Lehenkari Petri

Photo: Cultured human mesenchymal stem cells labelled with Mitotracker and quantum dots, by Pietilä, Lehenkari & Uemura


Bone and Stem Cell Biology Research Group


Research unit: Cancer and Translational Medicine


Group leader

Professor Petri Lehenkari (MD, PhD)


What do we do

Stem cells are the body's main facilitator in the development and the growth and regeneration and maintenance of adult tissues. Stem cells are deeply involved in the inflammatory process and enable the regulation of any tissue repair after injury.

Our stem cell research group examines the mesenchymal stem cells isolated from various tissues of adult and cord blood. We investigate cell activity under normal circumstances, rheumatoid arthritis, organ repair and cancer. Stem cells are collected in Oulu University Hospital patients who have given their consent to the study. We do not do research on embryonic stem cells.

Currently we are also focusing on adverse reactions on metal-on-metal orthopedic implants. Metal- on metal implant catastrophe and consequent clinical studies have revealed that adverse tissue reactions occur more often than earlier anticipated and the incidence of clinical case reports of any kind of metal reactions is in exponential rise at the moment. Hence, all understanding of the true nature of metal and foreign body reaction in general are essential for further development of the implants. Our collection of tissue material from real patients combined with live cell cultures provides a unique translational approach to this phenomenon experimentally.


Our team

Post doc researchers

  • Huhtakangas Johanna
  • Turunen Sanna
  • (Tarja Tanner)
  • (Maarit Valkealahti)

PhD Students

  • Aho Olli-Matti
  • Avila Inari
  • Heikkinen Tero
  • Huovinen Jere
  • Nousiainen Tomi
  • Vuoti Ella


Where are we headed

The on-going research in our group focuses on stem cell biology in rheumatic diseases and adverse effects in orthopedic implants. 


Our main collaborators

Professor Juha Tuukkanen, University of Oulu
Professor Olli Vuolteenaho, University of Oulu
Professor Motohiro Uo, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan
Professor Takao Hanawa, Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan


How to find us

Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu
Department of Surgery and Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital


Please see our videos of human mesenchymal stem cells 100 h in culture:

Last updated: 9.7.2019