Bone Bioengineering and Regeneration

Injuries of bones are a frequent consequence of trauma, such as traffic accidents, osteoporosis-related fractures and sports injuries. A quick and full recovery of these injuries is of great importance. In some cases, the treatment is especially challenging due to the compromised healing and regenerative potential of the tissue, resulting either from damage to blood supply, systemic conditions or advanced patient age. In order to reach successful healing of such injuries, surgical intervention and tissue grafting are often required.

The group lead by Regina Brunauer, under the clinical-co lead of Thomas Nau, is developing new approaches to improve bone regeneration. The overall focus is on the development of tissue replacement materials and biological tissue substitutes with enhanced functionality. The research areas encompass:

  • Novel osteosynthesis materials and bone substitutes, involving combinations of scaffolds, growth factors, stem cells and pre-vascularization approaches
  • Advanced non-viral gene therapy approaches for bone regeneration
  • Approaches for bone tissue regeneration in elderly patients with compromised native regenerative potential
  • Novel biomarkers associated with increased risk for bone injury and degenerative joint diseases

The approaches are examined regarding their efficiency and ethical justifiability in practice. Working in close collaboration with clinicians, a particular focus is placed on the strategies supporting translation into practice.


Selected Publications

Messner Z, Carro Vázquez D, Haschka J, Grillari J, Resch H, Muschitz C, Pietschmann P, Zwerina J, Hackl M, Kocijan R (2023). Circulating miRNAs Respond to Denosumab Treatment After 2 Years in Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis-the MiDeTe study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Apr 13;108(5):1154-1165. 

Bernhard JC, Marolt Presen D, Li M, Monforte X, Ferguson J, Leinfellner G, Heimel P, Betti SL, Shu S, Teusch-Woller AH, Tangl S, Redl H, Vunjak-Novakovic G (2022). Effects of Endochondral and Intramembranous Ossification Pathways on Bone Tissue Formation and Vascularization in Human Tissue-Engineered Grafts. Cells.2022 Sep 29;11(19):3070. 

Zupan J, Strazar K, Kocijan R, Nau T, Grillari J, Marolt Presen D (2021). Age-related alterations and senescence of mesenchymal stromal cells: Implications for regenerative treatments of bones and joints. Mech Ageing Dev2021 Sep;198:111539.

Hashemi N, Vaezi Z, Khanmohammadi S, Naderi Sohi A, Masoumi S, Hruschka V, Wolbank S, Redl H, Marolt Presen D, Naderi-Manesh H (2020). A novel fluorescent hydroxyapatite based on iron quantum cluster template to enhance osteogenic differentiation. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2020 Jun;111:110775.

Kocijan R, Weigl M, Skalicky S, Geiger E, Ferguson J, Leinfellner G, Heimel P, Pietschmann P, Grillari J, Redl H, Hackl M (2020). MicroRNA levels in bone and blood change during bisphosphonate and teriparatide therapy in an animal model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Bone. 2020 Feb;131:115104.

Feichtinger X, Monforte X, Keibl C, Hercher D, Schanda J, Teuschl AH, Muschitz C, Redl H, Fialka C, Mittermayr R (2019). Substantial Biomechanical Improvement by Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy After Surgical Repair of Rodent Chronic Rotator Cuff Tears. Am J Sports Med. Jul;47(9):2158-2166.

Teuschl AH, Tangl S, Heimel P, Schwarze UY, Monforte X, Redl H, Nau T (2019). Osteointegration of a Novel Silk Fiber-Based ACL Scaffold by Formation of a Ligament-BoneInterface. Am J Sports Med. Mar;47(3):620-627.

Feichtinger X, Muschitz C, Heimel P, Baierl A, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Redl H, Resch H, Geiger E, Skalicky S, Dormann R, Plachel F, Pietschmann P, Grillari J, Hackl M, Kocijan R (2018). Bone-related Circulating MicroRNAs miR-29b-3p, miR-550a-3p, and miR-324-3p and their Association to Bone Microstructure and Histomorphometry. Sci Rep. Mar 20;8(1):4867.

Hruschka V, Tangl S, Ryabenkova Y, Heimel P, Barnewitz D, Möbus G, Keibl C, Ferguson J, Quadros P, Miller C, Goodchild R, Austin W, Redl H, Nau T(2017). Comparison of nanoparticular hydroxyapatite pastes of different particle content and size in a novel scapula defect model. Sci Rep. Feb 24;7:43425.
(free PDF)

Bernhard J, Ferguson J, Rieder B, Heimel P, Nau T, Tangl S, Redl H, Vunjak-Novakovic G (2017). Tissue-engineered hypertrophic chondrocyte grafts enhanced long bone repair. Biomaterials, Sep;139:202-212.
(author’s manuscript)

Teuschl A, Heimel P, Nürnberger S, van Griensven M, Redl H & Nau T (2016). A Novel Silk Fiber-Based Scaffold for Regeneration of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Histological Results From a Study in Sheep. Am J Sports Med, 44(6):1547-1557.

Kocijan R, Muschitz C, Geiger E, Skalicky S, Baierl A, Dormann R, Plachel F, Feichtinger X, Heimel P, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Grillari J, Redl H, Resch H & Hackl M (2016). Circulating microRNA Signatures in Patients With Idiopathic and Postmenopausal Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 01(11):4125-4134.

Nau T & Teuschl A (2015). Regeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament: Current strategies in tissue engineering. World J Orthop, 6(1):127-136.
(free PDF)

Kaipel M, Schützenberger S, Hofmann AT, Ferguson J, Nau T, Redl H & Feichtinger GA (2014). Evaluation of fibrin-based gene-activated matrices for BMP2/7 plasmid codelivery in a rat nonunion model. Int Orthop, 38(12):2607-2613.

Weilner S, Grillari-Voglauer R, Redl H, Grillari J & Nau T (2015). The role of microRNAs in cellular senescence and age-related conditions of cartilage and bone. Acta Orthop, 86(1):92-99.