In the EU project IDEA, we use vascularized tissue models to develop diagnostics (nanoparticles) and to test their safety.
In the EU projects Bio-Inspire and Vascu Bone, we are developing stem cell-based musculoskeletal therapies; the necessary preclinical studies are in progress with international partners from Norway, Austria, and Australia.
The Translational center "Regenerative therapies for Oncology and Musculoskeletal Diseases" performs in close collaboration with the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the University Hospital Würzburg methods and procedures to develop therapeutics for cancer.
These therapeutics are placed along the value chain in an interdisciplinary and international team – as a Würzburg Fraunhofer interface between health research and medicine engineering – applying human vascularized 3D (tumor) tissue models in preclinical and clinical studies.
Based on these data, “in silico”-models are created, refined, and validated in cooperation with the Department of Bioinformatics of the University Hospital Würzburg.Among others these cells secrete angiogenic substances which induce the formation of new blood vessels to supply the growing tumor.A tissue which contains vessels is described as being vascularized.Strictly spoken, cancer is a side-product of evolution: mutations are generated during the replication of DNA and – on the one hand – can improve the organism’s fitness but – on the other hand – can promote cancer if the mutations affect proteins which are involved in cell cycle regulation.Most mutations don’t have any effects for the organism or are eliminated by specific repair mechanisms. induced by radiation or carcinogenic chemicals) can lead to an enhanced risk of developing one cancer cell which produces a tumor one day.
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Cancer cells grow uncontrollably and form their own nutrient-supplying blood vessels.Many tumor cells move through the blood or lymphatic system to distant organs and form metastases, which often lead to incurable cancer.In Germany, 450,000 people suffer and 216,000 people die from cancer each year. After cardiovascular diseases, cancer is the second leading cause of death.An important goal of our work is to therefore discover the mechanisms of cancer growth, metastasis, and their distribution in the human body.