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Our Research Projects
Gene and protein expression M. Hirschsprung
Team: Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena, Tobias Nientiedt, Tauseef Nisar, Dr. Rasul Khasanov.
Goal: Analysis of he gene and protein expression in different intestinal segments (healthy, ganglionar, aganglionar) in M. Hirschsprung.
Is there a different genetic expression among the segments? Does it influence the neuronal migration? Looking for new biomarkers, we analyze patient material to compare gene and protein expression among different segments (ganglionar, transition and aganlionar) from the pathological intestinal section by combining Next Generation Sequencing, IHC and qPCR.
New Ex vivo models to study M. Hirschsprung
Team: Dr. Richard Martel, Nicolas Hoyos, Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena. In Cooperation with the Institut of Neurophysiology (MCTN).
Goal: Vascular neuronal transplantation in pig intestinal segments to study cell migration.
We examine whether the transplantation of enteric neurospheres into isolated perfused porcine colon is feasible by vascular instillation and yields a structural and functional integration of the graft.
Functionality of small muscle cells and ENS in different environments
Team: Dr. Kristina Maurer, Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena, Dr. Rasul Khasanov; Handan Mörz. In Cooperation with Neurophysiology (CBTM)
Goal: Analysis of the interaction of mucle and ENS cell co-cultures by Ca2+Imaging.
Ca2+ Imaging analysis allow us to assess the activity of the cultures and hence to demonstrate the proper functionality of the cells under different conditions.
Intestinal Adaptation by Short Bowel Syndrome
Team: Dr. Rasul Khasanov, Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena, Silke Maas-Omlor (AGENS).
Goal: Role of ENS and muscle layers in the adaptation by Short Bowel Syndrom.
Intestinal adaption after extensive small bowel resection is crucial for enhancing the absorptive and digestive capacity. The impact of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and the intestinal smooth muscle layers on intestinal adaptation is just cursorily investigated. Due to dietary habits, mechanical bowel movements and inflammatory responses, the ENS adapts continuously to changing conditions. Neuromuscular disorders, such as Hirschsprung disease, show that the ENS (myenteric plexus) can affect the smooth muscle layers dramatically. Here we use in vivo models to analyze the role of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and the intestinal smooth muscle layers in the intestinal adaptation by Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS).
Intestinal Tissue Engineering
Team: Dr. Rasul Khasanov, Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena.
Goal: Construciton of a functional small intestine-muscle-organule with contraction activity by co-culture of muscle and ENS cells in 3D Scaffolds.
Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) is a devastating and expensive problem in human health care. The possibilities for therapeutic and surgical treatments are limited. Tissue engineering could potentially provide another approach towards treating patients with short bowel syndrome. However, the ability to innervate the bioengineered muscle is a critical step to ensure proper functionality. We work on the construction of artificial functional muscle fibers in 3D Matrix and already showed that co-cultivation of enteric nervous cells (ENS) and muscle cells in appropriate ratios and layers make the engineering of artificial functional muscle fibers possible.
The role of inflammatory pathways in M. Hirschsprung
Team: Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena, Ahmad Al Abdulqader.
Goal: Study the role of inflammatory pathways in neuronal survival, migration and colonization by M. Hirschsprung.
Inflammatory and signaling pathways control neurodegeneration and cell migration processes. Here we analyze patient samples to search for new biomarkers that may play a role in Hirschsprung disease.
Familiar Genetic Screening by M. Hirschsprung and Congenital Diafragmatic Hernia
Team: Dr. Rasul Khasanov, Dr. Maria A. Tapia-Laliena, Dr. Richard Martel. In Cooperation with Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Niesler (Institut of Human Genetics, Univeristy of Heidelberg)
Goal: To understand further the pathology and potential genetic causes of these diseases.
We analyze by Whole Exome Sequencing family samples looking for new biomarkers. This will help in the future with the diagnosis, but also in the personalized treatment of every patient.
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