Cell Spraying


picture of Lena Thiebes © Copyright: BioTex


Lena Thiebes

Research Group Leader Respiratory Tissue Engineering


+49 241 80-47472


  Cover Art Copyright: © Tissue Engineering Characterization of a cell spray as cover art in Tissue Engineering, Part B, from: Thiebes et al., Tissue Engineering Part C, 22(4): 322-31

The aim of Tissue Engineering is the generation of living functional organs to overcome the low number of donor organs and allow for therapy of various diseases. For seeding of cells to these scaffolds, different techniques are currently used. One technique is cell spraying. For spraying, droplets are produced from cell suspensions. This technique is a fast and efficient method for cell application. Previous studies primarily showed promising results, but cell damage still occurs in most cases. So far, the field of cell spraying is quite small. Mostly, flat substrates were used. At BioTex, we invented an innovative method, which also allows endoscopic spray application of living cells in tubular constructs. Apart from this technique, we are using a number of different nozzles and setups to find the most suitable for each application.

Cell therapy is a research area in the field of regenerative medicine, which becomes more and more important. The function of injured organs or tissues can be restored, supported or replaced by application of healthy (stem) cells. Currently, the cells are mostly intravenously injected and reach the diseased organ via the blood flow. However, the cells accumulate also in other – healthy – organs which reduces the efficiency.

In one of the projects, a spray procedure for local cell therapy of lung diseases will be developed. The procedure will allow to directly apply stem cells in the lung. Preliminary results have proven the principle of endoscopic cell application. Together with the Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer, we are developing and testing different nozzles to apply cells efficiently to the lungs.


  • Institute for Heat and Mass Transfer, RWTH Aachen University
  • Department of Internal Medicine V, Pneumology, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
  • Weiss Lab, Vermont Lung Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA


  • German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), as part of the SPP 2014
  • German Research
  • German Federal and State Excellence Initiative (i3TM, Rotational position for Dr. Lena Thiebes)
  • ERS Seed Fund, RWTH Aachen University