Nowadays, acute and chronic respiratory diseases (such as, pulmonary emphysema and fibrosis) are more and more widespread, due to life style (e.g. cigarette smoke) and the increasing urban pollution, and these represent the third cause of death after tumours and cardio-circulatory diseases, thus inducing relevant sociomedical problems. Normal pulmonary stem cells offer a novel opportunity in regenerative medicine for clinical applications in the treatment of chronic degenerative diseases, including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The STAMINAL Project supports the on-going studies for biomolecular characterization of proliferation and differentiation of tumour's and IPF's pulmonary stem cells. In particular, the Project aims at developing a tool for automatic culture analysis of normal or aberrant (tumours' or IPF's) pulmonary stem cells. The possibility to monitor and to assess cell cultures enriched with normal pulmonary stem cells through common microscope inspections without any intervention by operators would allow the stem cells to be employed for grafting in the keeping of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) rules. The project has been partly funded by the Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori - IRST (The Cancer Institute of Romagna).
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