A note on cookies

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. If you want to find out more see our Privacy Policy


Institute of Bioengineering

People menu

Dr Daniela Loessner


Reader in Bioengineering and Cancer

Department Barts Cancer Institute
 Charterhouse Square

Research Keywords

3D cell culture, in vitro disease models, humanized animal models, cancer research

Research Interests

I am a cell biologist because I wish to make a difference to patients diagnosed with cancer. Working here at the Barts Cancer Institute allows me to use interdisciplinary approaches to develop 3D models that mimic the human disease in the laboratory and to find better therapeutics.

Research Details

My research is placed at the interface between Cancer Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, with the aim to develop bioengineered 3D co-culture models that recreate the tumour microenvironment.

These bioengineered platforms will enable us to:

- dissect the complex cellular communications, taking place within multi-cellular cancer spheroids and between cancer spheroids and their niche

- screen new therapeutics that specifically target the tumour microenvironment.


Tomás-Bort E, Kieler M, Sharma S, Candido JB and Loessner D (2020). 3D approaches to model the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer. Theranostics  vol. 10, (11) 5074-5089. 10.7150/thno.42441


Wagner F, Holzapfel BM, Martine LC, McGovern J, Lahr CA, Boxberg M, Prodinger PM, Grässel S, Loessner D and Hutmacher DW (2019). A humanized bone microenvironment uncovers HIF2 alpha as a latent marker for osteosarcoma. Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 89, 372-381. 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.02.051

Loessner D, Rockstroh A, Shokoohmand A, Holzapfel BM, Wagner F, Baldwin J, Boxberg M, Schmalfeldt B, Lengyel E, Clements JA and Hutmacher DW (2019). A 3D tumor microenvironment regulates cell proliferation, peritoneal growth and expression patterns. Biomaterials  vol. 190-191, 63-75. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.10.014

Peerani E, Candido JB and Loessner D (2019). Cell recovery of hydrogel-encapsulated cells for molecular analysis. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9769-5_1


McGovern JA, Shafiee A, Wagner F, Lahr CA, Landgraf M, Meinert C, Williams ED, Russell PJ, Clements JA, Loessner D, Holzapfel BM, Risbridger GP and Hutmacher DW (2018). Humanization of the prostate microenvironment reduces homing of PC3 prostate cancer cells to human tissue-engineered bone. Cancers  vol. 10, (11) 10.3390/cancers10110438

Little JP, Pettet GJ, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2018). SpheroidSim?Preliminary evaluation of a new computational tool to predict the influence of cell cycle time and phase fraction on spheroid growth. Biotechnology Progress  vol. 34, (6) 1335-1343. 10.1002/btpr.2692

Wang P, Magdolen V, Seidl C, Dorn J, Drecoll E, Kotzsch M, Yang F, Schmitt M, Schilling O, Rockstroh A, Clements JA and Loessner D (2018). Kallikrein-related peptidases 4, 5, 6 and 7 regulate tumour-associated factors in serous ovarian cancer. British Journal of Cancer  vol. 119, (7) 823-831. 10.1038/s41416-018-0260-1

Loessner D, Goettig P, Preis S, Felber J, Bronger H, Clements JA, Dorn J and Magdolen V (2018). Kallikrein-related peptidases represent attractive therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer. Expert Opin Ther Targets  vol. 22, (9) 745-763. 10.1080/14728222.2018.1512587

Wagner F, Holzapfel BM, McGovern JA, Shafiee A, Baldwin JG, Martine LC, Lahr CA, Wunner FM, Friis T, Bas O, Boxberg M, Prodinger PM, Shokoohmand A, Moi D, Mazzieri R, Loessner D and Hutmacher DW (2018). Humanization of bone and bone marrow in an orthotopic site reveals new potential therapeutic targets in osteosarcoma. Biomaterials  vol. 171, 230-246. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.04.030

Meinert C, Theodoropoulos C, Klein TJ, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2018). A Method for Prostate and Breast Cancer Cell Spheroid Cultures Using Gelatin Methacryloyl-Based Hydrogels. Methods Mol Biol  vol. 1786, 175-194. 10.1007/978-1-4939-7845-8_10

Quent VMC, Taubenberger AV, Reichert JC, Martine LC, Clements JA, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2018). A humanised tissue-engineered bone model allows species-specific breast cancer-related bone metastasis in vivo. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine  vol. 12, (2) 494-504. 10.1002/term.2517


Momot KI, Bas O, Holzapfel NP and Loessner D (2017). Magnetic resonance microimaging of cancer cell spheroid constructs. Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging  vol. 5, (1) 41-54. 10.3233/BSI-150130

Holzapfel NP, Shokoohmand A, Wagner F, Landgraf M, Champ S, Holzapfel BM, Clements JA, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2017). Lycopene reduces ovarian tumor growth and intraperitoneal metastatic load. E-Century Publishing Corporation  Am J Cancer Res  vol. 7, (6) 1322-1336.

Muerza-Cascante ML, Shokoohmand A, Khosrotehrani K, Haylock D, Dalton PD, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2017). Endosteal-like extracellular matrix expression on melt electrospun written scaffolds. Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 52, 145-158. 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.12.040

Tourell MC, Shokoohmand A, Landgraf M, Holzapfel NP, Poh PSP, Loessner D and Momot KI (2017). The distribution of the apparent diffusion coefficient as an indicator of the response to chemotherapeutics in ovarian tumour xenografts. Scientific Reports  vol. 7, 10.1038/srep42905

Muerza-Cascante ML, Khosrotehrani K, Haylock D, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2017). 5.11 Engineering the haematopoietic stem cell niche in vitro. Comprehensive Biomaterials II  10.1016/B978-0-12-803581-8.10129-8


Fuhrman-Luck RA, Stansfield SH, Stephens CR, Loessner D and Clements JA (2016). Prostate Cancer-Associated Kallikrein-Related Peptidase 4 Activates Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 and Thrombospondin-1. J Proteome Res  vol. 15, (8) 2466-2478. 10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b01148

Wagner F, Holzapfel BM, Thibaudeau L, Straub M, Ling M-T, Grifka J, Loessner D, Lévesque J-P and Hutmacher DW (2016). A Validated Preclinical Animal Model for Primary Bone Tumor Research. J Bone Joint Surg Am  vol. 98, (11) 916-925. 10.2106/JBJS.15.00920

Badenoch-Jones EK, Lynham AJ and Loessner D (2016). Consent for third molar tooth extractions in Australia and New Zealand: A review of current practice. Australian Dental Journal  vol. 61, (2) 203-207. 10.1111/adj.12339

Loessner D, Meinert C, Kaemmerer E, Martine LC, Yue K, Levett PA, Klein TJ, Melchels FPW, Khademhosseini A and Hutmacher DW (2016). Functionalization, preparation and use of cell-laden gelatin methacryloyl-based hydrogels as modular tissue culture platforms. Nature Protocols  vol. 11, (4) 727-746. 10.1038/nprot.2016.037

Kryza T, Silva ML, Loessner D, Heuzé-Vourc'h N and Clements JA (2016). The kallikrein-related peptidase family: Dysregulation and functions during cancer progression. Biochimie  vol. 122, 283-299. 10.1016/j.biochi.2015.09.002

Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Theodoropoulos C, Kaemmerer E, Rausch T, Feldthusen J, Champ S, Clements JA, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2016). Lycopene's effects on cancer cell functions within monolayer and spheroid cultures. Nutrition and Cancer  vol. 68, (2) 350-363. 10.1080/01635581.2016.1150498

Dorn J, Yassouridis A, Walch A, Diamandis EP, Schmitt M, Kiechle M, Wang P, Drecoll E, Schmalfeldt B, Loessner D, Kotzsch M and Magdolen V (2016). Assessment of kallikrein-related peptidase 5 (KLK5) protein expression in tumor tissue of advanced ovarian cancer patients by immunohistochemistry and ELISA: Correlation with clinical outcome. American Journal of Cancer Research  vol. 6, (1) 61-70.


Hutmacher DW, Holzapfel BM, De-Juan-Pardo EM, Pereira BA, Ellem SJ, Loessner D and Risbridger GP (2015). Convergence of regenerative medicine and synthetic biology to develop standardized and validated models of human diseases with clinical relevance. Current Opinion in Biotechnology  vol. 35, 127-132. 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.06.001

Badenoch-Jones E and Lynham A (2015). Consent for third molar tooth extractions in Australia and New Zealand: a review of current practice. Elsevier Bv  International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery  vol. 44, e32-e32. 10.1016/j.ijom.2015.08.454

Hutmacher DW, Little JP, Pettet GJ and Loessner D (2015). Biomaterial science meets computational biology. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine  vol. 26, (5) 10.1007/s10856-015-5518-z

Holzapfel BM, Hutmacher DW, Nowlan B, Barbier V, Thibaudeau L, Theodoropoulos C, Hooper JD, Loessner D, Clements JA, Russell PJ, Pettit AR, Winkler IG and Levesque JP (2015). Tissue engineered humanized bone supports human hematopoiesis in vivo. Biomaterials  vol. 61, 103-114. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.04.057


Fuhrman-Luck RA, Loessner D and Clements JA (2014). Kallikrein-Related Peptidases in Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Function to Clinical Application. Ejifcc  vol. 25, (3) 269-281.

Holzapfel BM, Wagner F, Loessner D, Holzapfel NP, Thibaudeau L, Crawford R, Ling MT, Clements JA, Russell PJ and Hutmacher DW (2014). Species-specific homing mechanisms of human prostate cancer metastasis in tissue engineered bone. Biomaterials  vol. 35, (13) 4108-4115. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.01.062

Kaemmerer E, Melchels FPW, Holzapfel BM, Meckel T, Hutmacher DW and Loessner D (2014). Gelatine methacrylamide-based hydrogels: An alternative three-dimensional cancer cell culture system. Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 10, (6) 2551-2562. 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.02.035

Loessner D, Holzapfel BM and Clements JA (2014). Engineered microenvironments provide new insights into ovarian and prostate cancer progression and drug responses. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews  vol. 79, 193-213. 10.1016/j.addr.2014.06.001

Shahinian H, Loessner D, Biniossek ML, Kizhakkedathu JN, Clements JA, Magdolen V and Schilling O (2014). Secretome and degradome profiling shows that Kallikrein-related peptidases 4, 5, 6, and 7 induce TGF?-1 signaling in ovarian cancer cells. Molecular Oncology  vol. 8, (1) 68-82. 10.1016/j.molonc.2013.09.003

Fuhrman-Luck RA, Silva ML, Dong Y, Irving-Rodgers H, Stoll T, Hastie ML, Loessner D, Gorman JJ and Clements JA (2014). Proteomic and other analyses to determine the functional consequences of deregulated kallikrein-related peptidase (KLK) expression in prostate and ovarian cancer. Proteomics - Clinical Applications  vol. 8, (5-6) 403-415. 10.1002/prca.201300098

Dong Y, Loessner D, Irving-Rodgers H, Obermair A, Nicklin JL and Clements JA (2014). Metastasis of ovarian cancer is mediated by kallikrein related peptidases. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis  vol. 31, (1) 135-147. 10.1007/s10585-013-9615-4


Loessner D, Rizzi SC, Stok KS, Fuehrmann T, Hollier B, Magdolen V, Hutmacher DW and Clements JA (2013). A bioengineered 3D ovarian cancer model for the assessment ofpeptidase-mediated enhancement of spheroid growth andintraperitoneal spread. Biomaterials  vol. 34, (30) 7389-7400. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.06.009

Loessner D, Kobel S, Clements JA, Lutolf MP and Hutmacher DW (2013). Hydrogel Microwell Arrays Allow the Assessment of Protease-Associated Enhancement of Cancer Cell Aggregation and Survival. Microarrays (Basel)  vol. 2, (3) 208-227. 10.3390/microarrays2030208

Loessner D, Paige Little J, Pettet GJ and Hutmacher DW (2013). A multiscale road map of cancer spheroids-incorporating experimental and mathematical modelling to understand cancer progression. Journal of Cell Science  vol. 126, (13) 2761-2771. 10.1242/jcs.123836

LOESSNER D (2013). Integrin-functionalized artificial membranes as test platforms for monitoring small integrin ligand binding by surface plasmon-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy. Handbook of Biofunctional Surfaces  Crc Press 

Loessner D, Flegg JA, Byrne HM, Clements JA and Hutmacher DW (2013). Growth of confined cancer spheroids: A combined experimental and mathematical modelling approach. Integrative Biology (United Kingdom)  vol. 5, (3) 597-605. 10.1039/c3ib20252f


Dong Y, Loessner D, Sieh S, Taubenberger A, Fuhrman-Luck RA, Magdolen V, Hutmacher DW and Clements JA (2012). Cellular model systems to study the tumor biological role of kallikrein-related peptidases in ovarian and prostate cancer. Novel Cancer-Related Biomarkers 

Loessner D, Quent VMC, Kraemer J, Weber EC, Hutmacher DW, Magdolen V and Clements JA (2012). Combined expression of KLK4, KLK5, KLK6, and KLK7 by ovarian cancer cells leads to decreased adhesion and paclitaxel-induced chemoresistance. Gynecologic Oncology  vol. 127, (3) 569-578. 10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.09.001

Brown TD, Slotosch A, Thibaudeau L, Taubenberger A, Loessner D, Vaquette C, Dalton PD and Hutmacher DW (2012). Design and fabrication of tubular scaffolds via direct writing in a melt electrospinning mode. Biointerphases  vol. 7, (1-4) 1-16. 10.1007/s13758-011-0013-7

Brown TD, Slotosch A, Thibaudeau L, Taubenberger A, Loessner D, Vaquette C, Dalton PD and Hutmacher DW (2012). Design and fabrication of tubular scaffolds via direct writing in a melt electrospinning mode. Biointerphases  vol. 7, (1-4) 1-16. 10.1007/s13758-011-0013-7


Lawrence MG, Margaryan NV, Loessner D, Collins A, Kerr KM, Turner M, Seftor EA, Stephens CR, Lai J, Postovit LM, Clements JA and Hendrix MJC (2011). Reactivation of embryonic nodal signaling is associated with tumor progression and promotes the growth of prostate cancer cells. Prostate  vol. 71, (11) 1198-1209. 10.1002/pros.21335


Loessner D, Stok KS, Lutolf MP, Hutmacher DW, Clements JA and Rizzi SC (2010). Bioengineered 3D platform to explore cell-ECM interactions and drug resistance of epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Biomaterials  vol. 31, (32) 8494-8506. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.07.064

Quent VMC, Loessner D, Friis T, Reichert JC and Hutmacher DW (2010). Discrepancies between metabolic activity and DNA content as tool to assess cell proliferation in cancer research. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine  vol. 14, (4) 1003-1013. 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01013.x

Dong Y, Tan OL, Loessner D, Stephens C, Walpole C, Boyle GM, Parsons PG and Clements JA (2010). Kallikrein-related peptidase 7 promotes multicellular aggregation via the ?5?1 Integrin pathway and paclitaxel chemoresistance in serous epithelial ovarian carcinoma. Cancer Research  vol. 70, (7) 2624-2633. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3415

Hutmacher DW, Loessner D, Rizzi S, Kaplan DL, Mooney DJ and Clements JA (2010). Can tissue engineering concepts advance tumor biology research? Trends in Biotechnology  vol. 28, (3) 125-133. 10.1016/j.tibtech.2009.12.001


Hutmacher DW, Horch RE, Loessner D, Rizzi S, Sieh S, Reichert JC, Clements JA, Beier JP, Arkudas A, Bleiziffer O and Kneser U (2009). Translating tissue engineering technology platforms into cancer research. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine  vol. 13, (8 A) 1417-1427. 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2009.00853.x

Lössner D, Abou-Ajram C, Benge A, Aumercier M, Schmitt M and Reuning U (2009). Integrin ?v?3 upregulates integrin-linked kinase expression in human ovarian cancer cells via enhancement of ILK gene transcription. Wiley  Journal of Cellular Physiology  vol. 220, (2) 367-375. 10.1002/jcp.21774


Lössner D, Abou-Ajram C, Benge A and Reuning U (2008). Integrin ?v?3 mediates upregulation of epidermal growth-factor receptor expression and activity in human ovarian cancer cells. Elsevier Bv  The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology  vol. 40, (12) 2746-2761. 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.05.014


Lenski C, Kooy RF, Reyniers E, Loessner D, Wanders RJA, Winnepenninckx B, Hellebrand H, Engert S, Schwartz CE, Meindl A and Ramser J (2007). The reduced expression of the HADH2 protein causes X-linked mental retardation, choreoathetosis, and abnormal behavior. American Journal of Human Genetics  vol. 80, (2) 372-377. 10.1086/511527


Lössner D, Kessler H, Thumshirn G, Dahmen C, Wiltschi B, Tanaka M, Knoll W, Sinner E-K and Reuning U (2006). Binding of Small Mono- and Oligomeric Integrin Ligands to Membrane-Embedded Integrins Monitored by Surface Plasmon-Enhanced Fluorescence Spectroscopy. American Chemical Society (Acs)  Analytical Chemistry  vol. 78, (13) 4524-4533. 10.1021/ac052078+

^ Back to Top