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Univ.- Prof. Dr. Sara Checa Esteban

Principal Investigator - Computational Mechanobiology

Berlin Institute of Health
Julius Wolff Institut - Center for Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Regeneration, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Föhrer Str. 15
13353 Berlin

Campus / internal address:
Südstraße 2

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List of Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

  1. Cilla M, Checa S, Duda GN. Strain shielding inspired re-design of proximal femoral stems for total hip arthroplasty. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. In press.
  2. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Checa S, Willie BM. (2016) Tomography-based quantification of regional differences in cortical bone surface remodeling and mechano-response. Calcified Tissue International, doi:10.1007/s00223-016-0217-4
  3. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2016) The Periosteal Bone Surface is Less Mechano-Responsive than the Endocortical. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 234800.
  4. Borgiani E, Duda GN, Willie BM, Checa S (2015) Bone healing in mice: does it follow generic mechano-regulation rules? Facta Universitatis. Series: Mechanical Engineering Vol. 13, No 3, pp. 217 - 227
  5. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Willie BM, Checa S (2015) Aging leads to a dysregulation in mechanically driven bone formation and resorption. J Bone Miner Res. 30(10):1864-73
  6. Bashkuev M, Checa S, Postigo S, Duda GN, Schmidt H (2015) Computational Analyses of Different Intervertebral Cages for Lumbar Spinal Fusion. Journal of Biomechanics. 48(12):3274-82
  7. Checa S, Hesse B, Roschger P, Aido M, Duda GN, Raum K, Willie BM (2015) Skeletal maturation substantially affects elastic tissue properties in the endosteal and periosteal regions of loaded mice tibiae. Acta Biomaterialia, 21: 154-64.
  8. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Checa S, Willie BM. (2015) Monitoring in vivo (re)modeling: a computational approach using 4D microCT data to quantify bone surface movements. Bone, 75: 210-21.
  9. Aido M, Kerschnitzki M, Hoerth R, Checa S, Spevak L, Boskey AL, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Wagermaier W, Willie BM (2015) Effect of in vivo loading on bone composition varies with animal age. Experimental Gerontology, 63: 48-58.
  10. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Zaslansky P, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Willie B, Checa S (2015) Skeletal Maturity leads to a reduction in the strain magnitudes induced within the bone: A murine study. Acta Biomaterialia, 13:301-10
  11. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Zehn M, Duda GN, Willie B, Checa S (2014) A finite element model of in vivo mouse tibial compression loading: influence of boundary conditions. Facta Universitatis. Series: Mechanical Engineering Vol. 12, No 3, 2014, pp. 195 - 207
  12. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2014) The influence of age on adaptive bone formation and bone resorption. Biomaterials, 35(34): 9290-301
  13. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2014) Mineralizing surface is the main target of mechanical stimulation independent of age: 3D dynamic in vivo morphometry. Bone, 66: 15-25
  14. Aido M, Kerschnitzki M, Hoerth R, Burghammer M, Montero C, Checa S, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Willie BM, Wagermaier W. (2014) Relationship between nanoscale mineral properties and calcein labeling in mineralizing bone surfaces. Connect Tissue Res., 55 Suppl 1:15-7
  15. Postigo S, Schmidt H, Rohlmann A, Putzier M, Simón A, Duda G, Checa S. (2014) Investigation of different cage designs and mechano-regulation algorithms in the lumbar interbody fusion process - a finite element analysis. J Biomech.,47(6): 1514-9
  16. Checa S, Rausch M, Petersen A, Kuhl E, Duda G. (2014) The Emergence of Extracellular Matrix Mechanics and Cell Traction Forces as Important Regulators of Cellular Self-organization. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 14(1):1-13
  17. Willie BM, Birkhold AI, Razi H, Thiele T, Aido M, Kruck B, Schill A, Checa S, Main RP, Duda GN. (2014) Diminished response to in vivo mechanical loading in trabecular and not cortical bone in adulthood of female C57Bl/6 mice coincides with a reduction in deformation to load. Bone, 55(2): 335-46
  18. Mehta M, Checa S, Lienau J, Hutmacher D, Duda GN. (2012) In vivo tracking of segmental bone defect healing reveals that callus patterning is related to early mechanical stimuli. Eur Cell Mater. 2012 Nov 2;24:358-71
  19. Razi H, Checa S, Schaser KD, Duda GN. (2012) Shaping scaffold structures in rapid manufacturing implants: a modeling approach toward mechano-biologically optimized configurations for large bone defect. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater.; 100(7):1736-45.
  20. Checa S, Prendergast PJ, Duda GN. (2011). Inter-species investigation of the mechano-regulation of bone healing: Comparison of secondary bone healing in sheep and rat. Journal of Biomechanics; 44: 1237-45
  21. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, Aspenberg P, Prendergast PJ. (2011) Variability observed in mechano-regulated in vivo tissue differentiation can be explained by variation in cell mechano-sensitivity. J Biomech. 7;44(6):1051-8
  22. Preininger B*, Checa S*, Molnar F, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Raum K. (2011) Spatial-temporal mapping of bone structural and elastic properties in a sheep model following osteotomy. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology; 37: 474-83 (*authors contributed equally)
  23. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, O'Brien FJ, Prendergast PJ. (2010). Tissue differentiation in an in vivo bioreactor: in silico investigations of scaffold stiffness. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2010 Aug;21(8):2331-6
  24. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2010) Effect of cell seeding and mechanical loading on vascularization and tissue formation inside a scaffold: a mechano-biological model using a lattice approach to simulate cell activity. J. Biomechanics, 43: 961-8.
  25. Sandino C, Checa S, Prendergast PJ, Lacroix D. (2010) Simulation of angiogenesis and cell differentiation in a CaP scaffold subjected to unconfined compressive strain using a lattice modeling approach. Biomaterials, 31: 2446-2452.
  26. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Corroboration of mechanobiological simulations of tissue differentiation in an in vivo bone chamber using a lattice-modeling approach. J Orthop Res.; 27(12):1659-66.
  27. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2009) A mechanobiological model for tissue differentiation that includes angiogenesis: a lattice-based modelling approach. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 37: 129-145.
  28. Checa S, Taylor M, New A. (2007). The influence of an interpositional spacer on the behaviour of the tibiofemoral joint. A finite element study. Clinical Biomechanics, 23: 1044-1052.

Book chapters

  1. Checa S, Byrne D, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Predictive modelling in mechanobiology: combining algorithms for cell activities in response to physical stimuli using a lattice modelling approach. In: Computer Methods in Mechanics – Advanced Structured Materials, 2010, Volume 1, V, 423-435, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-05241-5_22 (Editors: Mieczyslaw Kuczma, Krzysztof Wilmanski,), Springer.
  2. Checa S, Sandino S, Byrne DP, Kelly DJ, Lacroix D, Prendergast PJ. (2010) Computational techniques for selection of biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering, In Advances on modeling in Tissue Engineering - Computational Methods in Applied Sciences Volume 20, 2011, pp 55-69, (Editors: P.R. Fernandes, P. Bártolo), Springer
  3. Prendergast PJ, Checa S, Lacroix D. (2010) Computational models for tissue differentiation. In: Computational Methods in Biomechanics, (Editors: Suvranu De, Farsh Guilak, Mohammad Mofrad), Springer: New York, Part 3, 353-372, DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3575-2_12
  4. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Capillary network formation during tissue differentiation. A mechanobiological model. In: IFMBE Proceedings of 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (Editors: J. Vander Sloten, P. Verdonck, M. Nyssen & J. Haueisen), Antwerp, Belgium, vol. 22, pp. 2195-2199
  5. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tagil M, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Simulation of tissue differentiation in a mechanically loaded bone regeneration chamber. In: IFMBE Proc. of 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (Editors: J. Vander Sloten, P. Verdonck, M. Nyssen & J. Haueisen), Antwerp, Belgium, vol. 22, pp. 2031-2034

Additional information

Research Group Computational Mechanobiology

Team Computational Mechanobiology

Vita Univ.- Prof. Dr. Sara Checa Esteban

Professional development

2003 - 2007 PhD, Bioengineering Science Research Group, University of Southampton, UK
1998 - 2003 Master in Industrial Engineering, Universidad de Malaga, Spain

Scientific development

2009 - present Principal Investigator, Julius Wolff Institut, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Feb - May 2013 Visiting Research Fellow, Living Matter Lab, Stanford University, USA
2007 - 2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Functions / offices

Honors and Awards

  1. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. The influence of age on adaptive bone formation and bone resorption. Biomaterials, 35(34): 9290-301. BSRT Best Paper Award 2015
  2. Razi, H., Birkhold, A., Duda, G., Willie, B., Checa S. Cortical bone in adult mice exhibits lower strain levels at remodeling sites compared to young mice. 19th Congress of the European Society for Biomechanics, Greece, 2013. Best Student Award.
  3. Birkhold, A., Razi, H., Weinkamer, R., Duda, G.N., Checa S, Willie, B.M., Mechanoregulation of Cortical and Trabecular Bone Adaptation Measured by Examining Dynamic Bone Morphometry and the Mechanical Environment. Transactions of the 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2012. Young Investigator Award.
  4. Checa S, New AMR, Taylor M. Effects of ligament pretension on the biomechanics of the knee: a finite element analysis. Transactions of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Chicago, USA, Vol. 31, 2006. International Travel Award

Professional Activities

Scientific journal reviewer

Annals Biomedical Engineering, Medical Engineering and Physics, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Tissue Engineering, Journal of Biomechanics, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, European Cells and Materials, Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering, Clinical Biomechanics, Journal Of Bone and Mineral Research, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, WIREs Systems Biology and Medicine, Frontiers in Physiology

Society Committees

2014 – 2016     Council Member European Society of Biomechanics (Publication Chair)
2016 – current     Council Member European Society of Biomechanics (Membership Chair)


Researcher ID

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Research profile