Project A05

Development of a transplantable bioartificial adrenal

Portrait of PI Barbara Ludwig

Prof. Barbara Ludwig
Department of Internal Medicine,
Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at the Technische Universität Dresden

Here is supposed to be a picture of Stefan Bornstein, CRC/TRR 205.

Prof. Dr. med. Stephan Bornstein
Department of Internal Medicine,
Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at the Technische Universität Dresden

Scientific Staff

Mariya Balyura – Veterinarian
Evgeny Gelfkat – Scientist
Susann Lehmann – Scientist

Project Description

Project A05 deals with the development of new therapeutic strategies for adrenal insufficiency. Corticosteroid replacement resembles the only therapy so far but does not restore the physiological feedback regulation of an intact hypothalamic- pituitary- adrenal- (HPA) axis. The project aims to establish new techniques of transplanting isolated adrenal cells for safe and physiological hormone substitution by taking advantage of encapsulating techniques, thus restoring the HPA axis and improve immune protection.


(I) Identification of potential cell sources for adrenal cell replacement therapy. Optimal cell sources for cell replacement will be evaluated based upon functional potential, longterm stability and immunogenicity.

(II) Evaluation of optimal encapsulation and transplantation strategies. Both macro- and microencapsulation techniques have been shown as feasible for application to adrenal cells. Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo testing is sought to identify optimal transplantation conditions.

(III) Therapeutic capacity of adrenal cell replacement. The most promising bioartificial adrenal strategies will be tested in adequate small and large animal preclinical models.


Balyura M… Ludwig B… Bornstein SR. Expression of progenitor markers is associated with the functionality of a bioartificial adrenal cortex. PLoS One. 2018 Mar 29;13(3):e0194643.

Ruiz-Babot G, Balyura M, … Schubert U, Ziegler CG, … Bornstein SR, Guasti L. Modeling Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Testing Interventions for Adrenal Insufficiency Using Donor-Specific Reprogrammed Cells. Cell Rep. 2018 Jan 30;22(5):1236-1249.

Balyura M, Gelfgat E, Ullmann E, Ludwig B, Barnea ER, Bornstein SR. PreImplantation Factor (PIF*) Regulates Stress-Induced Adrenal Steroidogenesis and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines: Potential Application for Bioartificial Adrenal Transplant. Horm Metab Res. 2018 Feb;50(2):168-174.

Ludwig B, Ludwig S, Steffen A, Knauf Y, Zimerman B, Heinke S, Lehmann S, Schubert U, Schmid J, Bleyer M, Schönmann U, Colton CK, Bonifacio E, Solimena M, Reichel A, Schally AV, Rotem A, Barkai U, Grinberg-Rashi H, Kaup FJ, Avni Y, Jones P, Bornstein SR. Favorable outcome of experimental islet xenotransplantation without immunosuppression in a nonhuman primate model of diabetes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 31;114(44):11745-11750.