What is a tissue replacement?
Irreversible damage to various vitally important tissues and organs, such as blood vessels, heart valves, bones, joints, cartilage or skin, is a serious and frequent consequence of the lifestyle of the contemporary civilized society. It is associated with various metabolic disorders and also with traffic, sport and industrial accidents. Hereditary disorders, wear and aging of the organism also play an adverse role.
When prevention, conservative treatment and surgical interventions fail, it is necessary to replace the damaged tissue. Autologous tissue, i.e. the patient's own tissue, is still considered to be the “gold standard” for tissue substitution. However, autologous tissue is usually available only in limited quantities, and acquiring the tissue burdens the patient with additional surgery and donor site morbidity. For this reason, increasing attention is being paid to artificial materials that serve as scaffolds for reconstructing the damaged tissue.
The main tasks of our laboratory are:
• To improve currently-used synthetic tissue replacements by introducing cell and other biological components
• To construct completely new replacements on the basis of synthetic materials and cells
To achieve these two goals, we carry out studies on the molecular mechanisms of cell behavior on synthetic materials, such as the adhesion, growth, differentiation and viability of cells on artificial materials, together with studies on potential damage and immune activation.