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Molecular Orthopeadics

The Laboratory is amnaged by Professor Cody Bünger og Professor Kjeld Søballe. August 2005, the laboratory received a donation from the A.P. Møller Foundataion for the establishment of the Laboratory of Molecular Orthopeadics. This has made it possible to expand the excisting activities within molecular and cellular orthopeadic research. The activities of the laboratory within this area include among others:

  • Bioreactor research with reference to tissue engineering of bone, cartliage and spinal disc.
  • Stemm cells/genetic therapy for the regeneration of the spinal disc, improvement of bone healing and cartliage regeneration.
  • Nano-functionalised implants for improved anchoring and administering of medicine (bone and cartliage stimulation and anti-cancer remedies).
  • Testing of cell respons to to new implant surfaces.
  • High technology qualifications og mineralising processes in cell culture, on implants and in bone tissue.
  • Biochemical and molecular biological analysis on stem cells from patients with different musculoskeletal disorders.

In the future, the regenration of bone, cartliage and spinal discs will most likely be possible by taking a small amount of stem cells from the patient followed by the cultivation and gene modification in the laboratory. When the cell structure has reached a suitable level of development it is possible to put it back into the patient and as such replace the missing cartliage and bone. the stem cell technology is at a stage where it is relevant to start testing on animals. This is an areas in which the Orthopeadic Research Lab has great expertise. We have thus expanded the activities concerning the cultivation of stem cells in order to do stem cell cultivation on animals.

Laboratory Equipment
  • Equipment for hard tissue histology, cutting, histological colouring and immunohistochemistry
  • Cell-cultivating laboratory, gene technological class I
  • Different types of bioreactors for the cultivation of stem cells in 3D
  • Tissue homogenisator
  • Standard equipment for purifing DNA and RNA
  • Real-time PCR and conventional PCR (Applied Biosystems)
  • Agarose gel electrofocusing
  • UV/VIS spectrophotometer
  • Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (Zeiss LSM 510 Meta)
  • ELISA, flourescent counter, washer
  • HR-SEM (located at the Institute of Physics and Astronomy
  • Nanoindenter (located at the Institute of Physics and Astronomy)
3D Scaffolds for the Cultivation of Cells

Stem cells are cultivated on three-dimentional biodegradeable scaffolds as pictured below.

  • Figure A and C are examples of such scaffold.
  • Figure B shows cell adhersion to a biodegradable scaffold.
  • Figure D shows an extract of a scaffold with stem cells seen as small liminous spots.
  • Figure E shows a scaffold with stem cells. The picture is made by taking and putting together pictures from different focal plans on the confocal microscope.
  • Figure F shows an example of real-time RT-PCR data on RNA purified from stem cells.


Erythropoietin augments bone formation in a rabbit posterolateral spinal fusion model.
Rölfing JHD, Bendtsen M, Jensen J, Stiehler M, Foldager CB, Hellfritzsch MB, Bünger C.
Phenol Red Inhibits Chondrogenic Differentiation and Affects Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Vitro.
Lysdahl H, Baatrup A, Nielsen AB, Foldager CB, Bünger C.
Navigated percutaneous lumbosacral interbody fusion: a feasibility study with three-dimensional surgical simulation and cadaveric experiment.
Wang Y, Le DQ, Li H, Wang M, Bünger CE.
Orthopaedic Spinal Research      Aarhus University Hospital      Noerrebrogade 44      Building 1A      8000 Aarhus C      Phone: +45 7846 4133
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