Our preliminary goal is to prepare preclinical porcine xenogeneic lung transplantation studies in the large animal model. Against this background, the following research priorities are therefore currently in place:

1.) The identification of necessary as well as target genetic modifications of donor pigs

2.) The establishment of suitable ex vivo-perfusions for analysis as well as modification of pig lungs

3.) The development of optimized immunosuppression, immunomodulation and tolerance induction


PhD Dr. med.
Tobias Goecke
Clinic for Heart, Thorax, Transplant and Vascular Surgery

R. Ramm, T. Goecke, P. Köhler, I. Tudorache, S. Cebotari, A. Ciubotaru, S. Sarikouch, K. Höffler, F. Bothe, B. Petersen, A. Haverich, H. Niemann, A. Hilfiker, Immunological and functional features of decellularized xenogeneic heart valves after transplantation into GGTA1-KO pigs, Regenerative Biomaterials. 8 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1093/rb/rbab036

A.W. Godehardt, R. Ramm, B. Gulich, R.R. Tönjes, A. Hilfiker, Decellularized pig pulmonary heart valves-Depletion of nucleic acids measured by proviral PERV pol, Xenotransplantation. 27 (2020) e12565. https://doi.org/10.1111/xen.12565

R. Ramm, T. Goecke, K. Theodoridis, K. Hoeffler, S. Sarikouch, K. Findeisen, A. Ciubotaru, S. Cebotari, I. Tudorache, A. Haverich, A. Hilfiker, Decellularization combined with enzymatic removal of N-linked glycans and residual DNA reduces inflammatory response and improves performance of porcine xenogeneic pulmonary heart valves in an ovine in vivo model, Xenotransplantation. 27 (2020) e12571. https://doi.org/10.1111/xen.12571.

T. Goecke, K. Theodoridis, I. Tudorache, A. Ciubotaru, S. Cebotari, R. Ramm, K. Höffler, S. Sarikouch, A. Vásquez Rivera, A. Haverich, W.F. Wolkers, A. Hilfiker, In vivo performance of freeze-dried decellularized pulmonary heart valve allo- and xenografts orthotopically implanted into juvenile sheep, Acta Biomaterialia. 68 (2018) 41-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2017.11.041.

R. Ramm, H. Niemann, B. Petersen, A. Haverich, A. Hilfiker, Decellularized GGTA1-KO pig heart valves do not bind preformed human xenoantibodies, Basic Res Cardiol. 111 (2016) 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00395-016-0560-7.





Tobias Goecke, MD, PhD

+49 (0)511 532 8859


Clinic for Heart, Thorax, Transplant and Vascular Surgery
Hanover Medical School