The interaction between material surfaces and the contacting cell is complex, and the effects on both, materials and cells, are manifold. Different types of materials are currently in use to replace lost or damaged parts or functions of the body such as a total hip implant or artificial heart valve. Rapid progress in the area of developmental biology has opened up the field of stem cell biology, which offers immense possibilities for regenerative medicine as well as new single cell based biosensors.
However, emerging materials have to be assessed on their safety prior to their broad use. A particular case are nanomaterials. Their impact on human health and the environment is still controversially discussed. Yet, it is still unknown to what extent engineered nanomaterials are able to adversely affect biological processes. Therefore the understanding of the reaction of biological systems on new materials is an important task for our laboratory to support a safe and sustainable material development.
To achieve this aim, we develop different advanced, predictive in vitro models, which help to assess the benefits and the potential risk of new materials. They are being used for the two main areas in the lab MedTech and Nanosafety.
In both fields we are active in basic research projects as well as more applied research and we will seek common advanced cell models in order to be able to draw relevant conclusions