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Biomaterials and Functional Surfaces

Work on new biomaterials spans all the medical disciplines in Tübingen. Whether organic or even bioactive, such biomaterials play an important role in innovative therapeutic concepts.

For years denatured and modified collagen-based proteins have been used as organic raw material to fabricate replacement valves for heart and veins or as a scaffold for cartilage implants. The latest technologies include bioactive coatings for instruments and implants to make them biocompatible and resistant to tissue rejection.

Revolutionary new developments include coatings of living cells which perform or regenerate particular functions. Such coatings are not just limited to in vitroi applications. Tübingen's heart surgeons are working on the development of self-colonizing vascular implants.

The following institutes and hospitals are actively working on new biomaterials and functional surfaces:

Institute of Anatomy

  • Development of biological coatings for vascular stents
  • Research on cell-colonized vascular prostheses in bioreactors

Department of Plastic, Hand, Reconstructive and Burn Surgery, BG Trauma Center

  • Research into the therapeutic potential of a combination of cultivated skin tissue and acellular artificial skin
  • Development of novel wound dressings that stimulate wound healing
  • Testing of certified industrial materials for wound dressings
  • Development of guide sheaths to bridge nerve defects

Hospital of Neurosurgery

  • Research on biocompatible materials and biological coatings for acoustic brainstem implants

Department of Thoracuic, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery

  • Reference center for the analysis of newly developed biochemical coatings for vascular implants and medical equipment
  • Development of vascular prostheses and heart-valve transplants on which an epitheliumi of the patient's own cells can be grown

Centre of Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Development and optimization of a resorbable scaffold for the cultivation of bone implants for the jaw area

Orthopaedic Clinic

  • Testing of a variety of matrix materials for their suitability for ACT (autologousi chondrocytei transplantation)
  • Development of stable biological coatings to improve the integration and healing of orthopedic prostheses
  • Development of carrier materials for vertebral and meniscus replacements