Spatial organization as diagnostic marker

Upon discovering a then unknown component of the human cartilage architecture, the “spatial organization” of joint surface chondrocytes, Prof. Rolauffs fused fluorescence microscopy with complex stochastic analyses of cell coordinates, normally used on satellite images in geography and geology. This innovative definition of visualized cells as mathematical point patterns allowed Prof. Rolauffs to devise an image-based method for diagnosing early pre-clinical osteoarthritis / tissue degeneration prior to the level of structural damage that current clinically used diagnostic methods can detect. Based on this strategy, to use the earliest recognizable changes in the spatial organization as an image-based diagnostic marker, Bernd is developing the fundamentals for an arthroscopic tool for the diagnosis of pre-clinical early osteoarthritis and for monitoring biological cartilage therapies.

Meet the team

Professor Bernd Rolauffs, M.D.

Director of the G.E.R.N. Research Center

Section Head, Translational Medicine for Cell-Based Therapies

W3 Univ.-Professor in Tissue Replacement

Dept. of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, Freiburg University Medical Center


Habilitation at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Doctor of Medicine, Medical Faculty of University of Münster, Germany


Dept. of Biochemistry, Rush University, Chicago, USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Boston, USA

Orthopedic RESIDENCY

Tübingen University Medical Center and BG Trauma Center Tübingen, Germany

Münster University Medical Center, Germany

Sunderland Royal Hospital, UK