In September, a workshop on "Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Cell Therapies – Hopes and Limits" organized by the Austrian Society for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ÖGTERM) took place at BOKU. Here you find a report on the event.

On September, 21st 2018, the workshop on “Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Cell Therapies – Hopes and Limits” organized by the Austrian Society for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ÖGTERM) was held at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU), Austria, organized by Prof. Cornelia Kasper (president of the society) and her team in collaboration with the board members Prof. Viktoria Weber (Danube University Krems) and Assoc. Prof. Beate Rinner (Medical University of Graz) and A.o. Prof. Monika Egerbacher (University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna).

In the keynote lecture on "Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Cell Therapy – Hopes and Limits", Prof. Massimo Dominici (University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy), presented the inception and rise of stem cell research over the past decades and current challenges, actually turning the title into “Limits and Hopes”. The keynote lecture was followed by an interesting and lively discussion with valuable comments on the topic of stem cell translational application in diseases and regenerative medicine. Furthermore, a need for increased exchange on methodological/technical approaches and protocols was identified.

With a total of 35 attendants, 8 lectures were presented by researchers from Austria and Germany and were organized in 3 sessions which focused on:

  • Stem Cell Isolation
  • Stem Cell Characterization
  • Stem Cell Cultivation

Additionally, the characterization theme was expanded to cancer stem cells and stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles.

During the second morning session, a “hands-on” part was performed with practical demonstrations on methods for 2D and 3D primary cell isolation, which were organized and introduced by Dr. Dominik Egger (Boku, Vienna) and Dr. Iris Ribitsch (University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna). Here, the participants had the possibility to visualize different samples or to reproduce stem cell isolation from different sources (i.e. horse adipose tissue) in the laboratories.    

The workshop concluded with the accurate observation and explanation of a specialized perfusion bioreactor for 3D expansion and differentiation of stem cells.

As one of the aims of the workshop was to promote networking of young researchers, young and senior participants met in the evening in a Viennese beer garden to share opinions and ideas while tasting exquisite house-made beer.