Tissue Engineering and Cell Based Therapies

The current research is focused on the isolation, characterization, the development of cultivation strategies for expansion and differentiation of human primary/progenitor/stem cells (e.g. chondrocytes, mesenchymal stem cells, endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells).

Depending on the project goal, these strategies aim at fast expansion with high quality of cells (maintenance of stemness or differentiation) or at optimized guided differentiation into different lineages (e.g. osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic).

The employed cultivation strategies are focused on mimicking optimized physiological parameters such as gas and nutrient supply and mechanical stimulation in the absence of molecular biological manipulations of the stem cells (i.e. no genetic modifications).

Bioreactors are used to precisely define and control cultivation conditions for the generation of functional 3D tissue like structures and products for cell based therapies and for e.g. tissue engineering applications and biocompatibility testing. Therefore the design, characterization and optimization of specialized bioreactors for stem cell cultures are a core expertise of the Kasper group.

Current and future research interests include investigation of the effects of oxygen supply (especially hypoxic conditions), static and dynamic cultivation strategies and cell cultivation in 3D format. Furthermore research encompasses investigations on the development of chemically defined, xeno- and antibiotic-free media for the cultivation of stem cells with the aim of expression, analysis and isolation of different biological active compounds such as growth factors/secretome from cell culture supernatant and evaluation towards cell free therapy.