Reichmann Ernst

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Ernst Reichmann, PhD

Name of the Institution

Tissue Biology Research Unit
University Children's Hospital, Zurich


August Forel Strasse 7


8008 Zurich


+41(0)44 634 89 11 Prof. Reichmann

+41(0)44 634 89 13 Assistant


Group Members

Dr. Pontiggia, Luca, PhD, Staff Scientist

Dr. Daniela Marino, PhD, EU Project Manager

Dr. Thomas Biedermann, PhD, Postdoc

Dr. Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch, PhD, Head GMP Production & Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Agnes Klar, PhD, Postdoc

Dr. Luca Mazzone, MD, Fetal Skingineering

Dr. Sophie-Haberzeth, MD, Pediatric surgery fellow

Sarah Meyer, B.Sc., Biological Lab Technician

Monia Sobrio, M. Sc., Biological Lab Technician

Silvia Stüdeli, M. Sc., Biological Lab Technician

Natalia Zapiorkowska, M. Sc., Biological Lab Technician

Jakub Zimoch, PhD-Student

Katarzyna Michala, PhD-Student

Claudia Sax Steffen, Managing Assistant

MainField(s) of Research, AbstractField(s) of Research, Abstract

Our goal is to develop autologous dermo-epidermal skin composites (full thickness skin analogues) that can be used clinically to cover skin defects of any origin in one single surgical intervention. To achieve that, we are testing different biodegradable matrices which serve as scaffolds for keratinocytes, melanocytes, endothelial cells and fibroblasts.

Initial take, development, and function of transplanted engineered tissue substitutes are crucially dependent on rapid and adequate blood perfusion. Therefore, the development of rapidly and efficiently vascularized tissue grafts is vital for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Our goal is to develop pre-vascularized human skin grafts and to evaluate the effects of pre-vascularization on skin regeneration in vivo.

Additionally we want to systematically add melanocytes to autologous substitutes to achieve an additional protective function as well as an aesthetic improvement of autologous dermo-epideramal skin substitutes.

Clinical I & II Studies

After more than 14 years of research, complex, bioengineered skin grafts were developed containing blood and lymph microvascular plexi and the melanocyte compartment, hence resembling the properties of normal human skin as closely as possible. The close collaboration between the TBRU and the Pediatric Burn Center of the Department of Surgery of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich made it possible that the above-mentioned skin grafts can be transplanted in just one surgical intervention. The results of the current Phase I Studies are very encouraging and the Phase II Studies will start soon in Zurich, Amsterdam and Berlin. We are glad for the close and excellent collaboration with the Clinical Trial Center (CTC) and the Swiss Center for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM).

Main Fields of Research, Keywords

Tissue engineering, tissue substitutes, transplantation, biodegradable matrix, adult stem cells, FACS, gene transfer, epithelio-mesenchymal signalling. Vascularization of skin-substitutes.

Special Techniques and Equipment

Development of dermo-epidermal tissue composites, transient gene therapy

Education and Training

We have training opportunities for Master and PhD students and Postdocs.

Selected Publications

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Current Funding

CRPP: Clinical Research Priority Programm of the University of Zurich

iTERM: Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) on Training Multidisciplinary scientists for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Fondation Gaydoul

EuroSkinGraft: The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 279024.

EuroSTEC: funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Integrated Project (IP) on Soft tissue engineering for congenital birth defects in children: from biomatrix - cell interaction - model system to clinical trials.

MultiTERM: Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) on Training Multidisciplinary scientists for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Link to "Forschungsdatenbank" of the University