Tensive is a biomedical startup established in 2012 to develop innovative scaffolds aiming to offer a natural breast reconstruction or augmentation.

Tensive prostheses are based on biodegradable synthetic biomaterials and fabricated with an internal micro-architecture.  

This distinctive combination, obtained with a patented process, aims to support the natural soft tissue formation. During the regenerative process, Tensive’s scaffold is designed to be gradually degraded and replaced by soft tissue. 

Our technology is not yet tested on humans.

Our Mission

The loss of a breast can psychologically impact the life of a breast cancer patient.
Tensive's long-term mission is to restore a natural breast to patients who experienced reconstructive surgery after mastectomy or lumpectomy, to improve their quality of life and avoiding recurrent and expensive surgical operations.


Federico Martello

Federico Martello, Ph.D. (co-founder; CEO and Chief Operating Officer), has served as Operation Director from the company’s foundation. In the team, Federico’s role comprises coordination of the Product Development activities, client seeking, and general administration. Federico has been also Team Leader of the Advanced Biomaterials platform at Fondazione Filarete for 4 years, where he managed the platform activities and development from 2009 to 2012, bringing the platform to economical sustainability. Before his collaboration with Fondazione Filarete, Federico obtained a PhD in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Milan and the University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands). He received his Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry and Management from the University of Milan. Currently, he is involved in an H2020 European Research&Innovation project as a research unit coordinator. Federico is also the author of ten peer-reviewed articles and is a co-inventor of three international patents.

Alessandro Tocchio

Alessandro Tocchio, Ph.D. (co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer), graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Science in Physics Engineering from the Politecnico of Milan. Dr. Tocchio holds a Ph.D. in Medical Nanotechnology from the European School of Molecular Medicine and the University of Milan, and completed his training in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine with a postdoc at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Alessandro co-authored 18 peer-reviewed papers and is co-inventor of five patents. Alessandro also co-founded the Organ Preservation Alliance, a non-profit organization, incubated at SU Labs at NASA's Research Park in Silicon Valley.

Valentina Morigi

Valentina Morigi, MSc (co-founder and CFO) has experience in financial due diligence (buy and sell side), post-deal integrations, operations and M&A. She graduated with a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Bologna (with 2 semesters in Biology) and a Master in Finance from the Catholic University of Milan. In 2018, Valentina joined the leadership and entrepreneurship Ignite Program at Stanford University, Graduate School of Business. In 2010, she joined the nanomedicine team of the Houston Methodist Research Institute to lead an economic study on the US nanomedicine market.

Previously, Valentina was an Executive at PwC, in the M&A and strategy departments. She co-founded the Organ Preservation Alliance, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit incubated at NASA - Ames Research Park, where she served as an Executive Director of the Organ Banking Summit.

Valentina was awarded Gifted Citizen and created the Innovation in Biotech and Healthcare blog.

Irini Gerges

Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer and R&D Director. She received her Bachelor in Chemistry from Ain Shams University (Egypt); M.Sc in Chemistry from the University of Milan (Italy) and a Ph.D. in biomaterials from the University of Pisa (Italy) Biomolecuar Sciences (BIOS) doctorate school.

She worked as a senior researcher and project coordinator at the Advanced Biomaterials platform of Fondazione Filarete, where she was a key player for the development of biomaterials for implantable medical devices. She was awarded the first prize “women in research” for her research project: biodegradable matrices for soft tissue regeneration. Irini is author of 21 peer-reviewed research articles, 2 academic book chapters and co-inventor of 6 international patents. Her current h-index is 9. Over the past 15 years, Irini gained specific skills in production process customization, synthesis upscaling and intellectual property management. She is coordinating a plurality of research projects with the aim to expand Tensive’s products portfolio.

Margherita Tamplenizza

Margherita Tamplenizza, Ph.D. (co-founder; Chief Regulatory Officer) founded the biological section at the Advanced Biomaterial platform of Fondazione Filarete and she currently coordinates life sciences companies’ activities in Assolombarda, the largest territorial association of the entire entrepreneurial system in Italy. Previously, Margherita has worked in The Interdisciplinary Centre for Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces (CIMaINa) at the University of Milan where she depth her experience on cell-material interaction. She obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the University of Milan and the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg (Austria) and she also worked at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and the Italian Institute for Auxology for biomedicine projects. She trained on Manufacturing of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product and she obtained her Master degree as Qualified Person of Pharmaceutical Laboratories in 2014. Margherita is an author of four peer- reviewed articles and a co-inventor of two patents.

Alberto Cantaluppi

Alberto Cantaluppi, MD (Chairman of the Board) is a senior executive with strong background in Medicine, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Renal Therapy, Diagnostics, Bioscience, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Healthcare Services.
Alberto had full P&L responsibility and holds expertise in Sales and Marketing, Merger and Acquisition Integration, Governmental Affairs and Public Policies, Negotiation, Strategy and Organizational Design, Turnaround, Divestiture, Restructuring, Legal Split, Commissionaire and Toll Manufacturing Model, and Team Dynamics.


John Greenbaum, MBA

President of Generic Devices Consulting, Inc, a Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research and Quality Assurance consulting firm specializing in Medical Devices, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. John has 20+ years of successful regulatory consulting experience having brought hundreds of therapeutic and diagnostic products to market, as well as medical devices. He is a seasoned executive, meticulous expert of clinical research operations, studies, and trials with FDA, EU, ISO, and ICH regulations, standards, and guidelines. In his career, John established QA, training, auditing, and standard operating procedures (SOP), liaising across the organization to align operations and trial / study efforts. Prior to founding Generic Devices Consulting, John was Vice President of St. Jude Medical, leading all quality and regulatory functions spanning multiple facilities and focusing on regulatory compliance matters and new product approvals, clinical trial design and performance. In 1992, he founded Metamed, INC and lead it through its acquisition from HealthWatch in 1993 (completed in 1994), where he served as a President and CEO, and brought it through the clinical studies and regulatory approval. Previously, he served as a President and CEO of Colorado MedTech, Inc., guiding the company formation from the merger of RELA and Cybermedic Inc. Prior to that he worked for 9 years at Eli Lilly & Company, in several positions: Director of Product Development, Director of Manufacturing and Engineering and Director of Quality Assurance, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs. John graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration from Florida International University and an executive MBA at Babson College and Harvard University. He also pursued an executive training in Food and Drug Law at the Food and Drug Law Institute.

Saverio Cinti, MD

Professor at Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona, Italy), where he coordinates different courses among which the integrated anatomy course at the Medicine and Surgery Degree and the Nourishment Degree. His main research topics are mammalian adipose organ (with brown adipocytes, organogenesis, functional anatomy, plasticity, transdifferentiation), Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, Nutrition, Insulin Resistance and tissue engineering. He is author of the “Use of isolated mature adipocytes in regenerative medicine for tissue renewal and repair” patent (Italian Patent Deposit MI2008A001464), a book entitled “The adipose organ”, chapters in 13 books, more than 260 original publications on international journals with peer reviewers and he had more than 12,600 citations of the published work (Scopus June 2015 Author ID: 7004604501) with an H index of 51 (Scopus June 2015 Author ID: 7004604501).
The most recent awards received are Friedrich Wassermann Prize European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) (2013 - http://www.easo.org/easo) and the selection for the lecture at the world congress of International Federation Associations of Anatomists for the EFEM (European Federation Experimental Morphology) (2014 Beijin - http://www.csas.org.cn/ifaa2014). Dr. Cinti is the worldwide expert in adipose tissue.

Scott Guelcher, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering (TN, USA). After completing his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech, Dr. Guelcher worked in the Research Division of Eastman chemical Company in Kingsport, TN on a number of projects in chemical and nutraceutical processing. He subsequently completed his Ph.D. with Professor John Anderson in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where his dissertation work focused on investigating the electric field-induced motion of colloidal particles deposited near an electrode. Prior to his appointment at Vanderbilt, Dr. Guelcher was a Senior Associate Scientist in the Polyurethanes Division at Bayer Corporation and an NIH NRSA Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University where he worked with Professor Jeffrey Hollinger in bone tissue engineering. Professor Guelcher joined Vanderbilt University in 2005, and opened the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory in January 2006. He is author of more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific papers and inventor of 26 patents. Dr. Guelcher is a renown expert in the design, synthesis, and characterization of polymeric biomaterials for bone tissue engineering (with synthetic scaffolds)

Mario Rietjens, MD

Plastic Surgeon: Director of the Division of Reconstructive Surgery at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO). He graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University do Estado de Sao Paulo (Unesp) of Botucatu (Brazil) and specialized in general oncology surgery at the Pio XII Foundation of Barretos (Brazil). He also graduated and specialized in plastic surgery at the University of Milan. At IEO he performs clinical researches in the field of Plastic Reconstruction Surgery, mainly in the development of new techniques, such as lipofilling, mammal repairing after a reconstructive surgery following removal caused by neoplasy. He is the referent of a clinical study aimed at evaluating the time of degeneration of silicone-gel mammal prostheses according to the time of implant. He participates in a new European study for the development of the use of the stem cells of adipose origin for the mammal repairing after quadrantectomy or mastectomy.

Cristina Lenardi, Ph.D

Researcher Associate in Physics: Cristina Lenardi is graduated in Physics at the University of Trieste and received her doctorate degree from the Politecnico of Milan. She is researcher at Dept. of Molecular Science Applied to Biosystems of Pharmacy Faculty and at the Center of Excellence CIMaINa of the University of Milan. Since 2009 she is the Head of Advanced Biomaterials platform at Fondazione Filarete. Her area of research focuses on biomaterials microfabrication techniques for the control of cell growth and stimuli aiming to mimic complex biochemistries and geometries of the extracellular matrix. She is author of about 85 papers on peer-reviewed journals, one book and two patents. She received a prize award from the G. Galileo Foundation and the “L. Tartufari” prize awarded by the Lincei National Academy.

Lucio Fumi

Lucio Fumi, MD, is a geriatrician who has worked for over thirty years in the healthcare industry in Italy, Germany, Slovenia, the UK and the Netherlands. Fully registered for Medical Practice in Italy and the UK, Lucio has worked as medical director of international corporations, to include Baxter, Abbott, Terumo and Bristol-Myers Squibb, with pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical nutrition and medical technology products.

In 1998 Lucio set up Wyfold Medical, a consultancy agency dedicated to medical affairs and clinical development for the medical device and biotech industry. As interim manager, Lucio worked as medical director or Chief Medical Officer of BioPheresis, RanD Biotech, Astellas Pharma, Clasado Biosciences, and BTG. More recently he was Chairman of the Board of BetaGlue Technologies (2016-18) and President of the Italian Medical Society of Great Britain (2014-16). 

News & Achievements

Tensive team received numerous awards from different institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, StartCup Milano-Lombardia, ItaliaCamp, Startup dell’Anno, the French Embassy in Italy, Premio Gaetano Marzotto, Intel Global Challenge, Veneto Nanotech, 360 Capital Partners, Unicredit Start Lab Italian Venture Forum and the Italian Education Ministry. Tensive has been also featured on several media channels, including Wired and Forbes. Team members also attended outstanding international programs such as Singularity University, SeedLab, Mind the Bridge School and Startup Revolutionary Road.

Tensive wins the second place at the Startup Days 2018


Tensive wins the second place (out of 178 startups competing) at the Startup Days 2018 held in Bern, Switzerland.

Biomedical company Tensive receives funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument


Milan, May 31st, 2018 - Tensive S.r.l., the biomedical company pioneering innovative implants for breast reconstruction and augmentation, has announced that it has been awarded a grant for a total budget of €2.69 million from the prestigious European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme - SME Instrument, under grant agreement No 812002.

“We are very proud of this achievement that will enable us to move forward in the validation process of our innovation, and to conduct the clinical studies”, states Federico Martello, CEO of Tensive.

Tensive was established in 2012 in Milan, Italy, by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and managers, united by the mission of helping cancer survivors in restoring a natural breast.

Thanks to the discovery of a revolutionary biomaterial and microfabrication technologies, Tensive team was able to conceive the REGENERA project. The project targets the creation of an implantable prosthesis that aims to promote the natural soft tissue regeneration and shape maintaining after implantation. The prosthesis is designed to be gradually degraded and replaced by the patients’ soft tissue with the aim to restore the normal appearance and natural feeling of the reconstructed breast. Tensive is completing the preclinical validation of the product, which has not yet been tested in humans.

So far, Tensive has raised about €3 million in equity investments and research grants (including the Phase 1 of the H2020 grant), that allowed the company to develop the product, scale-up the industrial process and conduct the preclinical validation.

“The loss of a breast can lead to a strong emotional and psychological impact on a breast cancer patient, who is already overwhelmed by the cancer diagnosis and the long debilitating therapies. Tensive’s mission is to improve the patients’ quality of life, by offering a safer option for reconstructive surgery, and a more natural aesthetic outcome”, says Valentina Morigi, CFO of Tensive.

“The European Union’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument award represents an important validation of Tensive’s vision. We expect that this achievement will catalyze private and venture capital funds, accelerating the translation of Tensive’s innovation to the market”, says Alessandro Tocchio, Chief Strategy Officer of Tensive.

“Thanks to the European Union’s support we are one step closer to achieve our mission of bringing our revolutionary product to the patients.” says Federico Martello, CEO of Tensive.

For more information, please visit: http://www.tensivemed.com

Media relations:

About the H2020 SME Instrument - As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the SME Instrument will invest almost € 3 billion in 7500 projects by 2020 in highly innovative small and medium-sized businesses. In the January 2018 call, of the 1.163 proposals submitted, 57 have been financed, of which only 2 are from Italian companies. 

For more information: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/area/smes

Hello Tomorrow Challenge 2017

Tensive qualified in the Top 500 Deep-tech startups worldwide (healthcare track) and will join the Global Summit on October 26-27 in Paris, France.


I. Gerges, M. Tamplenizza, F. Martello, C. Recordati, C. Martelli, L. Ottobrini, M. Tamplenizza, S. A. Guelcher, A. Tocchio, C. Lenardi.  Exploring the potential of polyurethane-based soft foam as a cell-free scaffold for soft tissue regeneration. Acta Biomaterialia (2018)

E. Rossi*, I. Gerges*, A. Tocchio*, M. Tamplenizza, P. Aprile, C. Recordati, F. Martello, I. Martin, P. Milani, C. Lenardi. Biologically and mechanically driven design of an RGD-mimetic Macroporous Foam for Adipose Tissue Engineering Applications. Biomaterials (2016). (*Authors contributed equally)

C. Schulte; S. Rodighiero; M. A. Cappelluti; L. Puricelli; E. Maffioli; F. Borghi; A. Negri; E. Sogne; M. Galluzzi; C. Piazzoni; M. Tamplenizza; A. Podestà; G. Tedeschi; C. Lenardi; P. Milani. Conversion of nanoscale topographical information of cluster-assembled zirconia surfaces into mechanotransductive events promotes neuronal differentiation. J Nanobiotechnology (2016).

I. Gerges*, M. Tamplenizza*, S. Lopa, C. Recordati, F. Martello, A. Tocchio, L. Ricotti, C. Arrigoni, P. Milani, M. Moretti C. Lenardi. Creep-Resistant Dextran-Based Polyurethane Foam as a Candidate Scaffold for Bone Tissue Engineering: Synthesis, Chemico-Physical Characterization, In vitro and In vivo Biocompatibility. International Journal of Polymeric Materials (2016). (*Authors contributed equally)


Registered Office: Via Timavo, 34 20124 Milano (Italy) 

Headquarters: Viale Ortles 22/4, 20139, Milano (Italy)
Phone:+39 (0) 2 5666 0153

General information and careers: info@tensivemed.com
Media Relations: valentina.morigi@tensivemed.com 

PEC: tensivemed@legalmail.it