Project Image:
Title of the project:
Threedimentional organotypical tissue model
The aim is to establish an improved in vitro test system for drug development for chronic inflammatory diseases.
Project leader:
Dr. Frank Weise
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
Funding reference number:
01 GG 0712

In the improved in vitro test system, the interaction between infllammatory processes in the blood and processes in the lungs is to be mapped in a cell culture model . Cells of the blood, blood vessels and pulmonary epithelial cells are held in a three-dimensional co-culture system. Starting point for the cellular components of the test system are adult, patient's own stem cells from fat tissue.


The aim of the project is to establish an improved in vitro test system for the development of drugs against chronic inflammatory diseases of the lung. The interaction of the inflammatory processes of the blood with the processes in the lungs will be mapped in a cell culture model by keeping the cells of the blood, the cells of the blood vessels (endothelial cells) and the pulmonary epithelial cells in a three-dimensional co-culture system.
The project is divided into several subprojects: The NMI's goal is to provide a sufficient number of well-characterised human cells that will be used as cellular components in the new test system. Mesenchymal stem cells are isolated from fat tissue samples and differentiated into the required blood vessel endothelial cells. In this way, the larger cell quantities required for analytical substance testing can be obtained from small initial cell quantities without using cells from different patients. This is important because there are considerable individual differences between patients, which can prevent comparability of analytical results.
The endothelial cells provided by the NMI will be cultivated in a co-culture network between the other cells, the blood cells and the pulmonary epithelial cells in order to maintain the organ-typical separation of blood and lung cells.
Further subprojects, which are worked on by the partners, are the production and optimization of the membranes, which spatially separate the cells from each other (Novalung GmbH) as well as the structure of the analytics in the complex co-cultumodell (EDI GmbH).

Project partners:
  • EDI GmbH
  • Novalung GmbH