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Cell Biology

The research group "Cell Biology" investigates the biology of adult stem cells, immune cells, endothelial precursors and fibroblasts as well as their possible role in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. We are looking at the interaction between cells, mechanics and the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, we are concentrating on alterations of intrinsic cell functions in response to extrinsic stimuli, such as age or an altered immune response. Our long-term goal is to develop new therapeutic approaches to improve musculoskeletal tissue regeneration, especially for impaired healing cases.

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mobiLAB-4D - Mobile measuring system for 4D quality control of implant surfaces in the synchrotron

The aim of the mobiLAB-4D project is to significantly reduce possible complications after the insertion of an implant.

Implant loosening due to metal particle exposure remains a major cause of revision arthroplasty. Using spatially resolved synchrotron XRF analyses of peri-implant cancellous bone and bone marrow, we were able to demonstrate metal-specific distribution and accumulation patterns. This characteristic metal accumulation in bone and inter-trabecular extracellular matrix is reproducible in our human 3D in vitro model. By combining ex vitro analyses of patient material with such advanced 3D in vitro systems, we aim to identify the mechanisms underlying implant loosening. Image: J Schoon et al., Adv Sci (Weinh). 2020 Aug 3;7(20):2000412. doi: 10.1002/advs.202000412. eCollection 2020 Oct.

Due to the increasing number of implantations and the further increase in the life expectancy of patients, the demands on implant materials are also increasing. The effects of implant surface structure on clinical complications, such as infection or lack of integration into the surrounding bone tissue, are poorly understood. In particular, the role of nanoparticles or microparticles released from implants into surrounding tissues is the subject of current research and development and regulatory innovation related to risk assessment. Local exposure to metallic wear and corrosion products is a known problem in dental prosthetics and artificial joint replacement (Rakow et al, Biomaterials. 2016; Schoon et al, Nanomedicine. 2017 & Schoon et al, Adv. Sci. 2020). This can lead to increased local inflammation or hypersensitivity reactions (Schoon et al. Front. Immunol. 2019, Ort et al. Front. Immunol. 2019). Inflammatory reactions of the surrounding tissue (peri-implantitis) and loss of quality of the peri-implant bone (osteolysis) occur, and osteolysis can lead to premature implant failure. The overall goal of the mobiLAB-4D project is a significant reduction of possible complications after implant placement. This is to be achieved by the development of novel implant surfaces and their preclinical testing with regard to biocompatibility. For this purpose, a transport unit for organ-on-a-chip systems and a measurement chamber for time-resolved measurements in the synchrotron will be developed. The project is focused on dental implants, but the results are also transferable to other titanium-based implants (e.g. hip and knee implants). The development of novel implant surfaces in combination with meaningful preclinical in vitro testing can serve as a model for future regulatory processes.

Project partner: Xploraytion GmbH, Laser-Mikrotechnologie Dr. Kieburg GmbH & Fraunhofer IPK; Assoziierter Partner: Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, TissUse GmbH & A.K.TEK Medizintechnik GmbH 

Funding: This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Investionsbank Berlin.