Dialybrid was born in August 2020 from the strategic-financial partnership between LIFTT, the investment operating company founded by Fondazione Compagnia Di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino, and Bioengineering Laboratories S.r.l. (“BEL“), a medical device company controlled by the Delta Med group and its founder Francesco Greco.
The company aims at developing and commercializing novel arteriovenous vascular grafts for hemodialysis, based on the proprietary innovative technology named Silkothane®, a hybrid material combining silk fibroin and polyurethane.
Dialybrid harvests the ten-years’ experience of BEL in research and development concerning advanced, bio-hybrid materials for novel medical devices. The newborn company features an agile and flexible organizational chart, counting on BEL’s expertise as regards technical and regulatory matters, as well as on LIFTT for project management and further fund raising.
Dialybrid inherits the R&D experience of Bioengineering Laboratories Srl in relation to Advanced Materials, with the aim of developing a novel semi-degradable vascular access for hemodialysis, based on silk fibroin and polyurethane (an innovative material called Silkothane®).
Chief Executive Officer
Francesco Greco is CEO of Dialybrid. Founder and CEO of BEL since 2001, Francesco is an experienced entrepreneur, and a pioneer of Biomedical Engineering in Italy. Graduated at Politecnico di Milano in 1982, he has worked for several Italian leading companies in the field of disposable medical devices, and he has founded and led two companies in the same field: Medical Technology (1989) and Bioengineering Laboratories (2001) – BEL. Driven by an incessant passion for innovation, Francesco is (co-)inventor of around 20 patent applications, and he has contributed to bring to the market several product lines such as urodynamics catheters and hemodialysis catheters. Characterized by relentless tension towards renovation, through his companies Francesco has invested substantial resources in highly skilled human resources for the development of advanced, nanostructured materials, made of natural and synthetic polymers, such as Silkothane®. He is co-inventor of the patent application at the basis of Dialybrid’s technology.
Stefania Riboldi is Project Coordinator at Dialybrid. R&D Manager at BEL from 2008 to 2020, Stefania got a degree with honour in Biomedical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Tissue Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, with internships at the Department of Materials/Polymers of ETH Zürich. Her academic research focused on the development of novel scaffolds and bioreactors for tissue engineering, specifically as regards polyurethanes and the electrospinning technology. At BEL, she dedicated herself to the strategic and operational development of business activities, and to the translation of research ideas into products. In 2012 and 2016 her passion for innovation resulted in the co-inventor-ship of two patent applications in the field of Regenerative Medicine, one of which is at the basis of Dialybrid’s innovative vascular access for hemodialysis. She authored more than 10 scientific papers published on international peer-reviewed journals.
Alice Caldiroli is Product Development Manager at Dialybrid. She got a degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2020, accomplishing her Master thesis in collaboration with Bioengineering Laboratories Srl (BEL). Her work focused on the manufacturing and the mechanical and morphological characterization of vascular prostheses composed of electrospun Silkothane®, the hybrid material at the basis of Dialybrid’s innovative technology for hemodialysis. After graduating, Alice continued her research on Silkothane® at Bioengineering Laboratories on both medium and small caliber grafts, which resulted in two journal publications and congress presentations. Since 2022, Alice is part of Dialybrid’s team being involved in the crucial translational phase that will lead Silkothane® products from basic research to industrialization.
Mattia Spandri is Production Engineer at Dialybrid. He got a bachelor’s degree in Health Technology Engineering at the University of Bergamo in 2019, accomplishing a thesis work with an internship at Bioengineering Laboratories Srl (BEL), where he focused on the development of polyurethane and fibroin-polyurethane membranes for cell culture as well as committed to learning and improving the electrospinning technique. In 2019, he was in charge of prototyping vascular grafts for an animal study conducted by BEL. Since 2021, he collaborates with Dialybrid at the manufacturing and industrialization of Silkothane® products.
Cristina Oldani is R&D Engineer at Dialybrid. She got a degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2021, accomplishing her Master thesis in collaboration with Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). Her work concerned producing and characterizing microgels made of silk fibroin, the same material that constitutes the core of Dialybrid’s technology. After graduating, Cristina started an internship at the R&D department of Tissium, a French biomedical company that develops devices for nerve regeneration. In 2022, Cristina joined the Dialybrid’s team and concurrently started a Bioengineering Executive Ph.D. program at Politecnico di Milano, sponsored by the company. Her role, halfway between Dialybrid and university, is to contribute to the basic research involved in validating the Silkothane® products and their translation to the market.
Consultant & Scientific Advisor
Valentina Catto is Consultant and Scientific Advisor at Dialybrid. Valentina got a degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Tissue Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, with an internship in David Kaplan’s laboratory at Tufts University (one of the most renowned centres worldwide as to silk fibroin processing and characterization). After discussing with honour her Ph.D. thesis entitled “Silk fibroin single-layer and two-layer tubular scaffolds for small diameter blood vessel regeneration”, she spent a short period at Politecnico di Milano working on design, fabrication and characterization of composite scaffolds made of silk fibroin and polyurethane for tracheal regeneration, and she co-authored two scientific publications related to silk fibroin vascular grafts. Currently Research Assistant at Centro Cardiologico Monzino, she is in charge of design, preparation and submission of clinical trials’ applications. She worked as an external consultant for BEL since June 2014, in the context of collaborative projects, supporting the team in the design, development and characterization of fibroin-based vascular grafts. She is co-inventor of the patent application at the basis of Dialybrid’s technology.
Scientific Advisory Board
Matteo Tozzi graduated cum laude in Medicine and Surgery at the University “La Sapienza” of Rome in 2001, Dr. Tozzi specialized cum laude in Vascular Surgery in 2006 at the University of Insubria, Varese. Since 2014, he is Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery at the same University. He is Director of the Research Center for the Study and Application of New Technologies in Vascular Surgery and of the Research Center for the Study and Development of Organ Transplants at the University of Insubria since October 2017. Dr. Tozzi is member of SICVE – Società Italiana di Chirurgia Vascolare ed Endovascolare, member of the Council of VAS – Vascular Access Society, and author of several scientific publications in the vascular and vascular accesses field. Of note, he is one of the major experts in Italy as regards early-cannulation grafts for hemodialysis.
Luciano Carbonari graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ancona in 1980, Dr. Carbonari specialized in General Surgery in 1985 and in Vascular Surgery in 1997 at the same University. He worked as Medical Director of the Vascular Surgery Unit at Ospedali Riuniti of Ancona from 1993 to 2006, and since then he is Head of the same Unit. Since 2000 he is in charge of the regional center for vascular access in the Marche Region and collaborator of the study group of the Italian Society of Nephrology. Also Responsible for the Management of his Unit since 2003, Luciano served as medical consultant for Bioengineering Laboratories as regards hemodialysis vascular accesses from 2015 to 2020. He is member of the Italian Society of Vascular Surgery and of the European Society for Vascular Surgery and he is author and co-author of several scientific publications in the vascular field.
Franco Galli graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Pavia in 1973, Dr. Galli specialized in Biomedical Technologies at the University of Bologna in 1992. He worked as Medical Director at the Division of Nephrology and Dialysis of the S. Maugeri Foundation in Pavia from 1974 to 2009 and he was Head of Vascular Access Surgery for Hemodialysis at this Division from 2000 to 2009. Consultant for Bioengineering Laboratories Srl since 2001, Franco Galli is member of the Italian Society of Nephrology (SIN), member of the Vascular Access Society (VAS), member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Vascular Access – SAGE, Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nephrological and Dialytic Techniques – SAGE. He is author and co-author of numerous scientific publications in the nephrological field.
Awards & Achievements
Termis Business Plan competition
The Dialybrid project was awarded the second prize at the Business Plan Competition of the 5th World Congress of TERMIS – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society in September 2018 (Kyoto, Japan, www.termis.org/wc2018). Dialybrid’s business plan and presentation pitch focused on SAG (Silkothane® Arteriovenous Graft), aimed at revolutionizing the world of hemodialysis with a novel, hybrid vascular access made of Silkothane®.