Research groups

The human spare parts program contains high level stem cell research and multiple engineering disciplines under the same roof. We have several years of experience in mutual collaboration in order to develop novel innovations for the field of regenerative medicine. You can also utilize this extensive know-how in regenerative medicine and research infrastructure ranging from human stem cells through biomaterials to micro-environments and imaging. Check if we have something you need and let’s collaborate!

We are very pleased to have a large number of ongoing collaborations which allow us to broaden our interests and capabilities.

Please visit our material bank, if you would like to read more detailed information on our published research. The material bank includes scientific articles, news, web articles and also writings in national newspapers.

Interested in collaboration possibilities and opportunities?

Please contact the group leader representing the research group you are interested in or the Human Spare Parts Program Manager Juho Väisänen,, + 358 40 1909 834.



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Adult Stem Cell Group

Group leader: PhD, Adj. Prof. Susanna Miettinen
Group’s own webpage

The research in the Adult Stem Cells group focuses on the characterization of the adult stem cells, the optimization of the growth conditions and the use of these cells in bone, cartilage and soft tissue engineering applications. The group aims to increase the knowledge on the characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells in particular, as well as to develop new tissue engineering based therapies.

  • Basic biology of human multi-potent stem cells, especially adipose stem cells
  • Biomaterials research in tissue engineering applications
  • Cell differentiation: osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic
  • Translational studies
  • GMP and clinical use of stem cells
 Research interests
  • Stem cell characterization and development of culture conditions for clinical use
  • Immunomodulation and mesenchymal stem cells
  • Molecular mechanisms of stem cell differentiation
  • Tissue engineering: bone, cartilage and soft tissue
    • Biomaterials in tissue engineering
    • Mechanical stimulation
  • Clinical cell therapy with autologous adipose stem cells
    • Bone defects in the cranio-maxillofacial area
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Stroke
 Tools and facilities
  • Human multi-potent mesenchymal stem cells
  • Primary cells from bone, cartilage and epithelial tissues, endothelial cells
  • FACS analysis
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Immunocytochemistry,  Western blot, Fluorescence microscopy
  • GMP level clean rooms


Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Group

Group leader:  Minna Kellomäki Prof., DSc (Tech.), FBSE
Group’s own webpage

The research in the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering group focuses on the biomaterials for medical and tissue engineering applications. We mainly study bioabsorbable polymers, hydrogels, bioactive glasses and composites of them. We have expertise in both synthetic and biologically modified materials. Currently we have research starting from synthesis, going through the characterization, functionalization and processing to the end-products. Our aim is to develop functionalized devices and scaffolds to the biological and clinical applications. Currently the group consists of 1 full professor, 1 assistant professor, 5 post docs, 9 PhD students and 5–10 MSc thesis students.

  • Synthesis of hydrogels, bioabsorbable polymers and bioactive glasses for medical applications
  • Biomaterial characterization techniques
  • Processing of bioabsorbable polymers, glasses and composites
 Research interests
  • Novel hydrogel synthesis
  • Functionalization of polymers
  • Influence of topology to the cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation
  • Biologically functional composites
  • Implantable textiles
  • Novel bioactive glass compounds
Tools and facilities
  • Clean room for biomaterial production
  • Polymer synthesis chamber
  • Single- and twin-screw extruders
  • Pilot-scale textile machines to produce implantable scaffolds and devices
  • Freeze-dryer for scaffolds
  • Sc-CO2 for scaffold production
  • Direct laser writing by two-photon polymerization
  • Analysis and characterization of polymers, especially bioabsorbable (e.g. GPC, DSC, UV, GC, mechanical testing)
  • Melt-processing equipment of bioactive glasses, incl. spinning line


Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group (CBIG)

Group leader: Jari Hyttinen
Group’s own webpage

Our primary expertise is in the development of bioimaging, analysis, and computational modelling tools for new personalized treatments, diagnostics and drug discoveries, especially those enabled by stem cell research. We are particularly interested in understanding the biophysics in vitro and in vivo – especially electrophysiology – of cells and tissues during cell differentiation and maturation, and their function. We aim to contribute to the understanding of the biological networks, the role of glia, and the electro-mechanical function of cardiomyocytes. Our current main research topics are: Analysis of electrical signalling and processes in neuronal networks to develop bidirectional ICT biohybrids by connecting microelectrode arrays (MEAs) with living cells; Integrating MEA electrophysiology with image based mechanical deformation analysis and computational models to develop future personized diagnostic platforms; Bone cell adaptation due to mechanical loading to improve cell differentiation and bone formation; Epithelial transport function and electrophysiology to understand epithelial barrier function and its control. In addition to computational, cell culture based, and electrophysiological approaches, we employ and develop high resolution x-ray and optical tomographic imaging methods to enable 3D morphological analysis of biological and biomaterial targets, for example to observe microscale biomaterial structures, analyse cell seeding and function in 3D biomaterials, and to establish 3D histological tools. CBIG currently consists of 1 professor, 2 senior scientist, 3 postdoctoral researchers, 14 PhD students, and about 5 graduate students.

  • 3D bioimaging
    • Multimodal bioimaging and analysis; Micro-computed tomography (µCT), optical projection tomography (OPT) with selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) feature, and bioimpedance spectroscopy imaging
  • Bioelectronics
    • Electrophysiology and bioimpedance spectroscopy measurements and analysis
  • In-silico medicine
    • Computational modelling of biophysical systems
    • Electrophysiology: from electromagnetic fields to cell electrophysiology, diffusion, and mechanics.
Research interests
  • X-ray and optical 3D bioimaging and image-based morphological analysis and modelling
  • Cell electrophysiology and mechanobiology: from patch clamp to microelectrode arrays to body surface
  • In silico medicine and biology” electrophysiological/biophysical modelling: simulations of cardiac and epithelial cells as well as neuronal-astrocytic networks
Tools and facilities
  • 3D imaging facility including
    • Zeiss Xradia MicroXCT400 µCT device
    • In-house developed optical tomography and single plane illumination microscopes
    • High end hardware and software for image reconstruction, visualization, and analysis
  • Computational modelling  expertise including finite element analysis
  • Bioelectric and electrophysiological analysis lab including
    • Bioimpedance spectroscopy instrumentation
    • Patch clamp  instrumentation
    • Microelectrode array cell measurement systems


Eye Group

Group leader:  Associate Professor Heli Skottman
Group’s own webpage

Associate Professor Heli Skottman, PhD, joined BioMediTech (former Regea Institute for Regenerative Medicine), University of Tampere in 2005 as Program Manager of human stem cell research, having worked as a postdoctoral research partner in Karolinska Institute, Sweden and University of Turku Finland. Prof. Skottman has over 13 years’ experience in human pluripotent stem cells, derivation of new lines and optimization of culture conditions towards GMP production. For the last 7 years she has devoted her time in eye research, which has focuses on clinical applications in ophthalmology already in the early stages of research. Her special interests are in retinal and corneal diseases, developing human pluripotent stem cell based tools for disease modeling, drug discovery and cell transplantation.  In addition, she has experience on intellectual property strategy, licensing of stem cell products and spin off companies. Prof. Skottman holds a M.Sc. in Applied Zoology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Animal Biotechnology in University of Eastern Finland, Finland. In addition she has studied at the Turku School of Economics, Finland. She has co-authored several patent applications and has over 70 peer-reviewed publications in the field of human stem cell research.

  • Human pluripotent stem cells including human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Embryology
  • Cornea
  • Retina
  • Product development for stem cell applications including medium development
 Research interests
  • Retinal and cornea surface transplants differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells
 Tools and facilities
  • Human pluripotent stem cell lines (including embryonic stem cell line bank)
  • Molecular biology
  • Imaging
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomimetic environment


Heart Group

Group leader: Professor Katriina Aalto-Setälä MD, PhD, Specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiology
Group’s own webpage

  • Clinical cardiology
  • Access to patients with genetic cardiac diseases
  • Derivation and culturing of patient-specific iPS cells (also by non-viral methods)
  • Cardiac differentiation
  • Assessment of the functional properties of differentiated cardiomyocytes
  • Hepatocyte differentiation and assessment of their functionality
Research interests
  • Modeling of genetic cardiac diseases with patient specific iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes
  • Development of the cell culture environment to enhance the differentiation and maturation of iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes
  • Using iPSC-derived hepatocytes to study lipidomics related to atherosclerosis
  • Combine clinical data with in-vitro studies
  • Personalized medicine and diagnostics
Tools and facilities
  • Patient-specific iPS cells
  • Cardiac differentiation
  • Hepatocyte differentiation
  • Molecular biology (e.g. single-cell qPCR, miRNA qPCR)
  • Ca-imaging
  • Electrophysiology
  • Video-based beating analysis

Micro- and Nanosystems Research Group

Group leader:  Prof. Pasi Kallio
Group’s own webpage

The mission of our group is to develop autonomous systems for manipulating, treating and characterizing micro- and nanoscale biological and biomedical samples. We combine our expertise in automation and control engineering with microsystems and nanotechnology to develop novel functional systems in selected application areas.

  • Microfluidics
  • Microfabrication
  • Microrobotics and -actuators
  • Automation and Control
 Research interests
  • Biomimetic microenvironments for stem cell cultivation
  • Microfluidic perfusion and gas supply in stem cell applications
  • Mechanical cell stimulation
  • Automatic control of stem cell differentiation
Tools and facilities
  • Clean room facilities for microfabrication
  • Equipment for the development and characterization of microfluidic systems
  • Microrobotic stations for characterization of microscale biomaterials
  • Numerical modelling tools


Neuro Group

Group leader: PhD, Adj.Prof. Susanna Narkilahti
Group’s own webpage

Cultivation, differentiation and characterization of neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells. Electrophysiological properties in human neuronal networks in-vitro. Modeling of neurological deficits in-vitro; combination of cells and controlled growth environments with integrated sensor technologies. 3D cultures of human neuronal cells in biomaterials: development of 3D environment and characterization of cultures.

 Research interests

In-vitro modeling of human neuronal networks, design and development of controlled in-vitro neural models such as the myelination model, epilepsy model etc. Development of 3D culture neural models and graft designs.

  • Human neural cell grafts
  • Neural cells derived in vitro models
  • Understanding of human neuronal network development
 Tools and facilities
  • Human pluripotent stem cells
  • Molecular biology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Imaging
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomimetic environment

Sensor Technology and Biomeasurements Group

Group leader:  Prof. Jukka Lekkala
Group’s own webpage

The teaching and research of Sensor Technology and Biomeasurements include modeling and the simulation of sensor materials, microfabrication technologies and applications of sensors. The focus of the research is in microsensors, biosensors, biomeasurements, and wireless sensing. 

  • Microfabrication
  • Microelectrodes, microsensors  and optical probes for the measurement of stem cell differentiation and cultivation environments
  • Capacative, piezoelectric and electret-based film sensors for the measurement of pressure, normal and shear stress, and force
  • Measurement and analysis of physiological signals; e.g. arterial pulse waves, night-time monitoring, and facial EMG measurements and stimulations
  • Electric nose technology (IMS, DMS) for smell measurements (cancer, bacteria, etc.)
Research interests
  • New sensor concepts and measurement methods
  • Development of micro sensors and micro electrodes for physiological measurements and biosensing applications
  • Wireless measurement systems, body sensor networks
Tools and facilities
  • Clean room facilities for microfabrication of sensor and MEA prototypes
  • Measurement laboratories and facilities for development of electronics
  • Numerical modelling tools