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Angiogenesis and Immunomechanics

Healing begins with the self-organisation of cells in the wound to reestablish structured tissue and restore the mechanical stability and intrinsic pretension of the injured matrix lost through the injury. Our aim is to decipher this independent organisation of fibroblasts, vascular precursors, immune cells and mechanical instability in the complex environment of the tissue. A better understanding of this interplay forms the basis for novel therapeutic approaches in musculoskeletal regeneration.

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Mechanobiologie und Angiogenese

Unser primäres Ziel ist es zu verstehen, wie mechanische Beanspruchung die Funktion der vaskulären Netzwerk- und frühen Kallusorganisation im Jungen und Alten während der Knochenheilung beeinflusst.

Mechano-dependency of early bone healing, angiogenesis, and their interplay across ages

The relevance of mechanical boundary conditions as driving factor in bone regeneration and adaptation is generally well accepted. In addition, functional angiogenesis and vascular supply of a fracture zone are also considered to be key factors in healing and in the viability of regenerated tissues. However, the relationship and interdependence between tissue mechanical conditions and angiogenesis is not yet well understood. Recent work has shown the critical role of extrinsic mechanics on the self-organization of fibroblast networks in early callus formation and endothelial cell-cell interactions as reaction to the blood flow driving vascular network formation. Pericyte and vascular smooth muscle cells confer stability and diameter control to nascent vessels. But how fibroblasts and/or pericytes relay mechanical input from surrounding callus tissue to adapt vascular patterning has not been studied. Our primary goal is to understand how mechanical loading influences functional vascular network formation and early callus organization in young and aged during bone healing. This work will help to unravel the age dependent signalling pathways between externally applied load, fibroblast self-organization, pericyte response, vascular network formation, and the early soft callus and bone marrow re-organization after injury.

In Collaboration with Holger Gerhardt

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Holger Gerhardt

Group Leader at the MDC