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Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin


Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin
Department of Biomedicine and Department of Surgery
University Hospital Basel,
Hebelstrasse 20
CH-4031 Basel / Switzerland

Phone +41 61 265 23 84
Fax +41 61 265 23 50

Ivan Martin is Professor of Tissue Engineering at the Institute for Surgical Research and Hospital Management, within the Department of Biomedicine and the Department of Surgery of the University Hospital Basel. His group combines interdisciplinary expertise in cell biology, biomedical engineering and materials science towards the generation of human cell-based three-dimensional (3D) tissues. The engineered constructs are being developed (i) as grafts for the treatment of traumas/diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and/or (ii) as 3D model systems to investigate fundamental aspects of cell differentiation and tissue development under controlled and defined conditions.
With reference to stem/progenitor cells, the group is generally interested in the role of soluble factors, physical forces and culture substrate material on maintenance of stem cell properties and induction of lineage-specific differentiation. The group has developed a bioreactor-based technique to expand bone marrow- or adipose tissue-derived stem cells within 3D porous polymeric or ceramic-based scaffolds, under direct perfusion flow. The system supports the possibility to expand and co-culture different progenitors (e.g., mesenchymal, endothelial, hematopoietic) in 3D environments, thereby achieving a superior maintenance of the multilineage cell differentiation capacity as compared to conventional culture in dishes or flasks. From a clinical standpoint, the vision of the group lies in the development of safe, standardized, scaleable and possibly cost-effective therapeutical processes based on the 3D culture of stem cells within specialized, closed, controlled and automated bioreactor systems.
The group has a tight link with the surgical disciplines of the University Hospital in Basel (e.g., plastic and reconstructive, orthopaedic) and is involved in different EC funded consortia (e.g., integrated project “STEPS” - Ivan Martin is the European Chair of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society ( He and his group have published more than 100 original papers.

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Recent publications related to stem cells

  • Scotti C, Tonnarelli B, Papadimitropoulos A, Scherberich A, Schaeren S, Schauerte A, Lopez-Rios J, Zeller R, Barbero A. and Martin I. (2010). Recapitulation of endochondral bone formation using human adult mesenchymal stem cells as a paradigm for developmental engineering. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:7251-7256.
  • Di Maggio N, Mehrkens A, Papadimitropoulos A, Schaeren S, Heberer M, Banfi A. and Martin I. (2012). Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 Maintains a Niche-Dependent Population of Self-Renewing Highly Potent Non-adherent Mesenchymal Progenitors Through FGFR2c. Stem Cells 30:1455-64.
  • Scotti C, Osmokrovic A, Wolf F, Miot S, Peretti GM, Barbero A. and Martin I. (2012). Response of human engineered cartilage based on articular or nasal chondrocytes to interleukin-1β and low oxygen. Tissue Eng Part A 18:362-72.
  • Scotti C, Piccinini E, Takizawa H, Todorov A, Bourgine P, Papadimitropoulos A, Barbero A, Manz MG, Martin I. (2013). Engineering of a functional bone organ through endochondral ossification. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:3997-4002.
  • Centola M, Tonnarelli B, Schären S, Glaser N, Barbero A, Martin I. (2013). Priming 3D cultures of human mesenchymal stromal cells toward cartilage formation via developmental pathways. Stem Cells Dev. 22:2849-58.
  • Mehrkens A, Di Maggio N, Gueven S, Schaefer D, Scherberich A, Banfi A, Martin I. (2014). Non-Adherent Mesenchymal Progenitors from Adipose Tissue Stromal Vascular Fraction. Tissue Eng Part A. 20:1081-8.
  • Fulco I, Miot S, Haug MD, Barbero A, Wixmerten A, Feliciano S, Wolf F, Jundt G, Marsano A, Farhadi J, Heberer M, Jakob M, Schaefer DJ, Martin I. (2014). Engineered autologous cartilage tissue for nasal reconstruction after tumour resection: an observational first-in-human trial. Lancet 384:337-46.
  • Pelttari K, Pippenger B, Mumme M, Feliciano S, Scotti C, Mainil-Varlet P, Procino A, von Rechenberg B, Schwambor T, Jakob M, Cillo C, Barbero A, Martin I. (2014). Adult human neural crest–derived cells for articular cartilage repair. Sci Transl Med 6, 251ra119.
  • Bourgine PE, Scotti C, Pigeot S, Tchang LA, Todorov A, Martin I. (2014). Osteoinductivity of engineered cartilaginous templates devitalized by inducible apoptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:17426-31.
  • Martin I, Ireland H, Baldomero H, Passweg J. (2015). The survey on cellular and engineered tissue therapies in Europe in 2012. Tissue Eng Part A. 21:1-13.

Reviews related to stem cells

  • Martin I, Smith T. and Wendt D. (2009). A roadmap for the bioreactor-based translation of tissue engineering strategies into clinical products. Trends Biotech. 27:495-502.
  • Jakob M, Saxer F, Scotti C, Schreiner S, Studer P, Scherberich A, Heberer M, Martin I. (2012). Perspective on the evolution of cell-based bone tissue engineering strategies. Eur Surg Res. 49:1-7.
  • Tonnarelli B, Centola M, Barbero A, Zeller R, Martin I. (2014). Re-engineering Development to Instruct Tissue Regeneration. Curr Top Dev Biol. 108:319-38.
  • Martin I, Simmons PJ, Williams DF. (2014). Manufacturing challenges in regenerative medicine. Sci Transl Med. 6:232fs16.
  • Martin I, Duhr R. (2016). Future of cellular therapies in orthopaedics: Different views, one common challenge. J Orthop Res. 34:10-1.