Our Work

Elucidate - translate - design - build - verify

About Katja

Prof. Dr Katja Schenke-Layland

Professor at the Women's University Hospital Tubingen

Katja is the Professor of Biomaterials in the Department for Women's Health at the University Women's Hospital Tubingen and coordinates the programs for Vital Implants and Implantology.

Women's Hospital Tübingen

Director and Department Head at the Fraunhofer IGB Stuttgart

Katja is the Interim Director (2016) of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) and Department Head of the Department of Cell and Tissue Engineering

Fraunhofer IGB Stuttgart

Our Lab by the Numbers since 2011

A bit of information on our publications
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Lab News

Latest and Greatest


Current Opinion in Biotechnology review by Monaghan et al

Transdifferentiation of one cell type to another has garnered significant research efforts in recent years. As cardiomyocyte ...


Stem Cell Reports paper published by Brauchle et al

One major obstacle to the application of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (CMs) for disease modeling and clinical therapies is the inability to identify the developmental stage ...


Development paper published by Monaghan et al

A spatiotemporal observation of EndMT and mesenchymal cell colonization at the onset of human cardiac valve development ...

Studienpreis 2015
Video report of Svenja's work (German)

Latest Papers

The latest original articles from the lab

One major obstacle to the application of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (CMs) for disease modeling and clinical therapies is the inability to identify the developmental stage of these cells without the need for genetic manipulation or utilization of exogenous markers. In this study, we demonstrate that Raman microspectroscopy can non-invasively identify embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived chamber-specific CMs and monitor cell maturation. Using this marker-free approach, Raman peaks were identified for atrial and ventricular CMs, ESCs were successfully discriminated from their cardiac derivatives, a distinct phenotypic spectrum for ESC-derived CMs was confirmed, and unique spectral differences between fetal versus adult CMs were detected. The real-time identification and characterization of CMs, their progenitors, and subpopulations by Raman microspectroscopy strongly correlated to the phenotypical features of these cells. Due to its high molecular resolution, Raman microspectroscopy offers distinct analytical characterization for differentiating cardiovascular cell populations.

Full Article Here

Elucidation of mechanisms in semilunar valve development may enable the development of new therapies. Here, we found differences in proliferation-associated genes and genes repressed by vascular endothelial growth factor between human semilunar valves from first and second trimester valve leaflets. The proliferation of valve interstitial cells and ventricular valve endothelial cells (VECs) and cellular density declined from the first to the second trimester. Cytoplasmic expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc-1) in VECs (4 weeks), and later cells in the leaflet/annulus junction mesenchyme expressing inactive NFATc-1 (5.5-9 weeks) were detected, indicative of EndMT in valvulogenesis. At this leaflet/annulus junction CD44+ cells clustered during elongation (11 weeks), extending toward the tip along the fibrosal layer in second trimester leaflets. Differing patterns of maturation in the fibrosa and ventricularis were detected via increased fibrosal periostin content, which tracked the presence of the CD44+ cells in the second trimester. We revealed that spatiotemporal NFATc-1 expression actively regulates EndMT during human valvulogenesis, as early as 4 weeks. Additionally, CD44+ cells play a role in leaflet maturation toward the trilaminar structure, possibly via migration of VECs undergoing EndMT, which subsequently ascend from the leaflet/annulus junction.

Full Article Here