SCI-TReCS - Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center Salzburg

SCI-TReCS - Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center Salzburg

Institute of Experimental und Clinical Cell Therapy

Regenerative stem cell therapy is one of the most promising strategies of modern medicine. At the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Cell Therapy (ExCT), we study key mechanisms of organ and tissue regeneration:

Organ stem cells

Stem cells can simultaneously self-renew and generate proliferating progenitor cells by asymmetric cell division. They thereby contribute to structural repair of their corresponding organ after an injury while maintaining a resident stem cell pool. We analyze multi-potent mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSCs) and endothelial colony-forming progenitor cells (ECFCs) from blood, bone marrow, adipose tissues and umbilical cord/blood in order to better understand and utilize the mechanisms of "self-renewal". We study induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) differentiation and function towards development of new therapies for better regeneration.

Mobilization

Stem cells circulating within peripheral blood are considered to support regeneration of damaged tissue. We investigate the mechanisms of mobilization (drug- or stress-induced enhanced stem cell circulation). The sensitivity of our "Flow Cytometry" is currently at about 0.001 per cent (corresponding to a detection limit of 50-100 stem cells/mL of blood or tissue).

Transplantation

The incomplete regeneration of damaged organs or tissue (including the immune system) may be compensated by stem cell transplantation. So far, the transplantation of blood-forming (haematopoietic) stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) is the only clinically proven successful stem cell therapy. We develop new efficient GMP-compliant protocols for pre-clinical animal serum-free production (with human platelet lysate, HPL) and differentiation of stem cells for therapeutic application in prospective randomized clinical trials.