Development of fully synthetic modular designed biomaterials. Although naturally occurring biomaterials are well suitable for tissue regeneration approaches, they contain matrix inherent properties that limit their use in engineering applications. In collaboration with the laboratories of Prof. Franz Weber, University Hospital Zürich, Prof. Matthias Lütolf EPFL Lausanne and Prof. Wilfried Weber Bioss Freiburg Germany, we develop a fully synthetic hydrogel platform that can be designed towards specific matrix engineering applications in vitro and in vivo. Building blocks are developed that will allow the combination of features such as mechanical properties, proteolytic susceptibility, integrin binding, and growth factor presentation within the otherwise inert poly (ethylene glycol) PEG hydrogels. Ongoing studies with this materials platform focus on: the study of cell-extracellular matrix interactions, the establishment of in vitro tissue-like constructs, the recruitment and characterization of bone precursor cells, and bone healing in vivo.