University of Würzburg (UWUERZ)

University of Würzburg (UWUERZ) - Department of Orthopedic Surgery König-Ludwig-Haus

University of Würzburg (UWUERZ) - Department of Orthopedic Surgery König-Ludwig-Haus
Brettreichstr. 11
97074 Würzburg
Germany

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Project leader

Prof. Dr. med. Maximilian Rudert
Phone: +49 931/803-1102
Fax: +49 931/803-1109

Contact

PubMed

 

Project staff

Dipl.-Biol. Franziska Ehlicke

Dipl.-Biol. Franziska Ehlicke
Laboratory supervisor, in vitro testing

Contact

Dr. med. Lars Rackwitz

Dr. med. Lars Rackwitz
Surgeon, medical advisor in HydroZones

Prof. Dr. med. Maximilian Rudert
Medical director of the König-Ludwig-Haus

Institute presentation

The Orthopaedic Department König-Ludwig-Haus (Chair Prof. Maximilian Rudert) has a long history in the field of musculo-skeletal research. The section “Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine” (Chair Prof. Ulrich Nöth) is focusing on the development of clinical products and pre-clinical/clinical studies using cell free and cell based products for the repair of diseased musculoskeletal tissue. Special expertise is given in performing projects with the possibility of implementation in clinical application. New matrices based on type I or type II collagen combined with organic polymers are manufactured by innovative electrospinning procedures. Phenotypical behavior of chondrocytes or mesenchymal stem cells embedded in such matrices has high potential for the treatment of articular cartilage defects.

Evaluation of the efficacy of new therapeutic strategies in cartilage repair is of high interest for establishing new therapeutic options. Within the last five years, more than 120 surgical procedures using collagen type I based hydrogels for articular cartilage repair in the knee have been performed. These treatments have been embedded in a multicenter study, coordinated by Prof. Ulrich Nöth. 

Furthermore, cell based therapies on avascular necrosis of the femoral head have been carried out. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells seeded on a beta-tricalcium phosphate have been implanted in patients suffering on femoral head necrosis.

The translation of cell based therapeutic approaches to the clinic has to pay large attention to the complex regulatory requirements. A profound experience exists dealing with authorities such as the PEI and the EMA. Also, just recently PEI gave approval for a first-in-human phase I clinical trial for intra articular injection of autologous adipose derived stem cells in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. This clinical trial is part of the ADIPOA project founded by the EU.

Bringing new cell based therapies into the clinic is also a topic of the EU VascuBone project. Here, our group contributes with profound competence in realization large animal trials in accordance with regulatory requirements, animal welfare, and surgical procedure.  The application and performance of a clinical trial using mesenchymal stem cells as the medicinal product will be a further tasks in this project.

For the Hydrozone project, a critical view from the clinicians is of mandatory importance to advice partners in generating a product which does also fulfill the clinical need and the subsequent clinical applicability.