Axel Haverich "This Heart is mine – Autologisation of Surgical Implants"

Axel Haverich

Both, regeneration and infection play a major role regarding the long term prognosis of biomedical implants. This finds true for biological implants, e.g. transplanted organs, as well as for metallic devices such as pacemakers and artificial hearts. Interestingly, the crosstalk between regeneration and infection has recently gained tremendous interest, since biological concepts of regeneration often prevent or treat infection of such devices.

The economic impact of medical device infection is dramatic, the consequences for the individual patient dire. A completely ingrown implant will never be prone to infection, a rule also true for autologous (the patient’s own) material used as replacement, e.g. valves or bypass material in heart surgery. Allogenic (from different individuals) or xenogenic (from different species) implants, however, are constantly attacked by the immune system, and infectious episodes have repeatedly shown to enhance this process of acute and chronic graft rejection.

Against the background of increasing numbers of medical device implantation due to our aging population, prevention and treatment of implant infection will be a prime target of future biomedical research. Biological implants, biofunctionalisation of implant surfaces to foster rapid ingrowth of autologous cells or incorporating anti-infectious agents as well as biologisation of surfaces by cell seeding using autologous material are the three most prominent avenues of research today.

The presentation will give the medical background from pertinent surgical disciplines, examples of the impact of device infection, and strategies currently pursued by researchers at MHH. Also, the structure and focus of REBIRTH, NIFE and the recently granted project ‘Biofabrication’ will be explained, advertising areas of potential future cooperation between MHH and HZI.

  • Overview

    The "HZI Colloquium" is a scientific lecture series at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, organized to host internationally renowned experts from the field of infection research. Invited guest speakers present their current research activities to a scientific audience. The presentation is followed by an open discussion.
    We cordially invite interested scientists to take part in this colloquium.
    The HZI Colloquium takes place on Wednesdays, 5.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. in the Forum, X0.13.

    Date: 08.05.2013, 17:15


    Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

    Building and room



    Axel Haverich,
    Hannover Medical School


    Dirk Heinz

  • Directions

    How to find us in Braunschweig

    Lage des Helmholtz-Zentrums in der Stadt Braunschweig.


    Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

    Inhoffenstraße 7

    38124 Braunschweig


    From Berlin/Wolfsburg/Helmstedt:

    • A2 till motorway interchange Wolfsburg/Königslutter > A39 direction Kreuz BS-Süd/Wolfenbüttel/Bad Harzburg
    • A39 till motorway interchange Kreuz BS Süd > A395 direction Wolfenbüttel
    • A395 till exit BS-Stöckheim > turn right into Mascheroder Weg
    • after 500m turn left into Inhoffenstraße

    From Celle/Hannover:

    • A2 till motorway interchange Kreuz BS Nord > A391 direction Kreuz BS Süd/Bad Harzburg/Wolfenbüttel
    • A391 motorway interchange Kreuz BS Süd > A395 direction Wolfenbüttel
    • A395 till exit BS-Stöckheim > turn right into Mascheroder Weg
    • after 500m turn left into Inhoffenstraße

    From Kassel/Salzgitter:

    • A7 till motorway interchange Kreuz Salzgitter > A39 direction Berlin/Braunschweig/Salzgitter
    • A39 till motorway interchange Kreuz BS-Süd > A395 direction Wolfenbüttel
    • A395 till exit BS-Stöckheim > turn right into Mascheroder Weg
    • after 500m turn left into Inhoffenstraße


    Braunschweig Central Station has got two Intercity-Express-Lines, which are connecting Berlin-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Fulda-Frankfurt-Mannheim. 

    Two other Intercity-Lines are in direction to Leipzig, Halle, Magdeburg and Hannover, Bremen, Oldenburg, Bielefeld, Wuppertal and Köln.

    Here you'll get more information about the timetable.

    Bus or Tram

    Bus line 431 or Tram line 1 from central station to stop "Stöckheimer Markt". Turn left into "Mascheroder Weg" and after 500m turn right into "Inhoffenstraße". 

    Futher links:

    Braunschweig traffic corporation

    Electronic time table (EFA)

    Map provided by the city of Braunschweig


    Hannover Airport is about 60 minutes away from Braunschweig (60km). You can hourly take a train in direction of Braunschweig.

    From the International Airport Frankfurt you can reach Braunschweig in 180 minutes by train and it's about 350km away.

    Berlin's Airports Schönefeld and Tegel are 120 minutes away from Braunschweig (230km). A train in direction of Braunschweig leaves every hour.


Involved Groups