DFG project PlantVirusBone


In collaboration with Professor Dr.-Ing. Horst Fischer, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research Aachen

Biomineralizing three-dimensional bioprinted hydrogels for bone tissue replacement using dedicated osteogenic peptides in high local concentrations presented on biotechnologically modified plant virus nanoparticles (PlantVirusBone)

By combining three-dimensional hydrogel-based bioprinting technology and plant virus derived nanoparticles (VNPs), we will generate cell-laden three-dimensional scaffolds for improved bone cell-mediated mineralization.

The added plant viral particles, Potato virus X (PVX) and Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), presenting thousands of mineralization-inducing peptides on each nanoparticle, will effectively functionalize hydrogels with osteogenic peptides in very high local concentration. Additionally, the VNPs will be used as nanocomposites to tune the mechanical and rheological properties of hydrogels in a wide range controlled by the concentration and the mineralization effect of the VNPs. The peptide-presenting VNPs will be tested in 2D cell culture for hydroxyapatite formation activity and also in 3D bioprinted collagen-based hydrogels with human mesenchymal stem cells. The behavior of the embedded cells will be monitored for the osteogenic activity. Moreover, the structural and mechanical properties as well as the 3D printability of the novel biomaterial will be evaluated. This study will integrate biotechnology, molecular biology, and biomaterials with bioprinting technique in hydrogel constructs to evaluate the potential for improved bone tissue replacement.