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Section of Research and Tissue Engineering

Tissue Engineering is principally based on the use of a combination of cells, engineering and materials methods, and suitable biochemical and physicochemical factors to improve or replace biological tissues.  As stated by Langer and Vacanti, two pioneers in this research area, Tisssue Engineering represents an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue or organ function. Our research group at the department of Plastic and Hand Surgery is working in this innovative research field since 1994 in cooperation with other national and international Tissue Engineering centers.

In recent years, we have concentrated our efforts on the development of replacement tissues for skin, oral mucosa, bone, adipose tissue, blood and lymphatic vessels. Especially, therapeutic angiogenesis induced by (co)- implantation of endothelial cells (ECs) or endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) is in the focus of our research interest, since vascularization of replacement tissues represents a very important topic in the Tissue Engineering concept. Therefore, in our skin adipose and bone tissue engineering projects, artificial vascularization by coimplantation of ECs or EPCs represents an integral part in the development of vascularized replacement tissues. In addition, we have recently extended our research interest on 3-dimensional bioprinting of tissues by use of a inkjet-like-bioprinter, which is currently developed and optimized in cooperation with the Laboratory for MEMS Applications (Department of Microsystems Applications-IMTEK, Freiburg). In a research project funded by the German Research Community (DFG), we aim at the bioprinting of vascularized bone tissue by printing of two different cell types, namely ECs (for the generation of blood vessels) and adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs; for generation of bone tissue). The fundamental limitation in the early perfusion of implants could be repealed through the process of bioprinting of endothelial cells, since this method allows an orderly three-dimensional arrangement of endothelial cells in the manufacturing process of the implants by which an already preformed geometric configuration of endothelial structures can be specified in the printing process that could anostomose rapidly after implantation with blood vessels of the recipient at the implant boundaries.

The research carried out by our department is in close accordance with clinical requirements in plastic surgery and regenerative medicine. You can find a detailed list of our publications in our research database. Please also follow the link to the individual research projects to get more information on the ongoing research.  

Reports on our research can be found under the following links:


Prof. Dr. Günter Finkenzeller

Brunhilde Baumer

Katrin Adam

Felix Albert

Calvin Früh

Jens Martens

Patrick Rauen

Elena Ziegler Ruiz

Leonard Siebler

Fabio Smitka

Amraj Terhaag

Nicolas Wessner

Vadym Burchak

Madeline Caduc

Darius Halm

Patrick Rukavina