University of Heidelberg
Established in 1386, the University of Heidelberg (UHEI) is Germany’s oldest university. As an elite “University of Excellence”, it has one of the strongest research profiles in Europe. UHEI is a self-governing institution committed to the principles of good academic practice.
Involved in the project is the Department of Innate Immunity and Tolerance located at the Institute for Transfusion and Clinical Immunology, Medical Faculty Mannheim of UHEI. This Institute holds an innovative research profile covering various aspects of systems and functional immunology, immune genetics and cellular therapy as well as a GMP facility for cellular therapy.
The research infrastructure at the Medical Faculty Mannheim is ideally designed for the innovative translational medical research projects. In addition to fully equipped biochemical, molecular and cell biological labs, the faculty staff has access to core facilities for proteomics, genomics, advanced imaging and medical statistics.
Role in IMMODGEL
UHEI applies its leading expertise in macrophage biology and systems immunology to identify the role of macrophages in adverse inflammatory reactions to implants. It is responsible for the detection of macrophage-derived biomarkers and the development of specific sub-phenotypes of this cell type for the therapeutic application to suppress unwanted inflammatory reactions.
Furthermore, it will test immunomodulatory gels using a unique primary human macrophage-based functional evaluation system. This will allow reducing or even eliminating the detrimental inflammatory reactions to implants and improving implant tolerance significantly.
UHEI will thus establish the mechanism of macrophage reactions to different types of biomaterials and will contribute to create the first therapeutic immunomodulatory hydrogel with a long-term fixed macrophage phenotype.