Tissue and Organ Mechanobiology
The Tissue & Organ Mechanobiology (TOM) Group of the Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics (ISTB), University of Bern, is performing basic research in the area of tissue engineering using a cross-disciplinary approach of biology and mechanics. The group was previously affiliated within the umbrella of the ARTORG Center from 2008-2012 and is now continued under the framework of the ISTB. Our primary aims are to understand cellular response to biomechanical stimuli and to understand how cellular communities are affected in situ using 3D tissue and organ culture models. We are currently investigating with in vitro culture using large animal intervertebral discs (IVDs). However, we may use any tissue of the muscular skeletal system as a model for systems such as tendons or ligaments. The design of a new bioreactor to culture IVDs has evolved through collaborative efforts with Jochen Walser and Stephen Ferguson (both at the Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zürich) to culture live 3D tissue of IVD.