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

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

Department of Transfusion Medicine

The Department of Transfusion Medicine has a high level of field-specific expertise in the production and further development of standard blood products and stem cell therapeutic agents for regeneration of the hematopoietic system (hematopoietic stem cells). A focus of our interdisciplinary research activity is the development of novel stem cell-based therapies for use in regenerative medicine and the testing thereof in clinical studies. 

Cell production for clinical testing

By setting up a GMP laboratory, we will be able to grow mesenchymal and endothelial stem and progenitor cells of pharmaceutical quality and in sufficient quantity for clinical applications, using the animal serum-free cell production protocols that we have already established. Our goal is to develop new protocols that will enable us to produce "tailor-made" and individual cell products for patients with specific clinical pictures.  

Pooled human platelet lysate (pHPL)

Blood platelets of healthy blood donors will be used in transfusion medicine to produce pooled human platelet lysate (pHPL) in compliance with the regulations on medicines. This pHPL has been proven effective as a growth supplement and thus as a substitute for the "fetal calf serum" typically used in cell cultures. The growth factors, hormones, and cytokines in pHPL induce vigorous propagation of cultured human cells and also influence cell function. Precisely which ingredients may be responsible for certain effects and how pHPL production can be optimized are key questions for our research activity. 


Interactions among cells can not only take place through direct cell contact but also indirectly through the emission and reception of potent substances. The latter are either secreted freely, sheathed in microparticles extruded from the cell membrane, or packaged inside the cells in vesicles (exosomes) and then released. In order to gain a better understanding of these mechanisms in conjunction with tissue regeneration, we are investigating how human stem and progenitor cells interact on the exosomal level. One of our goals is the prevention of known potential risks of direct cellular origin when designing innovative therapy concepts. The development of an ultimately "cell-free" therapeutic agent that contains the desired substances from stem cells and induces a specific healing effect is another focus of our research.