Haluk Morgül defended thesis "magna cum laude"

N. Raschzok and D. Mücke gave presentations on "Monitoring of liver cell transplantation by MRI" (oral presentation) and " In vitro comparison of iron oxide contrast agents for labelling of human hepatocytes" (poster presentation) at this year's 26th Meeting of the German Association for the Study of the Liver (GASL) in Bonn.


Haluk Morgül successfully defended his medical doctoral thesis "magna cum laude".
After years of extremely fruitful research in the field of liver support, hepatocyte isolation and cell imaging via MRI he is (co-)author of 5 papers in peer reviewed journals (with more to come)!

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine 2009

Tanja Deurholt's paper on "Novel immortalized human fetal liver cell line, cBAL111, has the potential to differentiate into functional hepatocytes" is published in BMC Biotechnology. Co-authors are Niek P. van Til, Aniska A. Chhatta, Lysbeth ten Bloemendaal, Ruth Schwartlander, Catherine Payne, John N. Plevris, Igor M. Sauer, Robert A.F.M. Chamuleau, Ronald P.J. Oude Elferink, Jurgen Seppen, and Ruurdtje Hoekstra.
A clonal cell line that combines both stable hepatic function and proliferation capacity is desirable for in vitro applications that depend on hepatic function, such as pharmacological or toxicological assays and bioartificial liver systems. The article describes the generation and characterization of a clonal human cell line for in vitro hepatocyte applications.Cell clones derived from human fetal liver cells were immortalized by over-expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase. The resulting cell line, cBAL111, displayed hepatic functionality similar to the parental cells prior to immortalization, and did not grow in soft agar. Cell line cBAL111 expressed markers of immature hepatocytes, like glutathione S transferase and cytokeratin 19, as well as progenitor cell marker CD146 and was negative for lidocaine elimination. On the other hand, the cBAL111 cells produced urea, albumin and cytokeratin 18 and eliminated galactose. In contrast to hepatic cell lines NKNT-3 and HepG2, all hepatic functions were expressed in cBAL111, although there was considerable variation in their levels compared with primary mature hepatocytes. When transplanted in the spleen of immunodeficient mice, cBAL111 engrafted into the liver and partly differentiated into hepatocytes showing expression of human albumin and carbamoylphosphate synthetase without signs of cell fusion. This novel liver cell line has the potential to differentiate into mature hepatocytes to be used for in vitro hepatocyte applications.

Sarah Illenberger: knit wool organs

The World Conference on Regenerative Medicine (WRM) will be held from October 29th to October 31st, 2009 in Leipzig. The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology is once again organizer and host of this scientific event and the Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) Leipzig has become co-organiser of the event. Main topics will be stem cells, tissue engineering, technology development, immunology, signaling, and regulatory affairs. 
The final program is now available - more information viwww.wcrm-leipzig.com .
Nathanael Raschzok will present our latest results concerning "Tracking of Transplanted Liver Cells in a Preclinical Large Animal Model", Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 04:00-05:30 pm, session: Imaging of Regeneration II, Hall 4.

ESAO 2009 - presentations

In her Berlin studio, Sarah Illenberger created wonderful delicate knit wool organs. Unfortunately al liver is still pending:


Wool organs by visual artist Sarah Illenberger. Photographed by Andreas Achmann for Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. 

One Day on the Liver 2009

At the XXXVI Annual Meeting of the European Society for Artificial Organs ESAO 2009  in Compiègne/France the following projects have been presented by members of our group:

  • Tracking of transplanted liver cells via clinical 3.0 tesla MRI A. Zielinski, K. Steinz, N. Raschzok, N. Billecke, N. Kammer, M.H. Morgul, M. Adonopulou, S. Schmeisser, J. Pinkernelle, W. Ruedinger, U. Teichgraeber, I.M. Sauer
  • Evaluation of application sites for liver cell transplantation in a large animal model K. Steinz, A. Zielinski, N. Raschzok, N. Billecke, N.N. Kammer, M.H. Morgul, M. Adonopulou, L. Morawietz, W. Rüdinger, I.M. Sauer
  • Methylprednisolone and tacrolimus prevent hypothermia induced endothelial dysfunction - possible use in transplantation surgery K.R.L. Schmitt, A. Diestel, N. Billecke, F. Berger, I.M. Sauer

BMBF Forschungsprämie

The traditional One Day on the Liver will be part of the XXXVI Annual Meeting of the European Society for Artificial Organs ESAO 2009 at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France. ODOL 2009 will take place September, 3rd focussing on "Cells, Hybrids, and Machines".
The following keynote lectures will be given:
Clinical Results of Liver Cell Therapy in Children with Urea Cycle Defect by Dr. Dr. W. Rüdinger, Weinheim, Germany,
Xenotransplantation. Where are we in 2009 ?
by Dr. A. Billiau, Leuven, Belgium,
Problems and Opportunities: Perspectives of Bioartificial Liver Support
by Dr. R. Hoekstra, Amsterdam, Netherlands,
New perspectives of artificial liver support
by Prof. Dr. D. Falkenhagen, Krems, Austria.

We expect to present you all lectures as video streams after the meeting.

HAI 2009 - New aspects in liver support

The group was awarded with a research bonus (Forschungsprämie) by the Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research) supporting the development of micron sized particles for the detection of transplanted cells via MRI. The program is part of the High-Tech Strategy for Germany, launched by the Federal Government in August 2006 to encourage the development of new products and innovative services.

Two articles among top 25

During the HAI 2009 a workshop will be dedicated to "New aspects in extracorporeal liver support". It will take place September 17th, 2009 in Saal A 05 / 30 (17.00 - 19.00)

Chair: A. Jörres, Berlin and L. Renders, Kiel
Welcome and introduction  - A. Krause (Bad Homburg)
Liver support systems: functioning and Biochemical efficiency - I.M. Sauer (Berlin)
Liver support systems: Clinical spectrum of indications and results - A. Jörres (Berlin)
Prometheus: Practical aspects and Anticoagulation - L. Renders (Kiel)
Prometheus: Hands-on 
With the friendly support of Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH

ESAO 2009 - Program online

The Editor-in-Chief Paul S. Malchesky of Artificial Organs informed us that the articles "`Blogs` and `Wikis Are Valuable Software Tools for Communication Within Research Groups" and "Isolation of primary human hepatocytes after partial hepatectomy: criteria for identification of the most promising liver specimen" were in the top 25 articles viewed online in 2008 at Blackwell Synergy.

18. Jahrestagung der DTG in Berlin 2009

The XXXVI Annual Meeting of the European Society for Artificial Organs ESAO 2009 will take place at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in Compiègne/France, September 3-5, 2009. 
The program of the ESAO 2009 meeting is now available here .

Nathanael Raschzok defended thesis "summa cum laude"

Sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen,

die Transplantationsmedizin in Deutschland ist in der Zukunft mit einer Vielzahl von Problemen konfrontiert. Basierend auf hervorragenden Ergebnissen wurden in den letzten Jahren die Indikation zur Transplantation zunehmend großzügiger gestellt. Gleichzeitig führt der andauernde Mangel an Organspendern zu einer steigenden Akzeptanz sogenannter marginaler Organe. Neben diesem zentralen Problem sind sicherlich die steigende Zahl von Patienten zur Retransplantation, Langzeitnebenwirkungen der Immunsuppression sowie die Inzidenz von Malignomen dringende Diskussionpunkte.
Daher lade ich Sie recht herzlich zur 18. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Transplantationsgesellschaft unter dem Motto:’Transplantationsmedizin – Neue Herausforderungen bei gesicherter Routine“ nach Berlin ein.
Neben dem wissenschaftlichen Diskurs möchten wir Sie zu einer Diskussion der aktuellen Probleme und Entwicklungen in der Transplantationsmedizin einladen.
Traditionellerweise wird im Rahmen der Tagung das 13. AKTX-Pflegesymposium am Donnerstag und Freitag stattfinden.
Ich freue mich Sie in Berlin begrüßen zu dürfen, einer Stadt die aufgrund ihrer kulturellen, geschichtlichen und internationalen Präsenz zu einem offenen und zukunftsweisenden Gedankenaustausch einlädt. Neben dem wissenschaftlichen Programm hoffen wir Ihnen auch im Rahmen der Abendveranstaltung etwas von der Attraktivität der Stadt vermitteln zu können.

Ihr Prof. Peter Neuhaus

Hypothermia induced endothelial dysfunction

Nathanael Raschzok successfully defended his medical doctoral thesis "summa cum laude". After three years of extremely fruitful research and development in the field of hepatocyte transplantation, cell labeling, and MR imaging of transplanted cells he is first author of three papers in peer reviewed journals (with more to come...). He currently is finishing his in vivo MRI studies of MPIO labeled transplanted hepatocytes. 
Transplantation of primary human hepatocytes is a promising approach in certain liver diseases. For visualisation of hepatocytes during and following cell application and the ability of a timely response to potential complications, a non-invasive modality for imaging of the transplanted cells has to be established. The aim of his studies was to label primary human hepatocytes with micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs), enabling the detection of cells by clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The feasibility of preparing MPIO-labelled primary human hepatocytes detectable by clinical MR equipment was shown in vitro. MPIO-labelled cells could serve for basic research and quality control in the clinical setting of human hepatocyte transplantation.
He also investigated techniques for evaluation of the particle uptake via continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry (CSAAS). Porcine liver cells were labelled with MPIOs and the iron concentration of the cell samples was investigated by a CSAAS spectrometer equipped with a Perkin-Elmer THGA graphite furnace. CSAAS enabled rapid quantification of particle load from small quantities of cells without extensive preparation steps. CSAAS could be used for quality control in a clinical setting of cell transplantation.

CSAAS and MPIO-labelled cells

Antje Diestel's manuscript entitled "Tacrolimus and methylprednisolone prevent hypothermia induced endothelial dysfunction" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. Co-authors are Nils Billecke, Joerg Roessler, Boris Schmitt, Silke Troeller, Ruth Schwartlander, Felix Berger, Igor Maximilian Sauer and Katharina Rose Luise Schmitt.
Hypothermia is used to preserve organs for transplant and it is the oldest method to protect organs during complex pediatric cardiac surgery. Loss of tissue function and tissue edema are common complications in children undergoing cardiac surgery and heart transplantation. The present study was designed to examine the effects of methylprednisolone (MP) and Tacrolimus (TAC) on endothelial cell function and morphology after deep hypothermia and rewarming. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were pretreated with MP and/orTAC and incubated either within a specially designed bioreactor or in monolayers. They were then exposed to a dynamic cooling and rewarming protocol. Immunocytochemistry, time lapse video microscopy within the SlideReactor bioreactor system, cell permeability and adherence assays and western blot analysis were performed. Confluent endothelial cells exposed to hypothermia displayed elongated cell shapes with intercellular gap formation, increased endothelial cell-layer permeability and loss in adherence. Upon rewarming, however, endothelial cell integrity was restored. Opening and closing of intercellular gaps was dependent on ERK 1/2 activation and connexin 43 (Cx43) expression. The combined treatment with MP and TAC inhibited these hypothermia-induced changes. These results suggest that MP and TAC inhibit hypothermia induced endothelial gap formation via pERK 1/2 inhibition and connexin 43 stabilization. Application of combined drugs that affect multiple targets may therefore be considered as a possible new therapeutic strategy to prevent endothelial dysfunction after hypothermia and rewarming.

Molekulare Bildgebung 2009 (MoBi)

As a result of the fruitful collaboration with the Institute for Analytical Sciences Berlin Nathanael Raschzok's paper on "Quantification of Cell Labelling with Micron-Sized Iron Oxide Particles Using Continuum Source Atomic Absorption Spectrometry" has been accepted by Tissue Engineering for publication. Co-authors are Nils Billecke, Nora N. Kammer, Mehmet H. Morgul, Michaela K. Adonopoulou, Igor M. Sauer, Stefan Florek, Helmut Becker-Ross, and Mao-Dong Huang.

Detection of cells after transplantation is necessary for quality control in regenerative medicine. Labelling with micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs) enables non-invasive detection of single cells by magnetic resonance imaging. However, techniques for evaluation of the particle uptake are challenging. The aim of this study was to investigate continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry (CSAAS) for this purpose. Porcine liver cells were labelled with MPIOs and the iron concentration of the cell samples was investigated by a CSAAS spectrometer equipped with a Perkin-Elmer THGA graphite furnace. The weak iron line at 305.754 nm provides only about 1/600 sensitivity of the iron resonance line at 248.327 nm and was used for CSAAS measurements. Iron concentrations measured from labelled cells ranged from (5.8 ± 0.3) to (25.8 ± 0.9) pg Fe/cell, correlating to an uptake of (8.2 ± 0.5) to (25.7 ± 0.8) particles/cell. The results were verified by standardised morphometric evaluation. CSAAS enabled rapid quantification of particle load from small quantities of cells without extensive preparation steps. Thereby, CSAAS could be used for quality control in a clinical setting of cell transplantation.


Vom 18. - 20. Juni 2009 findet die Molekulare Bildgebung 2009 (MoBi) in der Charite - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum statt. Die MoBi ist die jährlich stattfindende Jahrestagung des Interdisziplinären Netzwerkes Molekulare Bildgebung (INMB), das in diesem Jahr von dem Imaging Netzwerk Berlin (INB) in Berlin ausgerichtet wird. Das Programm der Molekularen Bildgebung 2009 verspricht einen interessanten Dialog zwischen jungen und gestandenen Wissenschaftlern aus verschiedenen Disziplinen sowie zwischen Forschung und Industrie. Dabei werden in Schwerpunkt-Sessions unter anderem auch die immer wichtiger werdenden Fragen der Regulation und der klinischen Anwendung molekularer Bildgebungsverfahren thematisiert.
Mehr Informationen via http://www.mobi09.de .

Thank you for coming and bringing such good cheer !

On behalf of the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO), it is our great pleasure and honour to welcome you to the XXXVI ESAO Congress, which will take place at the University of Technology (UTC) in Compiègne, France.
The University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC) has a special position among the French Universities. Founded in 1973, one of its duties was to link student training, research and industry. More specifically, UTC pioneered the field of biomedical engineering in France, hosting specialists in solid and fluid biomechanics, biomaterials, artificial organs, physiology, medical signals and images, and further areas. The occasion of the present Congress will allow a unique analysis of the “Past and future roles of artificial organs in engineering for health". We will take advantage of the Jubilé for Prof. M.Y. Jaffrin to review the premises and accomplishments of hemodialysis. We will consider the state of the art of research for the most popular artificial organs (kidney, heart, liver), and the promises of new technologies such as regenerative medicine, micro and nanotechnologies, multiscale and integrated approaches. Our aim is to bring together and to foster exchange and collaboration among scientists, clinicians and industrial partners. Located very close to Paris (70 km away), to international Roissy/Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Beauvais airports (both 40 minutes away), Compiègne is very easy to reach. In the valley of the river "Oise", it is a tourist and resort centre with castles, museums and the Armistice Clearing. The castle was the autumn residence of Emperor Napoleon III. Even before today’s castle was constructed, Compiègne was the preferred summer residence for the monarchs of France, primarily for hunting given its proximity to the nearby forest. We look forward to welcoming you in Compiègne for the 2009 edition of the ESAO annual meeting.

Cécile Legallais
Congress President

Dr. med. Dominik Paul Modest

RFMIARRP from Rot Signalgrau on Vimeo.

Inaugurative lecture of Dr. I.M. Sauer

After years of research in the field of hepatocyte isolation and hypothermic long-term culture Dominik Paul Modest successfully defended his thesis "magna cum laude".

Dr. M. Bahra & Dr. I.M. Sauer will celebrate their Habilitation February 6th, 2009

February 5th, 2009 at 4 p.m. (Hörsaal 3, Lehrgebäude Charité - Campus Virchow Klinikum) Dr. I.M. Sauer will give his inaugurative lecture entitled "Künstliche Organe: Von der Vision kybernetischer Organismen zur medizinischen Realität".