Mechanobiology in Epithelial
3D Tissue Constructs

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft verlängert Förderung für zwei RWTH-Graduiertenkollegs

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft bewilligte zwei Anträge der RWTH Aachen zur Verlängerung von Graduiertenkollegs. Die Graduiertenkollegs „Mechanobiologie epithelialer 3D-Gewebekonstrukte (MEƎT)“ und „Physik der schwersten Teilchen am Large Hadron Collider“ wurden bereits 2019 eingerichtet. Ziel eines Graduiertenkol-legs ist die Ausbildung besonders qualifizierter Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden.

Pressemitteilung: PDF
05.05. and 08.05.2023


We are proud to announce the successful thesis defense of
Susan Babu and Ramin Nasehi.

Enjoying Indian summer in Nideggen…

Spending the annual retreat at the youth hostel in Nideggen turned out to be an intense experience with an extremely crowded seminar room, many close encounters and lots of lively discussions. Relief was afforded by geocaching in the nearby wonderful countryside and a calorious barbecue. Thanks to the experience, our community has gained further tightness and understanding, and the new cohort is well on board.

Clarissa Tomasina and Manuel Estévez Amado won the Young Scientist Award 2022, receiving 3300 € for their research on a novel bone regeneration strategy.


N4M  - And the winner is…
While the waves clashed against the walls of the historic Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi in the pictural village Camogli on the ligurian coast, the audience of the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology Conference 2022 was witnessing the final round of the N4M Young Scientist Award 2022. Two finalists were preselected to present and defend their project ideas on how to take mechanobiological research into clinical application, bringing up a hard decision for the YSA Jury.

Some hours later, the decision was made and jury member Boris Martinac announced the winning team: PhD candidates Clarissa Tomasina (Maastricht University, MERLN) and Manuel Estévez Amado (Complutense University of Madrid) excelled with their project on a novel bone regeneration strategy involving superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. The YSA team is happy to kick-start this great idea with an earmarked price money of 3300€.

A huge round of thanks goes to everyone who participated in the award: to our second finalist, Kimia Witte (University of Strathclyde), for her outstanding contribution on diagnostic biomarkers for Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrome, to all other applicants who brought in so many great proposals, to our jury members Karine Guevorkian (Institut Curie), Sara Wickström (MPI Münster), Boris Martinac (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute), Andreas Herrmann (RWTH Aachen) and Nikolai Born (Optics11 Life) who kindly took over the hard decision on the winning idea, and last but not least to all our crowd funders and sponsors (PL Bioscience GmBH, MedST RWTH Aachen, Optics11 Life) who have a huge share on the future of #frombenchtobedside translation.

N4M nanoengineering for Mechamnobiology - 6th edition
Camogli, Genova, Italy

This is the home for the "Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology" (N4M) symposium, a recurrent event being organized in Camogli, a little fishermen village on the Italian coast, close to the port of Genova and the area of Portofino and Cinque Terre. N4M aims to bring together, in an informal context, great scientists from all over the world, exploiting nanoengineering tools to address fascinating mechanobiology problems. The ivory tower atmosphere of the location offers an ideal environment to discuss new ideas and meet companies offering cutting-edge technological tools in the field. You can have more details about the meeting, have a look at the venue or contact us if you have ideas, questions or curiosities.

Growing human heart tissue in the laboratory - ERC Consolidator Grant for Laura De Laporte and the "HEARTBEAT" project

The Belgian scientist Prof. Dr.-Ing. Laura De Laporte from the DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University has been awarded one of the most highly endowed research grants of the European Research Council (ERC): an ERC Consolidator Grant. This will fund the expansion of her research at the DWI in Aachen over five years with a budget of two million euros. In her research project "HEARTBEAT", De Laporte and her team aim to grow vascularized, structured and beating human heart tissue in the laboratory. In doing so, she wants to break with traditional methods of producing 3D biomaterials: Her approach is to use interactive rod-shaped polymers - called microgels - to produce gels for growing cell structures similar to heart tissue. The spatially controllable arrangement of the microgel network serves as a scaffold and also determines the orientation of growth ...

PDF Press release:



N4M Young Scientist Award: It’s Time for Translation

What does it take to bring the discoveries that we make in the lab into the clinical application? Realizing that the answer to this question is not trivial, some Ph.D. students of ME3T graduate school decided to motivate young researchers to address this challenge. As co-organizers for next year’s edition of the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology conference in Camogli, Italy, ME3T will host a competition where young researchers from the field of mechanobiology can contend with their unique idea on how to translate their research into clinical therapeutics.
What was the motivation to organize this competition? “Studying rare skin diseases with little to no treatment has shown me that despite all motivation to help the suffering patients, the actual clinical treatment is completely out of sight”, says Jana Schieren, a PhD student from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy (MOCA). Together with her colleagues Anna Sternberg and Aleksandra Kozyrina, the students decided that it is time for translation. “The biggest challenge is not the motivation of young scientists, however, but the funding of new and innovative research projects”, Anna Sternberg claims. With the help of Pauline Eichstedt from Forschungszentrum Jülich (Institute of Biological Information Processing (IBI-2)), the doctoral students started a crowdfunding campaign with the goal to fund the competition and raise the prize money. They launched a vital social media campaign ( / Instagram) where they explain complex mechanobiological principles in a comprehensible, narrative way. The young researchers are sure that science needs to break new ground besides the traditional ways. We eagerly await to watch what comes next!

Multiscale 3D Bioprinting by Nozzle-Free Acoustic Droplet Ejection

A novel 3D bioprinting method is introduced based on the principle of acoustic droplet ejection. The size of the cell‐laden droplets can be modulated over three length scales down to single cell size. The cells are exposed to much lower shear stress compared to established nozzle‐based bioprinting techniques. The method holds promise for advanced tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and mechanobiology.

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Wo Implantate zum Leben erweckt werden

Stefan Jockenhövel will Implantate zum Leben erwecken. Jockenhövel ist Inhaber der NRW-Schwerpunktprofessur Biohybride & Medizinische Textilien (BioTex) am Institut für Angewandte Medizintechnik der RWTH Aachen und Direktor des grenzüberschreitenden Aachen-Maastricht-Instituts für Biobasierte Materialien. Er und sein Team sind überzeugt davon, dass ihnen dieses Meisterstück gelingen wird. Biohybride Gefäßprothesen, Herzklappen und Atemwegsstents stehen im Fokus ihrer Forschung. Das heißt, die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler am Cluster Biomedizintechnik entwickeln "lebende" Implantate, die auf gesundem Patientengewebe aufbauen.

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Inside the network

Inside the network.
aixCAVE, a five-sided immersive virtual reality environment at the IT Center RWTH Aachen,  allows a glimpse of the amazing intricacies of the keratin cytoskeleton. Walking through the digitalized network at nm resolution provides stunning vistas and novel insights into network architecture. The experience spurs quantitative assessment using innovative image analysis tools. The expected insights will help to understand the role of the keratin cytoskeleton for the homeostasis and maintenance of surface-lining epithelia and will have implications for the understanding and treatment of diseases ranging from genetically transmitted skin diseases to carcinogenesis.

Before …


Firmenlauf 2019

Respect and compliments for ME3T's triumphant running team, which broke all records with 19 participating runners achieving 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th placings in different categories. Female preponderance became overpowering after the run.



Zu Fuß durch die Sierra Nevada

Knapp 400 Kilometer auf Wanderschaft durch die Sierra Nevada, vom Mount Whitey durch die kalifornische Wildnis zum Yosemite-Nationalpark. Christine Kempchen, die Hergenratherin bricht auf, um sich in den USA einen Herzenswunsch zu erfüllen.

(PDF "Grenzecho", 10. August 2019)


Kick-off Meeting

Kick-off and first RTG assembly: Great turnout and intense discussions!


Campuslauf 2019

The victorious "ME3T your friends" team setting a difficult-to-beat standard for future ME3T contestants with first, second and third placings in the respective age categories.



Scouting for possible cooperation of ME3T with the Institut für Textiltechnik provides fascinating insights and delicious ice cream.


Discussion forum on
Cell stretcher: Design and applications

30 experts from the UK, France, Finland and Germany with backgrounds in diverse life science disciplines and engineering convened at MOCA for two days of intense discussions on the latest developments in cell stretcher technology and applications. Current challenges and visions for future developments were defined during the highly interactive meeting.