The Partners

The Zenobi-Wong Laboratory

The objective of the Zenobi-Wong group is to create a 3D bioprinted ear containing perichondrium. Since chondrocytes undergo rapid dedifferentiation when cultured in vitro, it is our goal to identify novel sources of chondroprogenitor cells and to use them to generate full size 3D cartilage grafts with an ability to grow. Techniques used to create the EarCartilage will include extrusion bioprinting with custom bioinks developed to support the chondrogenic phenotype and electrospinning.


ETH Zürich
Tissue Engineering & Biofabrication Laboratory
HPL J 22
Otto-Stern-Weg 7
8093 Zürich

Phone 1 +41 44 632 50 89
Phone2 +41 44 632 11 93

The Reichmann Laboratory

The objective of the group is to create a prevascularized 3D skin graft: EarSkin. Fibroblasts, melanocytes and endothelial cells will be co-cultured to produce bio-engineered 3D skin tissue with patient-specific pigmentation. Vascularization of the skin graft will enable the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells, reducing apoptosis and scarring which commonly occurs in poorly perfused grafts. EarSkin will then be used to cover EarCartilage and produce a single graft.


Tissue Biology Research Unit
Department of Surgery
University Children’s Hospital Zurich
August Forel Strasse 7
8008 Zurich Switzerland

Phone 1  +41 44 634 89 11
Phone 2  +41 44 634 89 13
Fax         +41 44 634 89 18

The Rotter Laboratory

The goal of this project is to establish an in vivo pre-clinical model of the EarCartilage/EarSkin graft. To cover the cartilage and vascularize the skin graft, the temporal facial flap is used in reconstructive clinical surgery. The novel pre-clinical model will be used to nourish a cartilage/skin auricular graft which will contain human cells and will be transplanted into the immune-incompetent rats. Macroscopic and microscopic analysis, RT-PCR and photoacoustic imaging will be used to visualize the cartilage-skin graft over time.


Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3
68167 Mannheim

Phone 0621 / 383-3965

The Rijli Laboratory

The goal of this group is to understand developmental and molecular mechanisms of pinna morphogenesis. Hoxa2 has been shown to be involved in pinna formation in mice models and reports of familial microtia.  However, how this gene affects the downstream specification of auricular cartilage is incompletely understood, yet could help intelligently design the culture conditions to expand the microtia chondrocytes and chondroprogenitors. The goal is to identify downstream targets of Hoxa2 and elucidate the regulatory/enhancer regions and histone modification in neural crest cells which specify auricular cartilage.


Friedrich Miescher Institute       Phone: +41 61 69 60436
for Biomedical Research              Fax: +41 61 69 73976
Maulbeerstrasse 66
P.O. Box 3775
4002 Basel