Orthopaedic Implant Loosening, Molecular Biological Analysis (Mayer)

Department / Institute
Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Musculoskeletal University Center Munich (MUM), University Hospital, LMU Munich
Subject area
Orthopaedic implant loosening, (molecular) biological analysis
Project title
Novel cell culture system to test implant debris
Name of supervisor
Prof. Dr med. Susanne Mayer
Number of open positions
Language requirements
Certificate of Proficiency in English, equivalent to IELTS Test Academic 6.5 (no module below 6) or TOEFL IBT 95, is required.
Certificate of proficiency in German if available.
Academic requirements
Masters degree (with a score of 80 or above in the Chinese grading system)
Project time plan
Sandwich-Model: 12 to 24 months

Project description

Osteoclastogenesis and thus increased bone resorption is a major complication in aseptic loosening of orthopedic implants. Fibroblasts seem to play a central role in inflammatory bone modeling, as they have been found to release main osteoclastogenic mediators as macrophage colony-stimulating factor (MCSF), receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANK-L), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), as well as osteoprotegerin (OPG). Co-culture studies investigating the role of periprosthetic fibroblasts (PPFs) in inflammatory osteoclastogenesis reveal contrary results, partly showing an osteoprotective function of fibroblasts and high OPG expression in monolayer. These data disagree with molecular analyses of original periosteolytic tissues. In order to find a more reliable model, PPFs were co-cultivated with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in a transwell system and compared to conventional monolayer cultures. In conclusion, we were able to show that a change of culture conditions towards a transwell system resulted in a considerably more osteoclastogenic gene expression profile, being closer to findings in original periosteolytic tissues [M.I. Koehler et al. 2019]. This cell culture system will be further evaluated with debris from orthopaedic implants.


  • Koehler MI, Hartmann ES, Schluessel S, Beck F, Redeker JI, Schmitt B, Unger M, van Griensven M, Summer B, Fottner A, Mayer-Wagner S. Impact of periprosthetic fibroblast-like cells on osteoclastogenesis in Co-culture with peripheral blood mononuclear cells varies depending on culture system. Int J Mol Sci.26;20(10), 2019.

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