BSRT Graduate School

Project 12

Guided tissue regeneration through patterned hydrogels with controlled biophysical and biochemical properties

Engineering track
Supervisor 1: 
Cipitria, Amaia
Supervisor 2: 
Fratzl, Peter
Supervisor 3: 
David Mooney


In our group “Extracellular Matrix in Disease and Regeneration” at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces we investigate the role of the biophysical microenvironment, in particular the physicochemical properties of tissues, extracellular matrix and collective of cells, in controlling tissue regeneration and cancer-related disease.


Healing processes are characterized by dynamic microenvironments, where local and temporal control of physicochemical cues orchestrate tissue self-organization. Alginate hydrogels can mimic such microenvironments and allow spatial control of hydrogel stiffness, degradability and presentation of polymer-bound biomolecules (1, 2). We hypothesize that matrix spatial patterning of biophysical and biochemical cues modulate cell metabolic activity and proliferation, soft and mineralized tissue organization and crosstalk with immune molecules. We aim to use engineered 3D matrices with tunable biophysical and biochemical, in combination with a minimally invasive in vivo model, to test this hypothesis and thereby improve our understanding of physiological bone regeneration and pathological alterations.


We are looking for a doctoral researcher with a background in bioengineering, biotechnology, biochemistry or similar. He/she will work on synthesis and characterization of hydrogels with tunable biophysical and biochemical properties, cell culture, histology/immunohistochemistry and imaging.




1. A. Lueckgen, D.S. Garske, A.E. Ellinghaus, D.J. Mooney, G.N. Duda, A. Cipitria, “Dual alginate crosslinking for local patterning of biophysical and biochemical properties””, Acta Biomaterialia, 2020, in press (


2. A. Lueckgen, D.S. Garske, A.E. Ellinghaus, D.J. Mooney, G.N. Duda, A. Cipitria, “Enzymatically-degradable alginate hydrogels promote cell spreading and in vivo tissue infiltration”, Biomaterials, 2019, 217:119294.