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Stem Cell Research

Ethical aspects and legal restrictions on work with embryonic stem cells in Germany have led to an increasing focus on research and development using adult stem cells. This trend is visible in Tübingen as well.

Adult stem cells from a variety of tissues are comprehensively characterized and tested for their therapeutic potential. In some cases they are already being used successfully. At the same time, Tübingen's researchers continue to search for new adult human sources of stem cells that are suitable for therapeutic applications.

Doctors and scientists are working together to design and develop new methods of using adult stem cells to treat disease. Their goal is to treat patients more quickly and more successfully while improving quality of life. In some diseases, stem cell therapy is the patient's only chance for healing.

The following hospitals and institutes of the Eberhard Karls University are working on and with adult stem cells:

Institute of Anatomy

  • Basic research on stem cells and their interactions with surrounding tissues
  • Development of model systems and bioreactors to simulate and analyze stem cell applications
  • Cultivation of artificial skin using adult stem cells from the bone marrow

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

  • Cultivation of artificial skin using adult stem cells from bone marrow
  • Characterization of stem cells

Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Diseases (Internal Medicine III)

  • Development of stem cell therapy for the regeneration of the myocardium
  • Investigation of the "homing" behavior of stem cells and precursors in the blood vessels

University Children's Hospital

  • Development of new strategies for the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells from histoincompatible donors
  • Production of adult stem cells under GMP conditions

Institute of Clinical and Experimental Transfusion Medicine (IKET)

  • Characterization and differentiationi of mesenchymal stem cells
  • Evaluation of stem cell markers (MSCI Workgroup)

Department of Radiation Oncology

  • Methods for healing tissue damage using adult stem cells
  • Cultivation of artificial skin using adult stem cells from bone marrow

Department of Thoracic, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery

  • Research into the therapeutic potential of peri-operative stem cell enrichment
  • Development of vascular prostheses with stem cell-specific trap molecules

Clinic for Urology

  • Application of stem cells for the regeneration of urethral sphincter muscles
  • Research into the regenerative potential of stem cells from the testes

Centre of Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Research into the stem cell characteristics of periosteal cells and the differentiation processes leading to osteocytes

Orthopaedic Clinic

  • Research into the formation of chondrocytes from adult stem cells and stem cell precursors
  • Cultivation of vertebral and meniscus cells from stem cells

Clinic for Radiology, Deptartment of Radiological Diagnostics

  • Adaptation of PET (positron emission tomography) for the detection and tracking of stem cells in the living organism
  • Evaluation of stem cell markers (MSCI Workgroup)