24h emergency switchboard: +41 (0) 91 811 51 11 info.icct@eoc.ch
Patient care

Inside this area you will find all the useful information that aims to make your stay at Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino more comfortable.


With the synergy of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and cardioestestists, the Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino can offers less invasive surgical techniques and the most up-to-date intervention procedures.

News area

In this area you will find all the news and information about the initiatives promoted by Cardiocentro.

Professional training

This section will find all the services, information and content dedicated to professionals.

Cellular & Molecular Cardiology

L’Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino si è da sempre dedicato con impegno alla ricerca e all’innovazione.

Cellular & Molecular Cardiology

Prof. Dr. med. Giuseppe Vassalli
Prof. Dr. med. Giuseppe Vassalli



Carry out basic and clinical research projects to develop new clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the cardiovascular field.


Cardiac protection and regeneration  Study and Development of extracellular vesicles (EV) for the treatment of cardiovascular pathologies

In a first study in 2014 (Barile et al. 2014) we demonstrated the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles, in particular Exosome (Exo), produced by cardiac mesenchymal cells (CPC), in an in vivo model of myocardial infarction. Later we investigated the mechanism of action of such exosome identifying two protein involved in cardioprotection and cardiac regeneration. In particular we found that PAPPALYSIN-1, a protein enriched in CPC-produced Exo, was a major player in cardioprotection (Barile et al. 2018); while a not-canonical isoform of PERIOSTIN, a matricellular protein on Exo surfaces, was important in driving cardiomyocyte regeneration (Balbi et al. 2021).
CPC-produced Exo was also studied in an in vivo model of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity. Injection of Exo CPC resulted in a better outcome in the hearts of animals co-treated with chemotherapy (Milano et al. 2020).

iPS cells -> a platform for human cardiomyocyte studies

In the last years we developed and optimized a human cardiomyocyte model form induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) generated from cardiac mesenchymal cells (CPC) (Altomare et al. 2016 & Pianezzi et al. 2019). At Cardiocentro Ticino we also have an electrophysiological lab that is essential to understand the physiological mechanism of specific cardiac pathologies, even at individual level. At the moment we also have a model of human atrial cardiomyocytes.


Current Fundings





Università della Svizzera Italiana
Center for Molecular Cardiology
University of Zurich

At the CCT the ESC award for the best research work published in 2018

Dr. Carolina Balbi appointed new member of the “Scientists of Tomorrow” of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Here all the details

Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino

Via Tesserete 48
CH-6900 Lugano

Information and contacts

Laboratory manager

Prof. Dr. med. Giuseppe Vassalli





Prof. Dr. Stefanos Demertzis
Head of Cardiac Surgery Cardiac Surgery

Scientific Director