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The Competence Center for MechanoBiology: A Czech-Austrian success story

As part of an Interreg program, the Competence Center for MechanoBiology enables cross-border cooperation between Austrian and Czech institutes. The three Austrian institutes – Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology, Technical University Vienna and Danube University Krems – are all members of the Cluster. Together, the Czech and Austrian scientists examine how mechanical forces act on tissues and cells, what signals are triggered within and surrounding the cells and how this can be used to stimulate healing. 

For example, after bone or cartilage damage, the applying the right amount of mechanical stimulation during the healing phase is essential. Too much too soon, and the defect will reemerge. Too little, and the newly formed tissue is not prepared to fulfill its function. Many of the complex interactions between mechanics and biology are still not fully understood, and new insights may be considered in future therapies to offer full functional regeneration to patients. 

The exchange of know-how from different disciplines is of particular advantage. The members of the Competence Center meet regularly to discuss current results and further experiments. Moreover, devices and methods are shared between the partner institutes. After all, an enquiring mind knows no borders. 

The Club.Wien magazine dedicated an article to the success story: Grenzüberschreitende Wege zur Selbstheilung des Körpers (Cross-border ways to self-healing, German only)