Prof. Stefan Jockenhövel (BioTex) in strong collaboration with
Prof. Fabian Kiessling (Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging ExMI)
Biohybrid implants are characterized by a combination of technical and cellular components. During the manufacturing process in vitro, the scaffold structure (here fibrin-based hydrogels) are partially or completely replaced by the body's own extracellular matrix (ECM). The quantity and quality of the newly synthesized ECM have a significant influence on the function and mechanical stability of biohybrid implants. This process of tissue maturation continues in vivo after implantation and contributes significantly to implant performance and thus to the long-term function of the biohybrid implants.
The focus of interest here is on (i) the cell-driven remodeling processes of the ECM, (ii) the formation of an endothelium and (iii) changes in degradable and non-degradable carrier structures and their (iv) interactions with the implant environment, particularly with regard to inflammatory reaction and hemocompatibility (Figure 1).
It is therefore of great importance to develop methods that provide information about the in vivo behavior of the implants. These findings support the conception and further development of the implants as well as the procedure for their in vitro conditioning. They also help to predict the individual implant behaviour at the end of production and can thus contribute to an increased patient safety of the implants.
To this end, the project aims to gain an understanding of the biological dynamics of the insertion and remodelling process of biohybrid cardiovascular implants in vivo using the example of the geometrically simple vascular prosthesis.