Prof. Willy Hofstetter, PhD


Bone Biology & Orthopaedic Research
Department Clinical Research
University of Bern
Murtenstrasse 35
CH-3010 Bern
Phone: +41 31 632 87 86
Fax: +41 31 632 32 97



Activties and Research Interests

Tissue regeneration is a topic of high clinical relevance in the two major skeletal tissues, bone and cartilage. Degenerative diseases affect either one or the other tissue in osteoporosis and different forms of arthritis, causing a tremendous impact on the quality of life of the affected patients and considerable socioeconomic costs. Furthermore, bone defects arising from surgical removal of tumors or from accidents call for regenerative procedures. In our group, several approaches to regenerate bone and cartilage are being investigated. Mimicking the physiological bone repair process by producing specific bone substitute – growth factor constructs will open new strategies to generate in situ a suitable microenvironment at the repair site to enhance the regenerative potential of locally present endogenous progenitor cells. To generate cartilage-like tissues, and to understand the processes under which functional cartilage can develop, the world-best bioreactor, developed in close collaboration with the BFH Biel, will allow the establishment of highly complex protocols by varying mechanical stimulation, environmental conditions, scaffolds and the source of cells. In conclusion, our group follows different strategies to investigate and to develop cell- and material based protocols for the regeneration of bone and cartilage with the sight on potential clinical applications.


Selected publications

- Montjovent MO, Siegrist M, Klenke F, Wetterwald A, Dolder S, Hofstetter W “Expression of antagonists of WNT and BMP signaling after non-rigid fixation of osteotomies”, Bone (2012) Epub.

- Albers CE, Hofstetter W, Sebald HJ, Sebald W, Siebenrock KA, Klenke FM, “L51P - A BMP2 variant with osteoinductive activity via inhibition of Noggin”, Bone (2012) 51:401-6.

- Sebald HJ, Klenke FM, Siegrist M, Albers CE, Sebald W, Hofstetter W, “Inhibition of endogenous antagonists with an engineered BMP-2 variant increases BMP-2 efficacy in rat femoral defect healing”, Acta Biomater (2012) 8:3816-20.

- Atanga E, Dolder S, Dauwalder T, Wetterwald A, Hofstetter W, “TNFα inhibits the development of osteoclasts through osteoblast-derived GM-CSF”, Bone (2011) 49:1090-100.

- Wernike E, Montjovent MO, Liu Y, Wismeijer D, Hunziker EB, Siebenrock KA, Hofstetter W, Klenke FM, “VEGF incorporated into calcium phosphate ceramics promotes vascularisation and bone formation in vivo”, Eur Cell Mater (2010) 19:30-40.