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PhD student



Osteoarthritis is a major burden for patients and health care systems and still the most common cause of disability. In cooperation with G.E.R.N. lab (Universitätsklinikum Freiburg) we study the nanomechanical and morphological changes in human articular cartilage (AC) at the early stages of disease. Using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in combination with fluorescence microscopy we are gaining insights into the pathology of the tissue on a nanometer scale.

Früherkennung von Arthrose
00:00 / 10:19

About me

06/20: Doctoral scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)

07/19: Alumni award of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

since 11/2018: PhD student in the Hugel/Balzer Lab

10/18: MSc Biochemistry and Biophysics (very good with honors), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg       Topic: Nanomechanical properties of human osteoarthritic cartilage
AK Prof. Dr. Hugel and AG Prof. Dr. Bernd Rolauffs (G.E.R.N. lab)

10/16: BSc Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and ETH Zürich




07/19: Poster award for “Towards a mechanistic understanding and detection of early-onset osteoarthritis” (Tag der Forschung, Freiburg)

07/21: "Best Student Talk Award" at 2021 International Scanning Probe Microscopy (ISPM) + Scanning Probe Microscopy on Soft & Polymeric Materials (SPMonSPM)




M. Tschaikowsky, S. Brander, V. Barth, R. Thomann, B. Rolauffs, B.N. Balzer & T. Hugel
The articular cartilage surface is impaired by a loss of thick collagen fibers and formation of type I collagen in early osteoarthritis
Acta Biomaterialia, 146, 274 (2022).

A. Goralczyk, M. Zhu, F. Mayoussi, M. Lallemang, M. Tschaikowsky, A. Warmbold, S. Caliaro, F. Tauber, B. N. Balzer, F. Kotz-Helmer, D. Helmer & B. E. Rapp

Study of repellence on polymeric surfaces with two individually adjustable pore hierarchies

Chemical Engineering Journal, 135287 (2022),



A. Baldwin, M. Hartl, M. Tschaikowsky, B.N. Balzer & B.W. Booth

Degradation and release of tannic acid from an injectable tissue regeneration bead matrix in vivoJ Biomed Mater Res., 110, 1165  (2021).

M. Tschaikowsky, T. Neumann, S. Brander, H. Haschke, B. Rolauffs, B.N. Balzer & T. Hugel
Hybrid fluorescence-AFM explores articular surface degeneration in early osteoarthritis across length scales

Acta Biomaterialia, 126, 315 (2021).

M. Tschaikowsky, M. Selig, S. Brander, B.N. Balzer, T. Hugel & B. Rolauffs
Proof-of-concept for the detection of early osteoarthritis pathology by clinically applicable endomicroscopy and quantitative AI-supported optical biopsy

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 29 (2), 269 (2021).

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