The aim of this project is to investigate the role of specific mechanical characteristics with functional properties in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) for migration, homing and engraftment. Using a novel analytical tool for hematopoietic stem cell characterization and sorting – real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC) – we will establish the fundamental connection between cellular mechanics and HSPC development and function. The central hypothesis is that cell mechanics constitutes an inherent marker of cell function with higher specificity for better hematopoietic stem cell transplantation than current markers. Ultimately, these findings are supposed to develop strategies, which can enhance stem cell engraftment to improve the outcome after clinical transplantation as well as to define novel strategies for treatment of patients with blood cancer.
Participating group members: