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Developing Complex Culture Techniques for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

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  Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences 


  Developing Complex Culture Techniques for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 

  Speaker Prof. Charles James Kirkpatrick 

   (Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany; 

  University of Gothenburg, Sweden) 






  Healing processes are a highly regulated series of biological activities in the so-called regenerative niche to restore structural and functional integrity, and involve the coordinated and sequential release of numerous biological signals from various cell types. Understanding these processes is a pre-requisite for regenerative medicine. Based on the working hypothesis that cells are Nature’s prime signal delivery systems, we have endeavoured to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular crosstalk by establishing suitable human co-culture models.  The latter have concentrated on an essential component of healing, namely, vascularization. Thus, in bone regeneration human osteoblasts or mesenchymal stromal cells differentiated along the osteogenic lineage in co-culture with human microvascular or progenitor endothelial cells (EC) demonstrate characteristic molecular interactions as a result of mutual stimulation to yield microvascular structures. The latter can also be formed on a 3D biomaterial scaffold in vitro, the resulting microvessels being rapidly inosculated on implantation in vivo. More recent research involves the role of the initial inflammatory reaction, indicating that pro-inflammatory macrophages, can accelerate this vascularization process.Further co-culture models have been established for the lung, e.g. the air-blood barrier, which is of interest for nanomedicine in which nanoparticles could be transported into the body by an inhalational route. The most complex of these air-blood barrier models involves the incorporation of macrophages, as these cells are also present in the alveoli. In addition, co-cultures of respiratory basal epithelial progenitor cells with lung fibroblasts have been established as a model of upper respiratory tract regeneration, in which a complete human respiratory mucosa is formed in co-culture. Thus, basal progenitor cells, mucus-producing cells and ciliated columnar epithelial cells are present in the correct topographical relationship.  It is hoped that such models can be useful in developing new translational approaches in regenerative medicine. 

  Personal information: 

  Charles James Kirkpatrick has a triple doctorate in science and medicine (MD, PhD, DSc) from the Queen’s University of Belfast (N. Ireland) and is emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany.  His academic appointments were in pathology at the University of Ulm (1980-1985), Manchester University, UK (1985-1987), the RWTH Aachen (1987-1993) and the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) Mainz (1993-2015).  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath), London (since 1997) and an Honorary Professor at the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing and the Sichuan University in Chengdu, China (both since 2004).  In addition, he has visiting professorships at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.  His principal research interests are in the fields of biomaterials in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, with special focus on human co-culture systems. During the past years his work has involved bone vascularization, the development of barrier models (e.g. air-blood barrier, blood-brain barrier) to study nanoparticle interactions with cellular systems, as well as co-culture models for upper respiratory tract regeneration.  

  He is author/coauthor of 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has made more than 1360 presentations to scientific meetings worldwide [> 485 of which were invited lectures] and has an h-index of 55 (Web of Science) & 65 (Google Scholar). He has supervised 111 (completed) doctorate theses (MD/PhD/DDS) at two universities (Aachen, Mainz).  He is a former President of both the German Society for Biomaterials (2001-2005) and the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB, 2002-2007). In 2008 he received the ESB’s George Winter Award and in 2010 he was awarded the Chapman Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, London, UK for “distinguished research in the field of biomedical materials”. In 2014 he received the TERMIS-EU Career Achievement Award (awarded at the TERMIS congress in Genova, Italy).