Sie befinden sich hier



Mechanisms of Bone Metastasis – Molecules, Models and Technologies


Rüdiger Rudolf, Mannheim University for Applied Sciences
Karen Bieback, Heidelberg University

Project description

Bone metastasis is correlated with bad prognosis in different types of malignant cancers. Based on pertinent preliminary work, this project aims at developing and characterizing a novel 3D cell model to study molecular mechanisms of bone metastasis. It uses spheroid culture and co-culture techniques in combination with pharmacological treatments, live imaging and whole-mount confocal microscopy of immunostained and optically cleared cultures. Image analysis involves AI-assisted and training-based segmentation. In cooperation, use of primary cells, 3D-bioprinting, and genetic manipulation might add in.


  1. Keller F, Bruch R, Clauder F, Hafner M, Rudolf R. Extracellular Matrix Components Regulate Bone Sialoprotein Expression in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells. Cells. 2021 May 24;10(6):1304. doi: 10.3390/cells10061304.
  2. Nürnberg E, Vitacolonna M, Klicks J, von Molitor E, Cesetti T, Keller F, Bruch R, Ertongur-Fauth T, Riedel K, Scholz P, Lau T, Schneider R, Meier J, Hafner M, Rudolf R. Routine Optical Clearing of 3D-Cell Cultures: Simplicity Forward. Front Mol Biosci. 2020 Feb 21;7:20. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2020.00020.
  3. Rustamov V, Keller F, Klicks J, Hafner M, Rudolf R. Bone Sialoprotein Shows Enhanced Expression in Early, High-Proliferation Stages of Three-Dimensional Spheroid Cell Cultures of Breast Cancer Cell Line MDA-MB-231. Front Oncol. 2019 Feb 5;9:36. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00036.

Methods used

Spheroid culture and co-culture, optical tissue clearing, whole-mount immunostaining, 3D and live cell microscopy, 3D and AI-assisted image analysis

Collaboration Partner

Applicants profile

The successful candidate holds a Master degree in biosciences, biotechnology, or similar and has a strong interest in cell biology and oncology. Sound work ethics and the will to drive the project in a cooperative team effort are mandatory. Experience with 2D and 3D cell culture, confocal microscopy, advanced image analysis and a propensity for technological solutions, including 3D-(bio) printing are a surplus.