KompetenzNetzwerk Immobilisationsbedingte MuskelStörungen

(Network of Expertise for Immobilisation-induced Muscle Disorders)

More about KNIMS

We research and treat muscle
disorders caused by immobilisation.

Muscle wasting and weakness are becoming increasingly prominent fields of study in medicine. In many cases, this is partly due to lack of exercise and inadequate training. The aim of the Network of Expertise for Immobilisation-induced Muscle Disorders (Kompetenz Netzwerk Immobilisationsbedingte Muskel Störungen; KNIMS) and its activities is to bring together active clinicians and scientists working on the relevant fundamental research and to offer a platform for discussing the diagnosis and treatment of immobilisation-induced muscle disorders.

Specific pathologies include:

Immobilisation …


... due to bedriddenness

especially among older patients, who require care as a result


... due to restraint

as a result of plaster casts or orthosis


... due to dysfunction

z.B. e.g. paraplegia


... in space

due to lack of gravity

Our objective

Humans have evolved as a physically active species within Earth’s gravitational field. As a result, our bodies require a minimal level of muscle contraction and mechanical stress. Muscle activity below critical levels will lead to deconditioning and a loss of physical function that may go as far as to cause frailty and a loss of autonomy. As such, health problems and the loss of independence are major issues for society. KNIMS researchers are looking to identify the mechanisms underlying immobilisation-induced muscle disorders. The aim is to develop and apply improved, evidence-based and increasingly customised interventions to counteract such muscle disorders in different patient groups and across a range of settings.
Here is a patient talking about immobilisation in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, from a report by the Tagesschau (German):

Events and publications

11th of December 2022

Study on movement and strengthening of residents in care facilities
11th of December 2022

Mit der AMKNIMSa-Studie untersucht die Abteilung Muskel- und Knochenstoffwechsel, wie man älteren Personen wieder zu mehr Bewegung und damit Wohlbefinden verhelfen kann.

More information
3./4. März 2023

Fifth KNIMS Annual Conference - Hybrid Event
:envihab 3./4. März 2023

Here you can find the
program for download as PDF

Please register for the fifth annual KNIMS conference at the email address knims@dlr.de by Feb. 10, 2023.

More information

Organisational team

Alexandra Noll
German Aerospace Center, Cologne

Jonas Böcker
German Aerospace Center, Cologne
Prof. Dr.
Jörn Rittweger
German Aerospace Center, Cologne

Dr. Christina Stark
University Hospital Cologne
Prof. Dr.
Henning Wackerhage
Technical University of Munich

Friederike Wütscher
German Aerospace Center, Cologne

Scientific Advisory Board

Univ.-Prof. Dr.
Wilhelm Bloch
German Sport University, Cologne
Prof. Dr.
Dieter Blottner
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Prof. Dr.
Christoph Clemen
University of Cologne,
German Aerospace Center, Cologne
Prof. Dr.
Michael Drey
University Hospital of Munich (LMU)
Univ.-Prof. Dr.
Sebastian Gehlert
Institute of Sports Science, University of Hildesheim

Dr. Frank Jacobsen
Bergmannsheil University Hospital,
Ruhr University Bochum
Prof. Dr.
Eckhard Schönau
University Hospital Cologne,
UniReha GmbH, Cologne
Prof. Dr.
Benedikt Schoser
University Hospital of Munich (LMU)
Prof. Dr.
Rolf Schröder
Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
Univ.-Prof. Dr.
Simone Spuler
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Prof. Dr.
Werner Stenzel
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin