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Dr. Giuliano Mazzini

Main research line is the development of fluorescent staining for quantitative cytochemistry and flow cytometry. Fluorescence histochemistry had been  the "mile-stone" in the "story" of the CNR-Centre even if nowadays histo has been largely replaced by cellsand molecules. Quantitative  aspect of cytochemistry had been also a foundamental research theme of the Centre. Among the various cell components considered and studied, the DNA had been and still is in focus, in both basic and applied research programs. Since many decades DNA quantitation had been the main data, useful to understand many biological phenomena, including cell proliferation, cell death (apoptosis), malignant transformation and related radio-chemo treatments. A great methodological/instrumental development know-how, very well established at international level, had always characterized the research group.



In the recent past flow cytometry (FC) has played an important role in cell biology and consequently part of our research has been addressed in this direction. The unbeatable  analytical performance of FC in the area of cell proliferation has stimulated our methodological research towards new multicolor labeling procedures. DNA remained the central data in combination with other morpho-functional cell targets able to track specific cell moments (quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, death,…..). The methodological research of course include the study of new fluorochromes as well as the best condition of labeling. The color-combination of multiparametric FC is limited by the spectral properties of the potential dyes. Researches are in progress on the new generation of fluorochromes (Quantum Dots) in order to verify their practical performances. Preliminary results are not as "brilliant" as they should be!



As far as instrumental researches are concerned, important results has been obtained in both fluorescence microscopy and FC by the introduction of the new solid state illuminators (high power LED) as excitation source. The results are quite brilliant!!

Finally, besides cell analyses, our activity deals with cell capture and separation particularly in the area of the so called "rare events detection" (e.g. epithelial cell and endothelial cell circulating in blood of cancer patients). Newly developed approaches based on the use of magnetic beads (for cell surface targets) and nano-particles (intra-cell labeling) and a proper capture-chamber allow the detection of the above described cell subpopulations.

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