The focus of our research is inextricably linked to our core competence in anatomy and histology. The different projects reflect the strong commitment of the group for interdisciplinary projects and basic research directly addressing clinical needs.
PDT is a recently re-discovered modality that offers a number of important advantages for the treatment of cancer patients, such as e.g. minimal invasiveness and lack of severe side effects. With the aim to further improve PDT performance and better exploit its physico-chemical principles, we have initiated a couple of PDT- related projects. Recently, we started to investigate plant-derived light-sensitive compounds (photosensitizers) for their anti-microbial and wound-healing properties in combination with sunlight.
Nanoparticles offer innovative strategies that in many sectors may shape the future of medicinal product development. With regard to PDT, nanoparticles allow for the encapsulation of potent, but lipophilic photosensitizers, an increased in-vivo stability of photosensitizers, an enhanced local drug accumulation, and the option to attach targeting moieties.
The current focus is on the application of biological and biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles to generate hyperthermia after activation by different exogeneous sources. In this context, their potential as sonosensitizers (in combination with low-intensity ultrasound) for anti-cancer applications is investigated within a multidisciplinary collaboration.
Despite efforts in the past, the health care of Indigenous peoples in Latin America remains precarious. The underlying causes are complex. However, a lack of co-operation between divergent medical knowledge systems practiced in parallel, namely Western biomedicine and traditional Indigenous medicine, can be seen as a major obstacle to improved health care in these countries. Within our projects, we aim to perform research e.g. on the fundamentals of Indigenous medicine regarding health, illness and therapy and to create the conditions for comprehensive, intercultural exchange and learning platforms.