Primary culture and preclinical model

Primary culture and preclinical model

Unit info

Medical oncology research requires several model systems to understand complex biological phenomena. Few decades ago, the biological model systems available in Oncology research were basically established cell lines and genetically modified animals. Over the last years, the progress of science allowed the improvement of new technologies to develop ex vivo or in vitro models able to mimic the complexity of tissues, organs or tumours.

The PCPM Unit offers a multidisciplinary support in primary and stem cells manipulation and culture, organoids and mouse model production. Collaborations with scientific groups are defined time by time in order to guarantee the achievement of the project goals.
Available protocols and techniques cover a range of fields:

  • primary culture (fibroblasts, B cells, mammary gland epithelia cells…);
  • derivation, culture and manipulation of Embryonic and trophoblast stem cells;
  • genetic manipulation of mouse pre-implantation embryos (pronuclear and cytoplasmic injection of nucleic acids and proteins for classical transgenesis and genome editing);
  • production of mouse chimeric embryos;
  • application of artificial reproductive techniques for basic research and cryopreservation of genetically modified mice;
  • organoid production and manipulation.

According with the future researcher’s requests and interest , the Unit will work to the setting up of new protocols in primary culture and organoids production and manipulation (human and murine).

Elisa Allievi

Elisa Allievi

Elisa Allievi has worked with preclinical models since 2004. She graduated from the University of Milan in 2003 with a degree in Veterinary Biotechnology. Her thesis work focused on reproduction of small animals in the laboratory of Prof. GC Luvoni. Following graduation, she joined the Telethon Core Facility for Conditional Mutagenesis (directed by Prof. ME Bianchi) in San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park, Milan. During the 5 years of collaboration with Telethon, she specialized in genetically modified mouse generation. From 2009 to 2018 she led the Cogentech Transgenic Facility. In this phase she focused on model generation, crypreservation, mouse embryonic stem cells manipulation and primary culture and protocol optimization to support scientific projects. From 2018 she left Cogentech to began working at IFOM adding stem and primary cell culture and preclinical model production to her catalogue of activities.


Figure 1: Murine mammary gland organoids

Figure 2: Murine mammary gland organoids

primarycol movie

ESC trasnsfected with Cas9 and fluorochrome

Primary culture and
preclinical model Instruments