The project areas of SIIRI

Project area A

Technical and
Functional Safety

This project area focuses on the design, construction, and function of implant systems, including monitoring their functionality. Research also explores methods for technical and biological regeneration after wear or functional failure, along with investigating gentle implant removal. A Digital Implant Lifecycle Management is being established.

Project area B

Interface and
Infection Safety

This area addresses interactions at the interface between implants and the biological milieu. Research includes the development of innovative optical, chemical, and cell-based methods for early detection of implant-associated infections. Additionally, auto-regulatory systems are being explored to not only detect but also autonomously react to infections.

Project area Z

Communication and
Early Career Support

In this project area, the communication between physicians and patients is researched regarding implant safety and treatment success. Insights gained are crucial for implant development and future implementation in clinical practice. Early career researchers are supported through an Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG).

About our research work

SIIRI – Safety-integrated and infection-reactive implants

In May 2021, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved funding for the new Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 298 SIIRI (Safety-Integrated and Infection-Reactive Implants). Led by Prof. Meike Stiesch from Hannover Medical School and Prof. Hans Jürgen Maier from Leibniz Universität Hannover, with participation from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Technische Universität Braunschweig, and Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media, over 150 scientists are researching innovative strategies to enhance implant safety.

Our strategy: Exploring the use of life cycle and monitoring concepts from engineering for medicine – for a sustainable improvement of implant and patient safety.

In engineering, safety-relevant concepts rely on reliable monitoring. Regular check-ups detect potential component damage early, allowing for measurement of severity and appropriate responses. SIIRI leverages this knowledge to develop safety-relevant concepts from engineering, such as those used in aviation, for the first time in medicine to enhance implant safety. Cell-based, chemical, and physical detection systems aim to identify biological or technical implant failures early and respond accordingly.

Our research concept: The development of new safety strategies for medical implants – for successful prevention, detection and therapy

Within the SIIRI research network, fundamental mechanisms of implant complications across various medical disciplines are investigated to develop strategies for effective prevention. The focus is on developing detection and reaction systems that can recognize incipient biological or technical complications early, ideally during implant insertion, and prevent or heal them through appropriate measures. The developed systems will merge into a digital implant life cycle management, ultimately leading to a long-term increase in implant safety. Communication research contributes innovatively by examining doctor-patient communication and analyzing how acceptance and trust in new implant technologies can be promoted.

Our research focuses on four key questions

How can we effectively prevent implant complications?

Here, we are developing new strategies for the prevention of technical and biological implant complications.

How can we detect implant complications at an early stage?

The development of innovative cell-based, as well as chemical and physical detection systems will enable early detection of implant complications.

How can we counteract implant complications in a timely and appropriate manner?

We investigate intelligent systems triggered by physicians to induce response with healing of implant complications, as well as auto-regulatory systems where the implant itself induces healing or regeneration.

How do we create confidence in new safety-reactive implants?

Our research goal is to analyze the support and information needs of patients in order to support trust and decision-making processes through patient-centered physician communication.