Regenerative Surgery

Regenerative Surgery

Our Innovation Focus on Regenerative Surgery is about restoring the structure and function of tissues lost due to injuries, diseases or aging processes. Using innovative treatment strategies, we want to preserve our patients’ long-term mobility and improve their quality of life.


We grow tissues and use innovative techniques such as 3D printing and virtual surgical planning to offer therapies that are individually tailored to each patient’s needs. On the one hand, we want to further improve the clinical results that are possible with today’s methods. On the other hand, we also want to treat diseases that we have not been able to cure yet, such as osteoarthritis.

As an example, we are currently working on growing cartilage, which we want to use in knee osteoarthritis. There is still no generally accepted treatment strategy for this condition. Another example of our work is the use of virtual surgical planning and imaging technologies for bone reconstruction to print customized implants using a 3D printer. Since many people suffer from back pain, we are also focusing on the regeneration of intervertebral discs with the help of cell cultures.

In a novel approach, we want to inject cartilage-like material cultivated from nasal cartilage cells into degenerated (wear due to aging) intervertebral discs. In this way, we want to restore the intervertebral disc function and prevent or delay surgery and possibly even the necessary spinal fusion. Research is currently still in the preclinical phase in the laboratory.

A clinical study is planned for around 2025.


More information about the research can be found here

For clinical information, please contact:


PD Dr. Arne Mehrkens

Leitender Arzt

Spinale Chirurgie

Show profile

Major bone defects are usually treated with the body’s own bone, which is taken from other parts of the body (e.g. calf bone). In our approach, stem cells are isolated from the body’s own adipose tissue and used in bone substitute material, which is implanted under the skin and forms a normal bone that can then be used for reconstruction.

A clinical study is planned for 2024.


More information about this research can be found here and here.

For clinical information, please contact:


PD Dr. Tarek Ismail


Plastische, Rekonstruktive, Ästhetische u.Handchirurgie

Mikrochirurgische Rekonstruktionen, Rekonstruktive Gesichtschirurgie inkl. Gesichtslähmung

Show profile


Prof. Dr. med. Dr. med. dent. Claude Jaquiéry

Leitender Arzt / Stv. Chefarzt

Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie

In the reconstructive and regenerative surgery field (e.g. to recover from accidents or tumors of the mouth, jaw and face, defects of the skull and other parts of the body), healthy human anatomy is the best blueprint for our 3D surgical planning, innovative surgical procedures and the manufacture of patient-specific high-performance implants (from PEEK or titanium, or for example, 3D-printed, absorbable bone substitutes, and even bioprinting). 


With intelligent implants, we can go one step further into the future. Smart implants are personalized bioimplants that are characterized by customized shapes and special features such as sensory function or shape memory combined with flexible and durable biomaterials. Ideally, smart implants are produced quickly and cost-effectively at the point of care (at the hospital), as we already do in some cases in the 3D Print Lab at the University Hospital Basel.

Initial clinical studies are planned starting in 2022/2023. 


More information about the research can be found here.

For clinical information, please contact:


Prof. Dr. mult. Florian M. Thieringer, MHBA


Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie

Co-Leiter 3D Print Lab

Show profile

Cartilage defects and the resulting osteoarthritis are the most common causes of pain and limited mobility, making everyday activities more difficult for those affected and significantly reducing their quality of life. A novel therapy based on the body’s own nasal cartilage cells might not only alleviate the symptoms, but also slow or prevent the onset of osteoarthritis and disease progression.

For the treatment, a small sample of cartilage is taken from the patient’s nose under local anesthesia. The cells are isolated, multiplied and seeded on a membrane. After about five weeks, two cartilage tissues of up to 20 cm2 develop. These are implanted into the defect to cover the affected areas with the new cartilage. Follow-up examinations are done for up to two years after the surgery to analyze the healing process. 


The following clinical trials and treatments are currently being carried out at the University Hospital Basel:

  • Patellofemoral osteoarthritis (kneecap osteoarthritis)
  • Major cartilage defects in the knee joint without advanced osteoarthritis (defects >4 cm2 in the knee joint) 
  • Recurrent symptomatic cartilage defect in the knee joint (following initial surgical treatment, such as drilling or microfracturing)
  • Cartilage defects in the shoulder joint
  • Recurrent symptomatic cartilage defect in the ankle joint (following initial surgical treatment, such as drilling or microfracturing)


More information on the clinical trials and participation can be found here.

More information about this research can be found here and here.


Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin


DBM Tissue Engineering

Leiter Innovations-Focus Regenerative Chirurgie


Anke Wixmerten

Stv. Leiterin GMP Facility

Departement Biomedizin