Metabolic chamber

Clinical Research Unit

The Clinical Research Unit on Campus Buch

Purpose of the CRU is to conduct mechanistic human subject’s research and to support investigator-initiated trials.

Metabolic chamber

The ECRC has a highly successful Clinical Research Unit (CRU), which was established by Prof. Fred Luft along the lines of the US general clinical research center model in 2000.

Mission of the CRU is the translation of pre-clinical research results into humans. For this, the CRU team designs, conducts, and analyzes clinical studies in healthy subjects and patients. Although the initial focus of the CRU was on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, studies run at the CRU are not limited to this field but rather benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. 

The CRU offers a wide range of state-of-the-art methods for clinical phenotyping.

  • Air displacement plethysmography and bioelectrical impedance analysis for determining body composition
  • Indirect calorimetry (canopy hood, metabolic chamber) for measuring energy expenditure and substrate oxidation rates at rest, after test meals and during standardized exercise
  • Normobaric hypoxia chamber for studying the effects of hypoxia, e.g. during exercise, sleeping
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (treadmill, bicycle ergometer) for quantifying physical fitness and training effects
  • Microdialysis (adipose tissue, skeletal muscle) for evaluating organ-specific carbohydrate and lipid metabolism
  • Continuous glucose monitoring over 14 days
  • Evaluation and quantification of dietary habits and intake
  • Accelorometry for physical activity assessment under free-living conditions
  • Standardized blood pressure, pulse wave velocity, and peripheral resistance measurements
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Anatomical featuring of the entire retina, macula and optic nerve head
  • Visual acuity tests
  • Dynamic vessel analysis for analyzing the vascular function in the retinal microcirculation


CRU Team

Anja Mähler (Leitung)

Sylvia Bähring                                      

Michael Boschmann                         

Kristin Kräker

Gabriele Rahn

Nadja Siebert



Dr. Anja Mähler
Phone: +49 30 450 540 323

Clinical Research Unit
Experimental and Clinical Research Center
Lindenberger Weg 80
13125 Berlin