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Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering (TE), one of the major approaches of regenerative medicine, is a growing and exciting field of research. In combination with better understanding of structure, biology, physiology and cell culture techniques, TE may offer new treatment options for patients needing replacement or repair of an organ. The concept of tissue engineering has been applied clinically for a variety of disorders, for example artificial skin for burn patients, tissue engineered trachea, cartilage for knee-replacement procedures, injectable chondrocytes for the treatment of vesico-ureteric reflux, urinary incontinence and many more.
The principle of classical TE is to dissociate cells from a tissue biopsy, to expand these cells in culture, and to seed them onto the scaffold material in vitro in order to form a live tissue construct prior to implantation into the recipient’s organism. In the appropriate biochemical and biomechanical environment these tissues will achieve their full functional potential and serve as native tissue equivalents. TE products may be fully functional at the time of treatment, or have potential to integrate and form the expected functional tissue after implantation.
The TE approach has major advantages over traditional organ transplantation and does not face the problem of organ shortage. Tissues that closely match the patient’s needs can be reconstructed from a generally readily obtainable biopsy and implanted with minimal or no immunogenicity. This eventually conquers several limitations, encountered in tissue transplantation approaches.
Our research Laboratory is situated within the Department of Clinical Research at the University Hospital of Zürich. Our researchers are applying current scientific knowledge with the ultimate goal to translate this research into clinical treatments and aim at developing future medicine by providing new tailored treatments to patients.
In near future this “personalized medicine” will be individualized by using autologous cells, biomaterials, genetic modifications and bioengineering.
The success in this promising field requires different scientific and clinical specialities. Therefore, we gathered a team with different expertises and backgrounds. The close collaboration within the team and with our collaborators (ETH Zürich) offers the required multidisciplinary dimension to the vision we are embracing.

Ongoing projects

  • Functional innervations of tissue engineered bladder
  • Muscle Precursor Cells (MPCs) and Adipose-derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) for the Treatment of Bladder Voiding Dysfunction
  • Define a reliable cell culture system for human muscle precursor cells (MPC)
  • Tracking muscle precursor cells (MPCs) by MRI
  • Pre-Established Vascular Network for the Engineering of Functional Muscle Tissue
  • Electrospun-Acellular Matrix Composite Scaffold for Bladder Reconstruction
  • Interaction between Adult Stem Cells (ASC) and pre-existing Cancer in Tissue Engineering
  • Pelvic Floor Magnetic Stimulation for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Post-Prostatectomy Patients
  • Donor age and gender limitations for the use of autologous muscle cells
  • Use of Autologous Fat derived Stem Cells for Bladder Regeneration