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29.09.2023 11:59

Unraveling female resilience: Leveraging organ-on-chip technology to study the impact of menopause on re

Andrea Schumann Pressestelle
NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut in Reutlingen

    Dynamic resilience, the ability of humans to withstand unexpected changes and stressors, is pivotal for maintaining bodily functions and overall health. Aging adults and especially women after menopause are at higher risk of adverse health outcomes (including frailty) in response to external stress situations such as cancer therapies or infections due to reduced dynamic resilience. Addressing the impact of female menopause on dynamic resilience and exploring preventive and therapeutic strategies is the aim of an international and interdisciplinary research group led by Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill from the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute and the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.

    Tackling Sex Disparities in Aging Research
    This ambitious research endeavor seeks to unravel the connections between metabolism, the immune system, and dynamic resilience in pre- and post-menopausal women, thus uniquely addressing sex disparities prevalent in aging research.
    "Currently, there exists a substantial gap in our ability to comprehensively study dynamic resilience. Our project endeavors to bridge this gap by creating a resilience-on-chip platform that fuses advanced technology with expertise from diverse fields," elucidated Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill, professor for organ-on-chip systems and head of the 3R Center Tübingen at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the NMI.

    Harnessing Cutting-Edge Bioengineering and Bioinformatics
    To tackle their ambitious research goals, the international team will harness organ-on-chip and single cell genomics technologies. Hormone-sensitive organs, including white adipose tissue, liver, and lymphatic tissues, are generated outside the human body based on cells from female donors. These cells are cultured in polymer chips roughly the size of a 1 €-coin and interconnected via synthetic blood vessels. These test platforms enable crucial insights into the interplay between metabolism, immune system, and dynamic resilience in pre- and post-menopausal women. By utilizing cells from various life stages, the researchers can analyze and compare changes in immune metabolism resulting from diverse stressors, simulating, and exploring conditions such as chemotherapy, hormonal shifts, and infections.

    Collaborative Synergy for Enhancing Women's Health
    The collaborative team also includes co-principal investigators Dr. Roser Vento-Tormo from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, Prof. Dr. Stefan Krauss from the University of Oslo, Norway, and Dr. Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra also from the NMI. Their collective efforts promise to illuminate how energy metabolism, immune responses, and inflammation influence resilience and transform over a woman's lifespan.
    "Prioritizing the closure of gender gaps in medical research, our project marks a significant stride in that direction. We are resolute in leveraging our combined expertise to drive positive transformation and enhance the well-being of women globally," emphasized Dr. Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra, division head of Pharma and Biotech at the NMI.

    Further Information:
    Visit the website:
    Explore the research group's website led by Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill for comprehensive insights into ongoing research projects, the latest advancements in the field, and answers to key questions surrounding (multi)organ-on-chip technology.

    About the NMI:
    The NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute in Reutlingen is a non-university research establishment that conducts application-oriented research at the intersection of bio- and material sciences. Boasting a distinctive interdisciplinary spectrum of expertise, NMI engages in R&D and provides services to both regional and international enterprises. The institute serves the healthcare sector as well as industrial realms like materials technology and quality-focused domains such as automotive, mechanical engineering, and toolmaking.

    Structured into two business units, unified by a shared mission statement, NMI upholds the highest scientific standards in seeking technical solutions. Within the Pharma and Biotech unit, NMI assists in drug development through biochemical, molecular, and cell biological methods. Additionally, the Biomedicine and Material Sciences unit pioneers future technologies, including personalized medicine and micromedicine, to forge novel diagnostic and therapeutic pathways. Customer-centric services are centered on material and surface structuring and functionalization.

    NMI's global reputation extends beyond borders due to its incubator concept, fostering startups rooted in bio- and material sciences.

    For more information, visit:
    The NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute in Reutlingen is backed by the Ministry of Economics, Labor, and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg and is an integral member of the Baden-Württemberg Innovation Alliance, a consortium of 12 non-university and industry-oriented research institutions.

    Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

    Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill
    Dr. Silkekeller

    Weitere Informationen:




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    Biologie, Gesellschaft, Medizin
    Buntes aus der Wissenschaft, Forschungsprojekte



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