Reproductive Cell Biology Unit

Reproductive biology in vitro: innovative cell culture models for deciphering early embryo-maternal interactions

Gametes and embryos get in contact with the maternal organism via the epithelial cells of the female reproductive tract. Highly dynamic cellular interactions which are essential for initiation and maintenance of pregnancy take place in this “contact zone”. As these processes are often subtle and local they are difficult (if not impossible) to analyze in vivo.

We therefore establish and use highly differentiated cell culture models that closely mimic the morphology and function of the female reproductive tract epithelia. With these in vitro models we investigate

  1. the molecular mechanisms underlying the maturation and transport of gametes, fertilization and early embryonic development and
  2. the interactions of gametes and embryos with the epithelial cells of the female reproductive  tract and the metabolic and endocrine mechanisms that influence these interactions.


Ph.D. Shuai Chen
Institute of Reproductive Biology
+49 38208 68-757 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-757
Dr. rer. nat. Ralf Pöhland
Institute of Reproductive Biology
+49 38208 68-761 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-761
Ph.D. Sergio Eliseo Palma Vera
Institute of Reproductive Biology
+49-38208 68-757 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49-38208 68-757

Supervised Doctoral Candidates