Dr. Salehi, Sahar

Open Resume

Tissue Engineering

Working group Salehi focuses on developing and combining advanced biomaterials with microfabrication techniques. Designing and application of micro and nano features have been evaluated to engineer complex and functional tissue constructs. The modified structures will show improved physical, mechanical and biological properties.

Based on this vision on the in vitro interaction of cells and tissues with engineered materials, its important to design substrates with different topographies and morphologies. Therefore, depending on the target hard or soft tissue properties advanced techniques of fabrication and processing will be used to design appropriate structures to growth and form a functional tissue. The research output should clarify how cells sense and respond to the biomaterials and thereby further modify their environment towards building tissue-like constructs.


Current projects are in the following areas:

• 3-dimensional micro- and nano-structured scaffolds with controlled architecture

• Tissue engineering of soft and hard tissues such as cornea, skeletal muscle, tendon, bone and their interfaces

• Determination of the biomechanics of tissues and their appropriate scaffolds in vitro

• Using external stimulation factors to enhance in vitro tissue formation and evaluation of the engineered constructs

• Engineered tissue for regeneration of the corneal epithelium, endothelium and stroma

Research Projects

Müller, Claudia (M.Sc.)


0921-55 6713

Development and engineering of skeletal muscle tissue

Despite the self-regenerative abilities of skeletal muscle tissue, in case of great volumetric muscle loss suitable biomaterials and tissue engineering approaches are required to restore the functionality of the tissue. Muscle tissue has a highly unidirectional oriented and hierarchical structure, which is essential for the function of the muscle. This unique structure should be considered when growing muscle cells in-vitro. In this research, in collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Institute of Biomaterials) and the University of Würzburg (Department Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine) and in framework of SFB-TRR225, we focus on developing composite inks for biofabrication of anisotropic skeletal muscle tissue within printed bioreactors.

See also: http://trr225biofab.de/

Dr. Salehi, Sahar


0921-55 6727

Previous project: Cornea Tissue Engineering

A major challenge in corneal tissue engineering and lamellar corneal transplantation is to develop synthetic scaffolds able to simulate the optical and mechanical properties of the native cornea. We have introduced different substrates such as nanofibrous scaffolds and microfabricated substrates for cornea tissue engineering which as a main requirement are transparent to imitate the native cornea. Moreover, we evaluate the bio- and immunocompatibility and how they support the viability of human corneal cells without triggering effects in granulocytes, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells.


Fig.: Transparent nanofibrous scaffold made from PGS/PCL blend provide a suitable substrate for endothelium cells with hexagonal morphology. (S. Salehi, et al. Acta Biomaterialia 2017, 50C, 370-380 and Macromol. Mater. Eng. 2014, 299, 455–69.) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2017.01.013, DOI: 10.1002/mame.201300187) Copyright© 2017 Elsevier and Wiley & Sons.

Dr. Salehi, Sahar


0921-55 6727

Previous project: Skeletal muscle tissue engineering

Skeletal muscles have a high capacity of self-repair but are not able to regenerate when a significant loss of tissue occurs, resulting in severe loss of function. Therefore, in our group we focus on combination of biomaterials and microtechnologies to engineer a functional skeletal muscle tissue. From injectable materials to deliver the cells to micro and nanofibrous scaffolds are evaluated to fabricate muscle micro tissues.

In one approach, we developed ultrathin cell carriers as an injectable material using a microfabrication technique to generate aligned skeletal myoblasts, which was the winner idea at Falling Walls Lab Sendai, Japan in 2015 and finalist of Falling Walls Lab Berlin in 2015. In addition, we have used electrically conductive nanofibrous scaffolds and micropatterned wet spun fibers for skeletal muscle tissue engineering. Conductive substrates and aligned topography of fibres showed a synergistic effect on myogenesis and lead to formation of contractile myofibers under the external electrical stimulation.


Fig.: Flexible cell carriers are suitable substrate for cell alignment and can mechanically support the cells from injection pressure. Myotubes with length around 400 μm was formed on injectable carriers. (S. Salehi, et al. ACS Biomat. Sci. & Eng. 2017, 3 (4), 579–589. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.6b00696. Copyright© 2017 American Chemical Society.)

Dr. Salehi, Sahar


0921-55 6727

Combination of touch spinning and bioprinting systems for skeletal muscle tissue fabrication

This project is funded (2019-2021) by DFG Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) about “New tool for fabrication of microtissues with anisotropic fibrous structure based on touch-spinning and 3D printing” which is in collaboration with Prof. Leonid Ionov from University of Bayreuth.

Dr. Salehi, Sahar


0921-55 6727

Development of injectable and biodegradable materials using bioprinting systems for skeletal muscle tissue fabrication

This project is funded (2018-2021) by DFG TRR-SFB 225 consortium as subproject B03 “Simultaneous printing and biofabrication of skeletal muscle tissue and bioreactor”. The project is in collaboration with Prof. Boccaccini from university of Erlangen and Prof. Jan Hansmann from University of applied sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

Further information can be found on the TRR-SFB 225 Biofabrication homepage

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