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Treatment of fractures and defects in systemically altered hard tissue represents one of the major challenges in medicine. Represented by patients suffering from bone defects or pathological fractures related to either postmenopausal or age-related osteoporosis, or tumor diseases, as exemplified by multiple myeloma, bone healing is impaired and associated with complications, related to altered remodeling and biochemical properties of bone and, in the case of multiple myeloma, additionally by the presence of the malignant cell population causing the defect. In these conditions, the integration of bone substitute materials, their “anchoring”, and long-term stability are severely impeded. Due to the aging population, the incidence of osteoporotic and tumor-associated fractures increases together with their associated morbidity and mortality. The long-term aim of our SFB/TRR79 over three funding periods is thus to develop a material concept laying the basis for an etiology based development of bone substitute materials and implants. Materials developed during the first funding period for the first time allow additionally a local treatment of multiple myeloma in specific situations per se.

Unique features of our SFB/TRR79 initiative are: i) bone substitute materials and metallic implants are developed taking into account biomechanics, architecture and altered remodeling in systemically diseased bone. ii) Synergistically, bone defects in osteoporosis and malignant diseases are investigated simultaneously. iii) For the first time, materials are specifically developed for a local treatment of multiple myeloma in terms of related bone defects as well as the malignant plasma cell infiltration per se. iv) Within our concept, the life sciences present themselves “at the service” of material development, simultaneously integrating state-of-the-art techniques in molecular biology and imaging. Thereby, investigations in men, animal experiment, and cell culture are linked and feed back to material development. The complexity of this challenge prerequisites an interdisciplinary collaboration of a synergistically acting research-consortium of “critical mass” (as the SFB/Transregio-initiative). Here we combine the complementary expertise at the different locations: Dresden – material science (bone substitute material and implants), Gießen – non-malignant bone defects (pathophysiology of osteoporosis, imaging) and animal models, and Heidelberg – life sciences, imaging and malignant bone defects, and multiple myeloma.

Goals of Collaborative Research Centre / TRR 79