Cells and Factor Delivery and Applied Cell Biology

A crucial issue in Regenerative Medicine is the translation of novel insights from cell biology and material science into clinically and commercially feasible therapeutic procedures and applications. Challenges include optimal cell collection, ex vivo cell culture and quality control, controlled delivery of cells or tissue-forming bioactive factors into the patient, and handling and monitoring of cells, to finally result in "living products" considering the safety and quality requirements of the current regulatory framework.


In our research field we focus on the "missing links" we have experienced during our previous 20 years of pioneering work in 'Tissue Engineering'. Field C specifically addresses the individual translational problems that occur in various clinical research fields such as musculoskeletal or cardiovascular regeneration. In addition, to serve as a provider for innovative platform technologies, field C is also determined to develop therapies for selected indications together with clinical partners.

Technology Focus

The key activity areas of our field are the

  • Development of new applied cell biology technologies for cost-efficient processing, safety, and quality control
  • Development of novel technologies for cell and bioactive factor delivery

The focal point 'Applied Cell Biology' provides specialized experience in applied cell biology to develop cell-based protocols for production, quality control, and accompanying diagnostics. Activities on 'Technologies for Delivery of Cells and Factors' will contribute know-how and technologies for applied delivery of cells, transplants, and growth factors into the patient.

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Research Focus

The mission of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering, established and led by Prof. Dr. Michael Sittinger, is to develop core technologies based on multidisciplinary knowledge for cell biology, cell culture and biocompatible delivery materials. We primarily work with cells derived from mesenchymal tissues and have extensive experience in 3D cell cultures and in the translation and technology transfer of research into marketable therapies.

With many years of strong experience in the development of clinically applied products for bone and cartilage regeneration already behind us, we continue - integrated in the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies - to investigate and develop translational technologies in cell and material sciences to achieve feasibility of therapeutic concepts for clinical and commercial translation.

The current key tasks of our research field are the:

  • Preclinical development of a new and patent protected cardiac-derived adherent-proliferating cell type (CardAP cells) for heart muscle regeneration in collaboration with the heart field of the center,
  • Development of drug delivery technologies to induce local recruitment of regenerative cells in impaired tissues like osteoarthritic cartilage using resorbable microspheres for controlled local release of bioactive factors such as chemokines for in situ tissue engineering of osteoarthritic diseased cartilage,
  • Development of advanced bioreactor cultures for reproducible microcarrier-based direct isolation and expansion of clinical relevant cells (e.g. mesenchymal stem cells),
  • Development of biomarkers and preclinical assays to predict and evaluate the regenerative potential and phenotypic alterations of donor cells (mesenchymal stem cells, chondrocytes, cardiac-derived adherent proliferating cells) depending on disease conditions (healthy, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, myocarditis, etc.) during cell manufacturing (expansion) and differentiation processes,
  • Development of complex bioreactor technologies for 3D culture of organ specific cells and stem cells (e.g. extracorporal organ support).

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Team AG Sittinger
(LTR, last row) Sina Soucek, Lucyna Lemanska, Barbara Walewska (LTR, second row) Mujib Ullah, Anja Wachtel, Marion Haag, Alexandra Dimura(LTR, first row) Michael Sittinger, Jochen Ringe

Dr. rer. nat. Marion Haag
Key Project Leader "CardAP cells"
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 437
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 455
Email: marion-renate.haag@charite.de 

Dr.-Ing. Stefan Stich
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 524
Email: stefan.stich@charite.de

Dipl.-Chem. Heike Augst
Scientific Officer
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 437
Email: heike.augst@charite.de

Dipl.-Ing. Tilo Dehne
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 513 188
Email: tilo.dehne@charite.de

Dr.-Ing. Kristin Andreas
Email: kristin.andreas@charite.de

Anja Wachtel
Technical Assistant
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 455
Email: anja.wachtel@charite.de

PD Dr. vet. med. Katrin Zeilinger
Head of associated Bioreactor-Technologies Group

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  • Cell culture of tissue specific and mesenchymal stem cells
  • Three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures
  • Perfusion and bioreactor cultures
  • Microcarrier based cell expansion
  • Release of chemotactic and differentiation factors
  • Histology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS)
  • Magnetic Cell Sorting
  • Real time-PCR (SYBRGreen, TaqMan)
  • Stem cell differentiation assays
  • Chemotaxis assays
  • Protein determination assay (BCA-Assay)
  • Gene expression profiling via Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays, Bioinformatics
  • Animal models
  • Establishment of SOP protocols

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Dr. Jochen Ringe
Dr. Jochen Ringe

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Berlin-Brandenburg Center for
Regenerative Therapies
Tissue Engineering Laboratory /
Division for Rheumatology
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 438
Fax: +49 (0)30 450 539 907
Email: jochen.ringe@charite.de

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