PhD MD TRR219-associated students
University Hospital RWTH Aachen
Institute for Biomedical Engineering - Biointerface Laboratory
Project title: Cellular Response and Clearance Mechanisms Triggered by Protein-Mineral Complexes
PI: Willi Jahnen-Dechent
The liver-derived plasma protein fetuin-A is known as a systemic inhibitor of ectopic calcification. Fetuin-A stabilizes saturated mineral solutions initially as ion clusters to form calciprotein monomers (CPM) and then as larger multimeric consolidations containing amorphous calcium phosphate referred to as primary calciprotein particles (CPP). Time-, temperature-, pH-, and mineral saturation-dependently, primary CPP spontaneously convert into secondary CPP which are larger, oblongated, more crystalline, and less soluble. CPM and CPP mediate excess mineral stabilization, transport and clearance from the circulation and thus, prevent calcium phosphate deposition and subsequent calcification. We study CPM and CPP clearance mechanisms and the response of cells involved in these mechanisms.