The Martino group is focused on combining knowledge of immunology, stem cells, and bioengineering, to understand how the immune system modulates tissue repair and regeneration. By leveraging discoveries from the lab, the group aims to engineer effective strategies for repairing and ideally regenerating damaged tissues.


To make regenerative therapies a more widespread reality, we must better understand the interactions between the multiple actors that shape a regenerative microenvironment. In particular, tissue injury is generally associated with the activation of our immune system, which is a key regulator of the healing response. For example, excessive inflammation often leads to scarring/fibrosis and loss of functions. In addition, our immune system most likely affects the regenerative capacities of transplanted stem cells and pro-regenerative molecules such as growth factors.

The primary goal of the group is to reveal mechanisms by which the immune system modulates tissue repair and regeneration, by using genetically modified and chimeric mice. Several types of tissues, including bone, muscle, and skin are used as models. 

Ultimately, the group aims to engineer efficient regenerative medicine strategies that integrate a control of the host immune system. 

  • Dissecting how the innate immune system affects tissue-resident/transplanted stem cells and growth factors activities. 
  • Understanding the immune modulations of stem cells and regeneration by T lymphocytes. 
  • Developing effective systems for delivering stem cells and cytokines/growth factors, using biomaterials and protein engineering.
Published In

Martino MM, Maruyama K, Kuhn AG, Satoh T, Takeuchi O, Müller R, Shizuo A.

Inhibition of IL-1R1/MyD88 signalling promotes mesenchymal stem cell-driven tissue regeneration.

Nat Commun. 2016;7:11051. Epub: 2016 Mar 22. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11051. PMCID: PMC4804175.

Briquez PS, Clegg LE, Martino MM, Gabhann FM, Hubbell JA.

Design principles for therapeutic angiogenic materials.

Nat Rev Mats 2016;1:15006. doi: 10.1038/natrevmats.2015.6.

Briquez PS, Hubbell JA, Martino MM.

Extracellular matrix-inspired growth factor delivery systems for skin wound healing.

Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015 Aug 1;4(8):479-489. doi:10.1089/wound.2014.0603.

Martino MM, Briquez PS, Maruyama K, Hubbell JA.

Extracellular matrix-inspired growth factor delivery systems for bone regeneration.

Adv Drug Deliv Rev; 2015 Nov 1;94:41-52. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2015.04.007.

Najjar M, Manzoli V, Martino MM, Molano RD, Pileggi A, Camillo R, Hubbell JA, Tomei AA.

Fibrin gels engineered with pro-angiogenic growth factors promote engraftment of pancreatic islets in extrahepatic sites in mice.

Biotechnol Bioeng; 2015 Sep;112(9):1916-26. doi: 10.1002/bit.25589.

Martino MM, Brkic S, Bovo E, Burger M, Schaefer DJ, Briquez PS, Gianni-Barrera R, Hubbell JA, Banfi A.

Extracellular matrix and growth factor engineering for controlled angiogenesis in regenerative medicine.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol; 2015 Apr 1;3:45. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2015.00045.

Maruyama K, Fukasaka M, Uematsu S, Takeuchi O, Kondo T, Saitoh T, Martino MM, Akira S.

AZI2 regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival.

J Biol Chem; 2015 Apr 10;290(15):9377-86. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.631374.

Julier Z, Martino MM, de Titta A, Jeanbart J, Hubbell JA.

The immunological activity of the extra domain A of fibronectin (EDA) in agonizing TLR4 and inducing CD8+ T cell responses is cryptic and exposed by elastase 2.

Sci Rep; 2015 Feb 24;5:8569. doi: 10.1038/srep08569.

Vila OF, Martino MM, Nebuloni L, Kuhn G, Pérez-Amodio S, Müller R, Hubbell JA, Rubio N, Blanco J.

Bioluminescent and μCT tomography imaging of bone repair induced by fibrin-binding growth factors.

Acta Biomater; 2014 Oct;10(10):4377-89. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.05.028.

Sacchi V, Mittermayr M, Hartinger J, Martino MM, Wolbank S, Hofmann A, Largo R, Marshall J, Groppa E, Gianni-Barrera R, Ehrbar M, Hubbell JA, Redl H, Banfi A.

Sustained and highly tunable delivery of recombinant VEGF164 from optimized fibrin matrices ensures normal, stable and functional angiogenesis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A; 2014 May 13;111(19):6952-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404605111.

Martino MM, Briquez PS, Güç E, Tortelli F, Kilarski WW, Metzger S, Rice JJ, Kuhn GA, Müller R, Swartz MA, Hubbell JA.

Growth factors engineered for super-affinity to the extracellular matrix enhance tissue healing.

Science; 2014 Feb 21;343(6173):885-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1247663.

Mosiewicz KA, Kolb L, van der Vlies AJ, Martino MM, Lienemann P, Hubbell JA, Ehrbar M, Lutolf MP.

In situ cell fate manipulation by light-activated enzymatic hydrogel patterning.

Nat Mater; 2013 Nov;12(11):1072-8. doi: 10.1038/nmat3766.

Maruyama K, Uematsu S, Kondo T, Takeuchi O, Martino MM, Kawasaki T, Akira S.

Strawberry notch homologue 2 plays a key role in fine-tuning osteoclast fusion.

J Exp Med; 2013 Sep 23;210(10):1947-60. doi: 10.1084/jem.20130512.