Research Groups

Richard Funk

Stress symptoms in cells and tissues

Previous and Current Research

We study cell (endothelial cells, fibroblasts, osteoblasts) guidance cues on biodegradable scaffolds (e.g. polymers). We now have several evidences that the pattern of electrical charges depicted by corresponding molecules (e.g. glycosaminoglycans) is an important signal for the orientation and migration of cells. Thus, by an engineered pattern of such molecules on a surface of e.g. a biodegradable implant endothelial cells or others can be guided to the place of its proper action.

We study the influence of the Maillard reaction (leading to advanced glycation endproducts, AGEs) on the function of specific proteins which are involved in the axonal transport. We have found that a very early and good indicator of cell stress is the reduced velocity of transport vesicles. AGEs impair this axonal transport and alpha adrenergic blockers (acting on cell “stress receptors”) can exert a protection of this phenomenon.Thus, will look on the molecular mechanisms of this process (crosslinking of motor proteins in axonal transport, energy depletion etc.) by analyzing the colocalization of fluorescence staining of (motor-) proteins and tagged AGE-molecules and by methods of molecular biology.

Methodological and Technical Expertise
  • Light microscopy, electron microsopy, immuno-microscopy
  • Imaging methods
  • Cell culture techniques, incl. dissection and organ culture
  • Cell migration (light stimulation and monitoring, stimulation by electric fields)
  • Cell and molecular biology methods
Selected Publications

Tippelt, S., Ma, C., Witt, M., Bierbaum, S. and Funk, R.H.
Collagen type I prevents glyoxal-induced apoptosis in osteoblastic cells cultured on titanium alloy.
Cells Tissues Organs, 177(1): 29–36. (2004)

Menke, T., Gille, G., Reber, F., Janetzky, B., Andler, W., Funk, R.H. and Reichmann, H.
Coenzyme Q10 reduces the toxicity of rotenone in neuronal cultures by preserving the mitochondrial membrane potential.
Biofactors, 18(1-4): 65–72. (2003)

Reber, F., Reber, U. and Funk, R.H.
Intracellular changes in astrocytes and NG 108-15 neuroblastoma X glioma cells induced by advanced glycation end products.
J Neural Transm., 110(10): 1103–18. (2003)

Reber, F., Geffarth, R., Kasper, M., Reichenbach, A., Schleicher, E. D., Siegner, A. and Funk, R.H.
Graded sensitiveness of the various retinal neuron populations on the glyoxal-mediated formation of advanced glycation end products and ways of protection.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol., 241(3): 213–25 (2003)

Reber, F., Gersch, U., Funk, R.H.
Blockers of carbonic anhydrase can cause increase of retinal capillary diameter, decrease of extracellular and increase of intracellular pH in rat retinal organ culture.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol., 241(2): 140–8 (2003)


Dean of Science, Medical Faculty, TU Dresden

since 1994
Chair of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, TU Dresden

Professor in Anatomy, University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Assistant Professor, University Erlangen-Nürnberg

MD at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg


University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus
Technische Universität Dresden
Fetscherstraße 74
01307 Dresden