A Jointventure of
The Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies (BSRT)
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Berlin Brandenburg - School for Regenerative Therapies (BSRT)
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From bench to bedside

Main research topics at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies

Main research topics at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies

Regenerative medicine is a new interdisciplinary field of research aiming at stimulating the regenerative potential of the human body. Therefore cells are combined with factors and if necessary also with biomaterials to heal diseased cells, tissues and organs, to restore their functions or to support their regeneration. The BSRT focuses on three disease areas: diseases of the immune, the cardiovascular and the musculoskeletal system.

At the BSRT, innovative research is conducted in the rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field of regenerative medicine which combines pure science, material science, clinical disciplines, and biotechnology with the goal of repairing or replacing tissues and organs impaired by ageing, disease, trauma, or congenital abnormalities. Regenerative medicine investigates the development of functional organ or tissue substitutes in vitro for implantation in vivo and the ability to remodel and regenerate tissue in vivo by cell delivery or targeted stimulation of (stem) cell differentiation to repair, maintain or enhance organ function.

Biomedical and biochemical focus

Biologists and biochemists at the BSRT aim to unravel parts of the molecular signalling cascades that control stem or progenitor cell differentiation and to establish stem cell based therapies to improve healing and regeneration of musculoskeletal injuries, myocardial infarctions and other diseases. Failed regulation of the body's own regeneration process may lead to over-representation of certain cell types, as seen in fibrosis or vasculopathy, or to insufficient development of new tissue, as in non-healing fractures or chronic cartilage destruction. In order to improve the regeneration processes two treatment strategies are generally pursued. The organs' previous functions can be restored by activating the body's own stem cells using cytokines or by administering in vitro cultured stem cells. The molecular signalling cascades that control this stem or progenitor cell differentiation are therefore of great scientific interest as they may open new approaches for treatment.

Engineering, chemical and physics focus

The BSRT is dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the internal loading conditions and kinematics that biological structures such as the musculoskeletal system have to withstand during a normal daily routine, as well as during regeneration after treatment from pathological conditions or injuries. The aim is to identify key parameters for detecting functional deficits in order to distinguish patients that are likely to undergo normal healing and those that are more likely to exhibit delayed healing and therefore require additional treatments. Another important aspect of the BSRT research deals with the production of "smart" biomaterials, which can react in a defined way to external stimuli. The BSRT comprises projects to synthesize novel stimuli-sensitive polymeric and inorganic biomaterials, to form scaffolds with tailor-made properties, to develop and provide bio-surface and cellular engineering and more. Research on biomaterial science at the BSRT concentrates primarily on understanding how mechanical or other physical properties of biological and biomimetic materials are influenced by their structure. This understanding opens new ways for studying diseases thus enabling the development of diagnostic and treatment strategies.