C05 |Ultraweak hydrogels for molecular and biological functional analyses of cell-matrix and cell-cell 3D networks in neuronal cell culture systems

Within the first grant period of the SFB, 3D Matrix-scaffold composites were established composed of ultra-weak hydrogels (100-150 Pa), MEW scaffolds and single cell types (neurons, astrocytes, Glioblastoma cells). In the new grant period, we will further develop this model system to understand cell-cell interactions between primary neuronal and tumor cells. The focus of the project will be to study the influence of the extracellular environment, such as matrix, scaffold and the resulting biomechanics on tumor progression using co-cultures as well as spheroids of primary neuronal cells and tumor cells.

Prof. Dr. Reiner Strick
Prof. Dr. Carmen Villmann


Mateo S. Andrade Mier

Previous academic education: M.Sc. Translational Neuroscience
Academic Advisor within SFB TRR225: Prof. Dr. Carmen Villmann
Location: University Hospital of Würzburg, Institute for Clinical Neurobiology
Topic of thesis: 3D cultures and co-cultures of astrocytes, neurons and GBM cells in HA-SH gel: cell viability and interactions
Main techniques and methodologies to be used: 3D cell culture, Electrophysiology, Calcium Imaging, Microscopy

Contact: andrade_m@ukw.de

Anna Reinert

Previous academic education: Master Molecular and Developmental Stem Cell Biology
Academic Advisor within SFB TRR225: Prof. Dr. Reiner Strick
Location: University Hospital Erlangen (UKER), Department of OB/GYN, Lab for Molecular Medicine
Topic of thesis: 3D tumor structures in a neuronal network with emphasis on hydrogel, cell-cell and cell-matrix functional interactions.
Main techniques and methodologies to be used: 3D co-culture of brain and tumor cells, cell spheroids, functionalized and PCL stabilized hydrogels, gene- and protein-expression analysis, proliferation- and migration-assays

Contact: anna.reinert@fau.de

Sivakumar S, Schmid R, Wieland A, Strissel PL, Strick R, Fischer L, Thievessen I, Kataev E, Arkudas A, Horch RE, Schubert DW, Kengelbach‐Weigand A, Role of Fiber Thickness and Surface Treatment of Electrospun Polycaprolactone Matrices on the Growth of Different Breast Cancer‐Associated Cells, Advanced Materials Interfaces doi:10.1002/admi.202101808  (2022). (B01, B06, C03)

Wieland A, Strissel PL, Schorle H, Bakirci E, Janzen D, Beckmann MW, Eckstein M, Dalton PD, Strick R, Brain and Breast Cancer Cells with PTEN Loss of Function Reveal Enhanced Durotaxis and RHOB Dependent Amoeboid Migration Utilizing 3D Scaffolds and Aligned Microfiber Tracts, Cancers (Basel) 13(20) (2021). (B01)

Fischhaber N, Faber J, Bakirci E, Dalton PD, Budday S, Villmann C, Schaefer N, Spinal Cord Neuronal Network Formation in a 3D Printed Reinforced Matrix-A Model System to Study Disease Mechanisms, Adv Healthc Mater doi:10.1002/adhm.202100830  (2021) e2100830. (B01, Z01)

Kim J, Bakirci E, O’Neill KL, Hrynevich A, Dalton PD, Fiber Bridging during Melt Electrowriting of Poly(ε‐Caprolactone) and the Influence of Fiber Diameter and Wall Height, Macromol. Mater. Eng. 306(3) (2021). (B01)

Mark C, Grundy TJ, Strissel PL, Bohringer D, Grummel N, Gerum R, Steinwachs J, Hack CC, Beckmann MW, Eckstein M, Strick R, O’Neill GM, Fabry B, Collective forces of tumor spheroids in three-dimensional biopolymer networks, eLife 9 (2020) 51912. (C02, B01)

Janzen D, Bakirci E, Wieland A, Martin C, Dalton PD, Villmann C, Cortical Neurons form a Functional Neuronal Network in a 3D Printed Reinforced Matrix, Adv Healthc Mater 9(9) (2020) 1901630. (B01)

Bakirci E, Schaefer N, Dahri O, Hrynevich A, Strissel P, Strick R, Dalton PD, Villmann C, Melt Electrowritten In Vitro Radial Device to Study Cell Growth and Migration, Adv Biosyst 4(10) (2020) 2000077. (B01)

Schaefer N, Janzen D, Bakirci E, Hrynevich A, Dalton PD, Villmann C, 3D Electrophysiological Measurements on Cells Embedded within Fiber-Reinforced Matrigel, Adv Healthc Mater 8(5) (2019) 1801226. (B01)

Bakirci E, Janzen D, Wieland A, Hrynevich A, Tandon B, Schaefer N, Strissel PL, Strick R, Villmann C, Dalton PD (2021) Melt electrowritten fiber scaffolds as in vitro culture systems for nervous tissue engineering, 31st Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB 2021), 5 to 9 September 2021 (B01)

Janzen D, Bakirci E, Hauptstein J, Forster L, Teßmar J, Blunk T, Dalton PD, Villmann C (2021) Neuronal Networks in a Fiber-Reinforced Hyaluronic Acid-Based Matrix, 31st Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB 2021), 5 to 9 September 2021 (B01)

Wieland A, Strissel PL, Schorle H, Bakirci E, Dalton PD, Janzen D, Eckstein M, Villmann C, Strick R (2021) Aligned melt electrowritten fiber tracts and PTEN dysfunction reveal an alternating morphology mechanism for migrating brain tumor cells, 31st Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB 2021), 5 to 9 September 2021 (B01)

Janzen D, Bakirci E, Wieland A, Strissel PL, Strick R, Dalton PD, VIllmann C (2020) Neural networks in 3D printed fiber-reinforced hydrogels, 5th Bioinspired Materials 2020 Conference, 16 – 19 March 2020 – Web conference

Wieland A, Strissel PL, Bakirci E, Dalton PD, Feigenspan A, Villmann C, Strick R (2019) Soft matrix composites as three-dimensional models mimicking Glioblastoma in vitro, 30th Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials in tandem with the 26thAnnual Conference of the German Society for Biomaterials (DGBM); September 9 to 13, 2019 (Dresden, Germany)

Janzen D, Bakirci E, Wieland A, Strissel PL, Strick R, Dalton PD, Villmann C (2019) Neuronal Networks in 3D Matrix Composites, 30th Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials in tandem with the 26thAnnual Conference of the German Society for Biomaterials (DGBM); September 9 to 13, 2019 (Dresden, Germany)

Bakirci E, Dahri O, Ceballos E, Hrynevich A, Groll J, Schäfer N, Villmann C, Dalton PD(2019) Design and Development of a Melt Electrowritten in vitro Radial Migration Assay, TeRMIS European Chapter Meeting 2019 27th-31st May 2019, Tissue Engineering Therapies: From Concept to Clinical Translation & Commercialisation (Rhodes, Greece)

Janzen D, Schaefer N, Bakirci E, Dalton PD, Strissel PL, Villmann C (2018) 3D Electrophysiology in Matrix Composites, Annual Conference of the International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF), 28 – 31 October 2018 (Würzburg, Germany)

Wieland A, Janzen D, Bakirci E, Schäfer N, Strissel PL, Strick R, Villmann C, Dalton P (2018) Ultra-soft Matrix Composites for 3D Neuroglia in vitro Research, Summer School “3D Printing Technologies”, 16 – 20 Jul 2018 (Würzburg, Germany)

Dieter Janzen

Previous academic education: Master-Thesis
Academic Advisor within SFB TRR225: Prof. Dr. Carmen Villmann
Location: University Hospital of Würzburg, Institute for Clinical Neurobiology
Topic of thesis: 3D electrophysiology in ultra-soft matrices
Main techniques and methodologies to be used: Primary cell culture, 3D electrophysiology, Immunocytochemistry

Contact: janzen_d@ukw.de

Annalena Wieland

Previous academic education: Master of Science in Molecular Medicine
Academic Advisor within SFB TRR225: Prof. Dr. Reiner Strick
Location: University Hospital Erlangen, Department of Molecular Medicine
Topic of thesis: Ultra-soft matrix composites as three-dimensional models mimicking 3D glioblastoma in vitro.
Main techniques and methodologies to be used: Isolation and fractionation of human primary cells, cell culture, gene- and protein- expression analysis (ECM), proliferation- and migration assays.

Contact: Annalena.Wieland@uk-erlangen.de

Ezgi Bakirci

Previous academic education: Yildiz Technical University-Bioengineering, Sabanci University- Material Sciences and Engineering
Academic Advisor within SFB TRR225: Prof. Dr. Paul Dalton
Subproject: Ultra-soft matrix composite for 3D Neuroglia in vitro Research
Location: University of Würzburg, Department for Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry
Topic of thesis: Developing in vitro Culture System for Nerve Tissue Engineering Application using Melt Electrospinning Writing
Main techniques and methodologies to be used: Melt Electrospinning Writing, Hydrogel, Cell Culture

Contact: ezgi.bakirci@fmz.uni-wuerzburg.de
Awards: IOP Biofabrication Best Presentation Award 2018 at the @utrechtsummer course 3D Printing & Biofabrication.
ISBF Young Scientist Award 2021 at the Biofabrication 2021 conference.