Materials for tissue regeneration within systemically altered bone (Werkstoffe für die Geweberegenration im systemisch erkrankten Knochen)
The SFB/TRR 79 is a joint research initiative of the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, the Technische Universität Dresden, and our Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Aim and vision of our SFB/TRR 79 is the development of bone substitute material for systemically diseased bone and increase in the knowledge of the underlying pathogenesis. Two main diseases are in the focus – one benign (osteoporosis) and one malignant (multiple myeloma), both inducing systemically altered bone structure, concomitant fractures and associated morbidity and mortality. The consortium is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Research Council) since 2010. Currently, our application for the 3rd funding period is in review.
The initiative is chaired by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Heiß, Director of the Department of Trauma Surgery at the Medical Faculty of the JLU Gießen, as well as the speakers and vice speakers of the two other universities; in Heidelberg by Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Dr. biol. hom. Dirk Hose (speaker) and Dr. med. Anja Seckinger (vice speaker).
Summary of the research program
Treatment of fractures and defects in systemically altered hard tissue represents one of the major challenges in medicine. Represented by patients suffering from bone defects or pathological fractures related to osteoporosis or tumor diseases, as exemplified by multiple myeloma, bone healing is impaired and associated with complications, related to altered remodeling and biochemical properties of bone and, in multiple myeloma, additionally by the presence of the malignant cell population causing the defect. In these conditions, the integration of bone substitute materials, their “anchoring”, and long-term stability are severely impeded. The long-term aim of our SFB/TRR 79 over three funding periods is thus to develop a material concept laying the basis for an etiology-based development of bone substitute materials and implants. Within the third funding period and in collaboration with industrial partners, metallic implants and bone substitute materials developed for osteoporotic bone enter the translation-phase for clinical application.
For the first time, our results allow meeting a second major clinical challenge, a local treatment of multiple myeloma in specific situations per se: Material properties and compounds released locally at high concentrations shall first eliminate residual myeloma cells after successful treatment, and secondly bring resistant myeloma cells under control locally, thereby avoiding further bone destruction. Furthermore, results in the second funding period lay the basis for a whole-body-detection of minimum numbers of tumor cells.
Unique features of our SFB/TRR 79 initiative are: i) bone substitute materials and metallic implants are developed taking into account biomechanics, architecture and altered remodeling in systemically dis-eased bone in relation to the underlying disease (“etiology-adapted”). ii) Synergistically, bone defects in osteoporosis and malignant diseases are investigated simultaneously. iii) For the first time, materials are specifically developed for a local treatment of multiple myeloma. iv) Within our concept, the life sciences present themselves “at the service” of material development, simultaneously integrating state-of-the-art techniques in molecular biology and imaging. Investigations in men, animal experiment, and cell culture are linked and feed back to material development. At the same time, they investigate own basic research questions related to specific topics, e.g. immunological elements of osteoporosis and multiple myeloma pathogenesis. The complexity of this challenge prerequisites an interdisciplinary collaboration of a synergistically acting research-consortium of “critical mass” (as the SFB/Transregio-initiative). Here we combine the complementary expertise at the different locations: Dresden – material science (bone substitute material and implants), Gießen – non-malignant bone defects (pathophysiology of osteoporosis, imaging) and animal models, and Heidelberg – life sciences, imaging and multiple myeloma.
More information can be found here