About Anatomy and Embryology

Prominent research field of the Anatomy and Embryology group is anatomical modeling and labeling based on medical imaging. In this research, data of different medical imaging techniques as RX, CT, (3T) MRI, µCT, µMRI and DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging - MRI post processing) are combined. The group developed specialized marker- and contrast procedures for visualization, measurement and comparison of images. The use of sophisticated software packages allows segmentation and 3D reconstruction of the required structures. The application of computer aided techniques has the advantage of a multidirectional approach, measurement of several anatomical parameters at the same time and comprehensible visualization. This research focusses on anatomical variation using statistical shape analysis, important for automatic tissue registration, 3D navigation surgery systems and individualization of generic models.

A second field of research is validation of medical imaging data and relevant tissue characteristics on human cadaver material using classical dissection. Typical applications of these anatomical procedures are guideline development for tissue delineation in radiotherapy planning, neurodynamic modeling, labeling of complex anatomical structures (e.g. brachial plexus, cruciate ligaments and thoracolumbar fascia). New projects are being initiated related to shape variation within large datasets of  virtual anatomical structures and applied to biomechanics.

Bench related research of the Anatomy and Embryology research group is devoted predominantly  to apoptosis focusing on mechanisms and regulation of cell death in ovarian physiology, next to cell death studies in the L929 apoptosis/ necrosis model system. In addition peroxisomes (enzyme content, morphological characteristics) and histopathological alterations in patients with a peroxisomal disorder and in animal models are studied.

Finally cytopathogenic effects of host-pathogen interactions in an array of in vitro and in vivo models are investigated at at ultrastructural level in collaboration with the department of pathology, bacteriology and poultry diseases (DI05 Faculty of veterinary medicine).