Grigoriou (Graded organisation of fibronectin to tune cell behaviour, 2013-2017)
- Fatma Bathawab (Engineering surface mobility to direct stem cell fate, 2013-2017)
PhD students contacts:
- Cunniffe, Finlay
Harnessing Viscoelasticity for Regenerative Medicine
- Biomechanics 3/M (ENG3084/ENG5287)
- Biomedical Engineering Skills 3 (ENG3090)
- Biomedical Engineering Skills 2 (ENG2012)