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  RESEARCH ACTIVITY > Laboratory of Human Morphology “Luigi Cattaneo”, Varese  
Laboratory of Human Morphology “Luigi Cattaneo”, Varese
Research Group

Medical Faculty, Insubria University
Department of Surgical & Morphological Sciences - Lab.of Human Morphology
Via Monte Generoso, 71 - 21100 Varese - Italy

Background and specific aims

Even before the foundation of the research group, its members have been active in the study of the macromolecules of the extracellular matrix: the inner structure of collagen fibrils, the fibrillogenesis process, the functional role of proteogycans and their interaction with collagen, the ultrastructure of tendons, sheaths, bone and blood vessels.

Research projects

Current research projects still focus on the structure of collagen fibrils, the structure and function of the interstitial extracellular matrix, the ultrastructure and diagenesis of bone and calcified tissues.

Facilities and equipment


Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy. All techniques of staining, digestion and dissection of the specimens.

Facilities and equipment:

PFM Slide 2002 Microtome

RMC MT-XL Ultramicrotome

Emitech K550 Sputter/Coater w/ K250 Carbon Evaporator

Polaron CPD 7501 Critical Point Dryer

Nikon Eclipse E600 Optical Microscope with Nikon DS-5M CCD Camera

FEI XL30-FEG Field Effect Scanning Electron Microscope

EDAX Sirion 200/400 dispersive X-ray spectroscopy attachment

Digital Instruments MultiMode/Nanoscope IIIa Atomic Force Microscope


Figure 1 Stereo SEM picture of the canalicular network emerging from osteocytes. Corrosion casting of the cellular spaces with selective removal of the bone matrix. Anaglyphic red/cyan picture, red on left eye.

Figure 2 Phase modulation Atomic Force micrograph of a collagen film obtained by solvent casting. Ordered fibril-like tactoids with a distinctive 67 nm banding emerge from a background of random tangled collagen molecules.

Recent pubblications
Different sialoside epitopes on collagen film surfaces direct mesenchymal stem cell fate. - Sgambato A., Russo L., Montesi M. Panseri S., Marcacci M., Caravā E., Raspanti M., Cipolla L. - Materials & Interfaces 8(24), 14952-14957 ( 2016 )
The application of heat-deproteinization to the morphological study of cortical bone: A contribution to the knowledge of the osteonal structure. - Pazzaglia UE, Congiu T, Basso P, Alessandri I, Cucca L, Raspanti M. - Microsc Res Tech. 2016 Jun 10. doi: 10.1002/jemt.22686 ( 2016 )
The Collaggrecan: Synthesis and Visualization of an Artificial Proteoglycan - Raspanti M., Caravā E., Sgambato A., Natalello A., Russo L., Cipolla L. - Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 86, 65-70 ( 2016 )

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Last update: january 08th 2017 h 14:13
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