1996 Degree in Biological Sciences, University of Padova (Italy), summa cum laude

1996-2000 Research fellowship at University of Padova, Institute of Histology, Italy for the study of in vitro reconstruciotn of skin and cartilage

2000-2004 PhD-on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, Padova University

2004-2010 Post-doctoral fellow in Stem cell and regenerative medicine, at Hystology, Microbiology and Biomedical Technology, Padova University

2010-present Assitant Professor of Histology in the School of Medicine, University of Padova

Zavan Barbara, is Assistant Professor of Hystology and head of Tissue Engineering and regenerative laboratory at Biomedical Sciences Department of Padova University (Italy). Dr. Zavan received her Ph.D. in Tissue Enginering and regenerative medicine from Padova University, and completed postdoctoral training in stem cell biology at Padova University. Dr. Zavan’ research seeks to understand how changes in stem cell activity impact tissue homeostasis and repair throughout life and to identify systemic molecules or surfaced modification are responsible for regulation of regenerative potential. Her scientific activity is reppresented by several indexed pubblication books chapter mailny focused on tissue engineering and stem cells. She is a member of scientific society such as: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society IS and American Nano Society American Nano Society. She is editorial board of Recent patent on nanotechnologies; The Scientific World JOURNAL (as part of the journal's Tissue Engineering Domain); Journal of Biosciences and Medicines (JBM).

Dr. Zavan research activities have focused for many years on tissue engineering by means several biomaterials as scaffold for the creation of in vitro artificial tissue such as: skin, cartilage, bone. “Smart scaffold” biomaterials are comprised of hyaluronan derivatives, namely the benzyl ester of this extracellular polysaccharide, collagene based sponge-granules, matrices etc. All these scaffolds are highly biocompatible and when placed inside the human body, do not elicit any adverse reactions and are resorbed by the host tissues.

Dr. Zavan applied a multidisciplinary approaches with the aim to improve regenerative medicine strategies for the clinical applications:

  1. Biomaterials as scaffolds for in vivo regeneration of:
    • vessels (vein, artery)
    • bone
    • cartilage
    • skin
    • dental pulp
  2. Use of adult cells and stem cell:
    • human dermal fibroblasts: able to attach to the biomaterial fibers, proliferate, colonize the entire device, and secreted the main extracellular molecules (collagen type I, III and IV, laminin, fibronectin) giving rise to a dermal-like tissue;
    • keratinocytes able to give rise a complete skin equivalent when they are in vitro cultured onto this dermal substitute,
    • endothelial cells seeded into this in vitro reconstructed connective tissue are able to proliferate and organize themselves into microcapillary structures;
    • chondrocytes were cultured inside non-woven Hyaff™ (Hyaluronic benzilic ester, FIDIA Abano Terme) scaffolds, are able to generate clusters of proliferating chondrogenic cells that produce type II collagen and proteoglycans were obtained.
    • Hepatocytes and pancreatic cells
    • Schwann cells: periphelar nerve reconstruction
    • Adult Stem Cells from fetal tissue (amios),
    • Adult Stem cells from adult tissue such as skin, bone marrow, adipose tissue, dental pulp able to differentiate to several cell line including: bone, cartilage, adipose tissue, muscle tissue, nerve.
    • Use of Adult stem cells as tool for the treatment of tumor.

The in vitro reconstructed of dermal substitutes and cartilage like tissue obtained by culturing the patient own fibroblasts/chondrocytes into a 3D Hyaluronan based scaffolds, are routinely used in the clinical practice in many hospital or the treatment of skin/cartilage lesion.



The laboratory of Dott.ssa Zavan is located in the "Vallisneri Building", a large pluridepartimental complex at the University of Padua. Many facilities are located in this structure including a transmission electron microscopy center, library, animal housing and computer and information systems center. Animal house is authorised by the Italian Ministry of Health to host rats, mice, nude mice, rabbit, xenopus, fishes, pigs, spheeps and it is equipped with operating theatres, microinection rooms, transgenic animal rooms.

The lab is equipped with several sterile laminar flow hoods, three CO2 thermostatic incubators and light microscopy equipped with fluorescence and contrast phase apparati. All the equipment necessary for morphological analyses with routine and immunohistochemical staining is available. Equipment for molecular biology analyses such as real time PCR apparatus, scanner Agilent for CGH, snp and gene expression array are also available in the lab.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 
"Role and Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Regenerative Medicine"

Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
"The Power of Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells "

  • EU FP7
  • University of Padova
  • Regione Veneto
  • Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto
  • Fidia Pharma
  • Therenson
  • Geislich Pharma Group
  • ITS group
  • Sweden and Martina
  • Botiss