Bologna-Ozzano Technopole Rita Levi-Montalcini houses the following laboratories:
- Morphology Laboratory: it studies the distribution of proteins, peptides, trophic factors and receptors in tissues and organs of different animal species, using multiple localization techniques in fluorescence and ABC. It also performs conventional histological stains.
- Cell Biology Laboratory: it works on cell lines and primary cultures of neuronal and glial cells, with a section dedicated to the neural stem cells. The techniques include the use of in vitro systems mimicking the main pathological events of the central nervous system diseases. Moreover, cultures are aimed to study both cell-specific mechanisms and cell-cell or cell-extracellular matrix interactions. This is made possible by the use of pure cultures, containing a single cell type, or co-cultures, biomaterials and specific substrates.
- Laboratory of Advanced Microscopy and Image Analysis (2D, 3D, 4D): it is equipped with the latest static, dynamic imaging and computerized image analysis technologies (4D space-time resolution). Moreover, it includes a cell-based High Content Screening system which allows the automatic analysis of the whole culture samples (hundreds of thousands of cells per experiment).
- Proteomics Laboratory: it is equipped with technologies to analyze proteins by immunochemical methods (Wester Blot; ELISA; xMAP technoloies). They were employed to quantify proteins and peptides panels in the same sample of fluid and organic extracts. The lab is certified to participate in clinical studies and toxicity preclinical studies (Good Laboratory Practice, Health laboratory). An automated instrument to perform ELISA assay allows handling of infectious samples. It also participates in controlled clinical trials (GCP compliant).
- Molecular Biology Laboratory: it analyzes the expression of specific genes or pathway-specific gene sets. The analysis is performed both in situ (RNA scope) and at the tissue level, including microdissected areas and cells, or in cell cultures. It is also aimed at the production of tools for the manipulation of the gene expression. The lab is equipped with automated instrumentations to extract and analyze nucleic acids. The automation allows to standardize the results and avoids potential cross-contaminations.
- Animal Facility: it houses rats and mice (including transgenic mice). It also has its own OPBA (animals’ health internal control system) to allow the submission to the Ministry of Health of the applications for the authorizations to animal testing.
- Microsurgery Laboratory: it creates complex and customized disease models, characterizing the phenotype and temporal evolution. It is equipped with a gas anesthesia system, stereotaxic instrument, “Brain Impactor” and all the related microsurgery tools.
- Animal Behavior Laboratory: it is provided with modern testing technologies for cognitive (learning and memory), sensitive (pain threshold in animals free to move) and motor abilities (sensory-motor coordination, spontaneous locomotion, “gait analysis”) behavior and equipped with video tracking software and automatic analysis.
- NGF research center: it is equipped with the instruments for the extraction of proteins from biological matrices (ÄKTA ™ start protein purification system, Frac30 fraction collector all controlled by the UNICORN START 1.1 software), focusing on extraction Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) extraction, according to the method developed by Dr. Luigi Aloe and Prof. Rita Levi-Montalcini. This will allow the availability of the protein at home, to be used for basic and applied research.
The Technopole project is financed by PR-FESR Emilia-Romagna 2021-2027, Priority 1 – Action 1.1.7, D.G.R. no. 2060/2022