Research group  leaders at the BBZ:  Dr. Ronny Schulz  

Research group
leaders at the BBZ:
Dr. Ronny Schulz


Injured articular cartilage remains one of the major problems in orthopaedic surgery. Due to its limited repair capacity, osteochondral defects can lead to serious degenerative articular diseases. These are frequent in all industrialized countries and primarily affect the cartilage layers of the large joints, particularly the knees.

Novel therapies, e.g. ACT or rather MACT (matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation), play an increasing role in the treatment of degenerative or traumatic defects of the articular cartilage. Nonetheless, common MACT products include methodical disadvantages like:

  1. Two surgical interventions along with surgery-related stress;
  2. Donor site morbidity along with small numbers of harvested primary chondrocytes;
  3. Dedifferentiation of cells along with low quantities and quality of cartilaginous matrix in the graft

The concept of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a cellular source for repair of focal articular cartilage defects represents a new frontier of regenerative medicine, in which hope for previously untreatable injuries is within reach.

A novel process for autologous production of a MSC-based MACT was developed in our consortium and successfully translated and tested in a relevant orthotropic model under GLP-compliancy  .

This prospective Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) makes a primary surgery for harvesting healthy articular cartilage redundant, avoids the donor site morbidity, reduces operating time and costs while providing the opportunity for complete defect regeneration with hyaline-tissue induced by highly potent MSCs.

Current efforts focus on the clinical translation of the MSC-MACT therapeutic approach.

last update: 16.10.2017 


Dr. Ronny M. Schulz
Dipl. Ing. (FH), cand. MSc
Universität Leipzig
Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Deutscher Platz 5
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-31352
Fax: +49 341 97-31359