Interview with Gabriele Di Napoli: Brighter’s PhD student at Cellendes

Brighter is a European Project that brings together different academic and industrial partners to develop a new 3D bioprinting technology able to produce human tissues at high speed and with high spatial resolution. This innovative technology is based on light-sheet lithography and an original top-down approach.

Gabriele Di Napoli is a Chemical Technical Assistant in the frame of Brighter Project working at Cellendes. He has a degree as a Chemical Engineer and for the last years he has been applying his knowledge in biomedicine, in the study of tumours or Parkinson’s disease. Now he joined Brighter Project to the develop and prepare photo-crosslinkable hydrogels and study their compatibility with cell culture. You can check here a short video where he briefly shows one of the experiments he usually performs in the lab., and an interview where he explains in more detail some aspects of his professional profile and his role in Brighter project. Enjoy it!

Can you describe yourself in a couple of lines?

Hi, my name is Gabriele Di Napoli, I come, like the name says, from Naples, Italy. I have a degree as a Chemical Engineer. I have been studying Chemistry at the university for two years and after that I started to work at the National Council of Research (CNR) in Naples. In the first year I have been involved in the study of the angiogenesis in tumor development and then I moved to another group studying mouse embryonic stem cells. After 6 years I moved to Tübingen for working for 2 years in a group involved in the study of Parkinson´s disease using iPSCs. Now it has been almost 2 years that I am working at Cellendes as Chemical Technical Assistant.

What is your role/position within Brighter?

I am involved in the study, development and preparation of photo-crosslinkable hydrogels, including their compatibility with cell culture.

Could you tell us a little bit about the concrete work you’re involved in inside Brighter project?

I do the chemical modification of polymers, and the evaluation of the chemical/physical properties using methods like HPLC, spectrophotometry or rheology.

What are the expected results?

We are working towards getting cell-compatible hydrogels that can be formed by light illumination and that can be modified according to the need of different cell types. Another aspect of our work is to make sure that the cells don’t sink to the bottom during the set up of the hydrogels. We also would like to be sure that the set up of the hydrogels is simple and robust enough to enable our project partners to use them safely and reliably.

What is the expected impact of the work you’re doing?

In my opinion this project will provide many interesting results which could be very useful for the scientific community. It is important to be able to fabricate spatially and chemically highly defined bioprinted hydrogels to have better tools to study tissue organization and development. It is almost equally important to communicate the results properly to make sure that this development will be continued in the future.

How do you feel about being a part of this European Project?

Working with different groups around Europe is exciting. For me it is important to have contact with the other partners, to collaborate with them on different experiments and to compare or confirm the results. Furthermore, it is very interesting to get to know people from different corners of Europe and to see how they work.