News, projects and events

On this page you will find information from the TLC Würzburg on current topics, on our research projects as well as all important dates such as workshops, online seminars and trade fair appearances.


Würzburg Initiative 3R WI3R

In addition to providing high-quality alternatives to animal testing, the WI3R research network will also be active in the field of science communication and further education.


Scientific publication / 15.7.2023

Process automation

Establishing and testing a robot-based platform to enable the automated production of nanoparticles in a flexible and modular way


Press Release / 3.4.2023

Project "SAPs4Tissue" launched

Human tissue models with customized biomaterials


Press Release / 29.7.2022


DFG Animal Welfare Prize for the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies

For its application, the Würzburg Initiative 3R (WI3R) had presented the development and application of six in vitro models of the barrier organs skin, cornea, intestine, blood-brain barrier and lung as well as for solid tumors, which serve to "replace" the 3R concept.



Dr. Christian Lotz (Deputy Head of Department In Vitro Test Systems) receives this year's Felix Wankel Prize for the development of an in vitro eye irritation test.

The new method is expected to replace the Draize eye test after about 80 years and thus provide an alternative to previous animal testing.

Congratulations on this success!


3D Bioprinting Technology

for automatized and standardized fabrication of complex living tissues

Dates and events

Rudolf Virchow Center  / June 05, 2024 - June 07, 2024

WI3R Symposium 2024

The further development and implementation of the 3R principles represents a central task of biomedical research. In recent years, the metropolitan region of Northern Bavaria has developed into one of the leading research locations, especially for cancer and infectious diseases as well as for novel medical devices. At the same time, alternatives to animal testing have gained in importance and have found their way into biomedical research. The research location Würzburg has meanwhile become the nucleus of 3R research, in particular of alternative methods to animal experiments, within Bavaria and beyond.

Nanoparticles meet Automation

New concepts for automated processes in materials production and testing

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Biomaterials for Organ and Tissue Regeneration –
New Technologies and Future Prospects

Book-Cover Biomaterials For Organ And Tissue Regeneration
© Elsevier
Paperback ISBN: 9780081029060
eBook ISBN: 9780081029077

The book describes biomaterial-related technologies, providing comprehensive fundamentals on the properties and use of biomaterials in the context of tissue regeneration and in vitro modeling of organ systems.

By way of introduction, properties and forms of novel biomaterials are described and an overview of so-called off-shoot technologies such as biorobotics, bioinks or bioprinting is given. In addition to a summary of physico-chemical properties, methods used to analyze biostructural characterization and surface functionalization of biomaterials will be addressed.
In addition, properties of modern cell sources such as stem cells and immune cells relevant to regenerative medicine are described. In addition, fundamentals of cellular communication with biomaterials will also be addressed. Subsequently, current organ-specific application areas of biomaterials will be explained. These include, for example, cardiovascular and pancreatic tissue engineering, as well as in vitro replication of the blood-brain barrier, lung, kidney or bladder. Fraunhofer ISC has made a further contribution in this context with the article "Bioartificial gut".

The book concludes with a summary of novel technologies, especially with regard to biomaterials and their relevance for tissue and organ regeneration. Besides nanomaterials and hydrogels, biomaterials and their application in the context of microfluidics, for organ-chip systems or their integration in dynamic bioreactors are discussed.

Three-dimensional airway tissue models based on human primary airway epithelial cells.

Heatmap 3D tissue model
Lodes N, Seidensticker K, Perniss A, Nietzer S, Oberwinkler H, May T, Walles T, Hebestreit H, Hackenberg S, Steinke M. »Investigation on Ciliary Functionality of Different Airway Epithelial Cell Lines in Three-Dimensional Cell Culture«. Tissue Eng Part A. 2019 Dec 27. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA

A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer TLZ and the University Hospital Würzburg, the Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and the Inscreenex GmbH Braunschweig has compared three-dimensional (3D) airway tissue models based on human primary airway epithelial cells (hAEC) or corresponding cell lines and analyzed in particular the functionality of the cilia (kinocilia).
The aim of the work is to enable the future investigation of ciliopathies, i.e. disorders of the activity of the cilia in the respiratory tract, using human 3D tissue models. To this end, four different human respiratory cell lines were cultured with human primary airway fibroblasts at the medium-air interface and their morphology and cilia beat were analyzed. The study results show that the available cell lines are not suitable for scientific questions that require functional kinocilia to answer. According to current knowledge, 3D tissue models based on hAEC have the highest in vitro - in vivo correlation.