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M. Sc. Sarah Bertlein


Main research

The age-associated disease, osteoarthritis, is characterized by an irreversible degeneration of cartilage and causes pain, limited mobility and reduced quality of life. Current therapeutic strategies/implants do not lead to successful healing of cartilage defects.
This can be in part related to the lack of establishing the zonal cartilage structure, which seems to be crucial for the function of articular cartilage. The aim of our approach is to improve, restore or replace damaged tissues via mimicking the zonal organization of the native cartilage based on biofunctional hydrogel constructs.

Multilayered collagen type II hydrogels for articular cartilage regeneration

Since articular cartilage is a hydrogel-like tissue a promising approach in the field of cartilage regeneration is the use of appropriate hydrogel matrices to fill cartilage defects. In order to mimic nature to its best a hierarchically structured collagen type II based mechanically stable scaffold that recapitulates the zonal distribution of the native articular cartilage will be developed. Via chemical modifications the biodegradability and mechanical properties of the final gels will be fine-tuned.

Scientific career

• Since 09/2012: Graduate student at the Department for Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry, University of Würzburg (Prof. Dr. Jürgen Groll)
• 2010-2012: Studies for Molecular Science (Master of Science) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg; Master thesis in the workgroup of Prof. Dr. Ivana Ivanovic- Burmazovic (Bioinorganic Chemistry, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg): ”The chemistry of H2S in physiologically relevant systems”
• 2007-2010: Studies for Molecular Science (Bachelor of Science) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg; Bachelor thesis in the workgroup of Prof. Dr. Nicolai Burzlaff (Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg): ”N,N-chelating ligands for transition metal complexes”


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