Ana Colette Maurício

University of Porto

Ana Colette Pereira de Castro Osório Maurício has a degree on Veterinary Medicine since 1995, a PhD on Veterinary Sciences since 1999 from Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMV) - Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa) and Habilitation in Veterinary Sciences (ICBAS-UP) since 2011. The PhD experimental work was developed at Instituto Gulbenkian Ciência (IGC) in Oeiras, Portugal, at Freiburg Medicine Faculty in Germany and at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT) from Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL). At the present, she is an Associated Professor with Habilitation, from the Veterinary Clinics Department of Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP), she is the vice-President of the Pedagogic Council of ICBAS – UP. She is a Member of the Scientific Council and Member of the Representatives Council of ICBAS-UP. She is the Director of the Veterinary Sciences Doctoral Program at ICBAS – UP. She is the Scientific Coordinator of Regenerative Medicine and Experimental Surgery sub-unit from Centro de Estudos de Ciência Animal (CECA) of Instituto Instituto de Ciências, Tecnologias e Agroambiente da Universidade do Porto (ICETA). For the past 12 years she coordinates a multidisciplinary research group of Experimental Surgery and Regenerative Medicine, working with several biomaterials and cellular therapies. She started working with embryonic stem cells obtained by somatic nuclear transfer for therapeutic use; with Ian Wilmut´s group (Dolly’s cloned sheep). Several relevant publications had been produced and conducted to a PhD thesis that she co-supervised together with Ian Wilmut and to the first Portuguese cloned animal (R Ribas, B Oback, W Ritchie, T Chebotareva, J Taylor, AC Maurício, M Sousa, I Wilmut, 2006. Cloning and Stem Cells 8(1): 10; R Ribas, J Taylor, C McCorquodale, AC Maurício, M Sousa, I Wilmut, 2006. Biology of Reproduction 74: 307; R Ribas, B Oback, W Ritchie, T Chebotareva, T Ferrier, C Clarke, J Taylor, E Gallagher, AC Maurício, M Sousa, I Wilmut, 2005. Cloning and Stem Cells 7(2): 126). But ethical issues related to the collection and manipulation of human embryonic stem cells, even for therapeutic use is very controversial and understandable. So, more recently the potential of fetal stem cells derived from extra-embryonic tissues has been deeply investigated by her research group. Therefore, a continued effort to identify and characterize novel stem cell populations appears critical for widespread clinical success. This effort implies in vitro studies, experimental surgery and in vivo testing, before the clinical trials and the compassive treatment in such clinical cases where the traditional and standard treatments failed. Her research groups works exactly in this direction, so she created a multidisciplinary team, including Veterinaries, Engineers, Medical Doctors that through Experimental Surgery have a crucial role in the development of biomaterials and cellular therapies, allowing a close share of knowledge between biomaterials design, development of cellular systems, and surgeons needs when related to specific clinical cases. This group has several recent relevant publications in the research areas of nerve, bone, musculoskeletal and vascular tissue regeneration. In her laboratory have been working several PhD and Post-Doctoral students from various countries who have acquired a high level of competence in the study of tissue regeneration. She is the supervisor of several PhD, Post-Doctoral and Master students (16 PhD thesis already concluded with success and 14 PhD thesis on going), she is the co-author of a large number of scientific articles published in Indexed Journals (she publishes as Maurício AC) and of several scientific book chapters. She was the principal researcher of several national and international scientific projects. Editor of three international scientific books, inventor of three international patents.

2books edited

10chapters authored

Latest work with IntechOpen by Ana Colette Maurício

Peripheral nerve injuries are a high-incidence clinical problem that greatly affects patients' quality of life. Despite continuous refinement of microsurgery techniques, peripheral nerve repair still stands as one of the most challenging tasks in neurosurgery, as functional neuromuscular recovery is rarely satisfactory in these patients. Therefore, the improvement of surgical techniques and the clinical application of innovative therapies have been intensively studied worldwide. Direct nerve repair with epineural end-to-end sutures is still the gold standard treatment for severe neurotmesis injuries but only in cases where well-vascularized tension-free coaptation can be achieved. When peripheral nerve injury originates a significant gap between the nerve stumps, nerve grafts are required, with several associated disadvantages. Therefore, the development of scaffolds by tissue engineering can provide efficient treatment alternatives to stimulate optimum clinical outcome. Nerve conduit tailoring involves reaching ideal wall pores, using electrospinning techniques in their fabrication, surface coating with extracellular matrix materials, and adding of growth factors or cell-based therapies, among other possibilities. Also, intraluminal cues are employed such as the filling with hydrogels, inner surface modification, topographical design, and the introduction of neurotrophic factors, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and other pharmacological agents. A comprehensive state of the art of surgical techniques, tissue-engineered nerve graft scaffolds, and their application in nerve regeneration, the advances in peripheral nerve repair and future perspectives will be discussed, including surgeons' and researchers' own large experience in this field of knowledge.

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