Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering

Despite significant advances in cardiology and cardiac surgery, cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the world. In Europe alone, an estimated 10 million people are affected each year. The most common cause of heart failure is acute or chronic damage to the heart. The human heart possesses very little regenerative capacity. After a cardiac event, the loss of heart function cannot be naturally recovered, which permanently and drastically impairs the quality of life of patients. Therefore, restoration of normal heart function after the heart has been damaged or due to congenital defects is a driving goal for numerous researchers worldwide.

Cutting-edge basic research to clinical translation

We focus on developing regenerative therapies and new diagnostic tools for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. With over 40 publications in internationally peer-reviewed journals, our researchers have a long and well-established successful track record in the field of cardiovascular regenerative medicine. We have cutting-edge experience with adult, embryonic, and induced-pluripotent stem cells in both human and mice, as well as over a decade experience in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering.

We have broadened our scientific portfolio by the addition of projects to discover, produce, and test new therapeutic biomolecules and the development of new bioreactor systems and diagnostic tools. We are also one of the few departments within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to have obtained permission from the Robert-Koch-Institute to work with human embryonic stem cells.

A major focus of our translational research is the support and integration of SMEs and large biotechnology companies into major government funding mechanisms as well as the further development of their intellectual property and processes towards medicinal product certification. In collaboration with our university partners, we can perform small to large animal pre-clinical testing as well as biocompatibility and cytotoxicity testing. From basic science to market release, the Department of Cell and Tissue Engineering is equipped to lead or assist in the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic products.

Fields of research

Cardiac cell therapies

Biomolecular therapies

Heart valve tissue engineering