During his active research time as visiting research fellow at the Center for Oral and Systemic diseases (Director: Prof. Dr. St. Offenbacher) from 1997 up to 1998 and later on as Adjunct Professor of Periodontology (1998-2005) at the Department of Periodontology (Professor and Chair: Prof Dr. R. Williams) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Prof. Grimm has developed rodent (rat and mice) animal models including animal treatment and experimental surgery (titanium chamber model); histological techniques (organ/tissue/cell isolation, fixation, processing for light/scanning electron microscopy, embedding, sectioning, specific/differential staining) and radioactive labeling in vivo/in vitro, autoradiography; for the investigation of periodontitis related to systemic diseases and for periodontal regeneration, now established in cooperation with the Anatomy and the Institute of Immunology, and the Animal facility Campus Witten of the Faculty of Health.
Since 2006 he focused on Stem cells in Regenerative Medicine. In standardized animal model, he investigated stem cell-supported periodontal and alveolar bone regeneration in nude rat. In general, his current stem cell research is focused on adult (somatic) stem cells and the regulation of their fundamental biological properties including differentiation, proliferation, and migration. We are further interested in the impact of pro- and anti-inflammatory signals on mesenchymal stem cells (progenitor of bone, fat and cartilage tissue) and neural crest-derived cells (progenitor of e.g. pigment cells and bones within the head region). Among others, my research team wants to address the following questions:
- How do inflammation and infection influence stem cell-mediated regeneration of the bone tissues? Are pro- and anti-inflammatory signals beneficial or harmful to adult stem cells?
- What is the ideal stem cell type for personalized regenerative medicine?
- It is possible to increase the regenerative potential of autologous (belonging to the given patient), tissue-resident stem cells by manipulating the inflammatory balance?
- Can such de-differentiation approach be used within Regenerative Medicine?
- What are the best conditions and methods to cultivate stem cells (3D vs 2D culture, biomaterials)
- What are the best techniques for vertical and horizontal augmentations of alveolar bone defects using bone substitutes as carrier material for human oral-derived neural crest-related stem cells