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DFG Collaborative Research Centre 1444

This Collaborative Research Centre aims to unravel the basic mechanisms that differentiate between success and failure in regeneration of musculoskeletal tissue using bone healing as a role model.

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Subproject 10 - Principal Investgators

Univ.- Prof. Dr. Sara Checa Esteban

CRC 1444 Subproject 10 | RU 2165 Subproject 4

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Petersen

CRC 1444 Subprojects 3 & 10 | RU 2165 Subproject 4

Ansgar Petersen

Outer-vascular mechanics as an age-dependent regulator of sprouting angiogenesis and vessel patterning

Checa and Petersen will investigate in a combined in vitro and in silico approach how outer-vascular mechanics as an age-dependent regulator of sprouting steers angiogenesis and vessel patterning. They will explore how stromal cells that surround nascent vessels guide sprout formation and vascular patterning through their own structural organisation, through the mechanical communication with vessel-resident endothelial cells and through the secretion of extracellular matrix. Checa and Petersen hypothesise that outervascular cells actively contribute to sprout formation by mechanical tension deposited in the cell‐extracellular matrix (ECM) network surrounding the vascular structures. As aging compromises the intrinsic capacity of stromal cells to sense, convert and respond to mechanical signals, this mechanical support of sprout formation is expected to be age-dependent. The ultimate goal is to understand how the alignment, tensional state and remodelling of extracellular matrix fibres modulate the process of angiogenic sprouting with relevance for bone defect healing.

Most important results

Mechano-regulation of sprouting angiogenesis during early bone healing

Energy Supply & Consumption | Force Transmission & Sensing

Extrinsic mechanical loads, resulting from physiological loading and fixation stiffness, primarily drive sprouting angiogenesis during the early stages of bone healing and over-rule the mechanical communication across cells.

In collaboration with subproject P03 and subproject P09

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Cellular senescence influences cellular adhesion

Energy Supply & Consumption | Force Transmission & Sensing

The age-associated process of cellular senescence influences cellular adhesion, as well as the force applied to the environment, with consequences for tissue formation.

Brauer et al., Aging cell, 2023


Energieversorgung & -verbrauch | Kraftübertragung & Sensorik

Blood vessel formation is guided by the size and orientation of the traction forces of surrounding stromal cells.


Dr. Erik Brauer (Postdoc)

In vitro modeling of age-dependent cell mechanics and its influence on vascular sprouting (Representative of early career scientists)

Chiara Dazzi (Doctoral Researcher)

In silico Investigation of the Mechano-Regulation of Sprouting Angiogenesis during Bone Healing






Founded by the DFG (Project Number: 427826188)
Funding Period 2021-2024