picture of Lena Thiebes © Copyright: BioTex


Lena Thiebes

Research Group Leader Respiratory Tissue Engineering


+49 241 80 47472


Epithelial cells beating in circumferential direction Copyright: © BioTex

Ciliary beating is a key feature of the larger airway epithelium. In order to provide mucociliar clearance in vivo, cilia beat synchronously towards the oral cavity to propel mucus out of the respiratory system. When ciliary beating is dysfunctional, mucus accumulates in the airways increasing the risk of pneumonia. Directed and coordinated ciliary beating of the respiratory epithelium is therefore the basis for generating functional tissue-engineered tracheal substitutes. So far, it is not known which kind of stimulation is needed to achieve uniform ciliary orientation.

In our subproject C3 0132 „Guiding respiratory epithelium towards directed ciliary function“, we intend to define an optimized stimulation protocol for biomechanical conditioning of respiratory epithelium on bronchotracheal tissue constructs to obtain functional mucociliary clearance.


  • Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy (MOCA), Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
  • DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials
  • Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
  • Institute of Physiology, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
  • Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
  • Institute of Complex Systems-7: Biomechanics, Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering 1, RWTH Aachen University
  • PULS Group, Institute for Theoretical Physics, FAU Erlangen
  • Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Division of Stem Cell Biology and Cellular Engineering


  • German Research Foundation