LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 03, March 2018 – Women in Science - Making a difference       » Brain aging in ASEAN       » Chinese scientists find antidote to centipede venom       » Measuring the risks and rewards of drug development       » Ketone drink could help diabetics by lowering blood sugar       » What value-based healthcare means for Asia       » Improve healthcare access to tackle Asia's healthcare challenge      
Launch of the Chinese-German Center for Bio-Inspired Materials at the Mainz University Medical Center
AGerman research team led by Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences have launched a Chinese-German Joint Center for Bio-Inspired Materials. Here, the researchers will be able to work closely together on projects in the field of regenerative medicine, an area with a promising future. The aim is to use the strategy of marine animals to develop novel bio-inspired bone replacement materials and medications to ameliorate osteoporosis. In addition to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) which initiated this lighthouse project, the European Union (EU) and the University Medical Center Mainz will support the Joint Center by funding the innovative projects on the development of customized bone implants applying advanced 3D printing techniques. The Joint Center has been established for a period of ten years. It is based both at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry of the Mainz University Medical Center and at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences together with Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai as well as other distinguished institutions in China.

In brief, the researchers involved in this new Joint Center will collaborate on the investigation of bio-inspired materials, in other words, on substances that mimic those structures and functions fabricated by nature. “The inorganic structures of certain deep-sea organisms, such as sponges, are based on genetic blueprints. We will use those blueprints to develop synthetic bone replacement materials. Specifically and together with our Chinese partners, we are looking to create bio-inspired scaffolds from biosilica in the laboratory that can function as a basis for bone repair,” explained Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller. According to the molecular biologist, the potential of this research area is immense since such intelligent organic and inorganic materials have impressive properties, such as self-repair.

Coinciding with the launch of the Joint Center, the EU is providing financial support to a further project initiated by Müller and his Chinese colleagues that aims to develop customized rapid prototyping of bioactive scaffolds using applying three-dimensional printing. The scientists from both sides participating in this project are funded by the European Union by a grant of nearly EUR 2 million. “Using 3D printing technology, we plan to develop tailor-made implants that make it possible to precisely correct a tissue defect and also to restore stability,” Müller continued to explain. For this purpose, a novel bio-inspired inorganic material will be used that is biocompatible and stimulates bone-forming cells. “This material gives the cells the ability to form new endogenous bone tissue,” added Müller. In the 3D printing process, the material is built up layer by layer with the aid of a special binder. In the first phase, a computer-aided design (CAD) program is employed that makes it possible to design the bone implant with millimeter accuracy.

The Chinese-German Center for Bio-Inspired Materials, which was launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and which has been funded as a joint lab over the past three years, is also conducting research in other areas, such as the development of intelligent inorganic/organic hybrid materials with novel optical and mechanical properties that have technical applications and can be used, for example, in sensors.

In addition to their work at the Joint Center, Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller and his team are also involved in other research projects. These include the ERC Advanced Grant “Biosilica” obtained in 2010, i.e., the most prestigious grant of the EU, the EU large-scale integrating project “BlueGenics”, and the EU-funded Marie Curie international research staff exchange project “MarBioTec” for European and Chinese scientists. Mainz-based scientists Professor Dr. Xiaohong Wang and Professor Dr. Heinz-Christoph Schröder of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the Mainz University Medical Center are also acting as project managers.

According to the Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Reinhard Urban, the establishment of the Chinese-German Center for Bio-Inspired Materials is significant for two reasons. “On the one hand, the Joint Center is another important cornerstone in realizing the ambitious goal of creating bone replacement materials with the help of siliceous sponges. On the other hand, the establishment of this joint center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz sends out a strong signal bearing the message that the Mainz University Medical Center is open to unconventional ways of thinking and prepared to take new routes. I am further convinced that the establishment of the new Joint Center in Mainz will provide a boost to our ongoing internationalization of science and research.”

Click here for the complete issue.

news Shire, Microsoft and EURORDIS form Global Commission to accelerate time to diagnosis for children with rare diseases
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
Asia Pacific Biotech News

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
Searching for the fountain of youth
Women in Science - Making a difference
Digestive health / Intellectual property
Asthma / Dental health
Oncology / Biotech landscape in APAC
Water management / Vaccination
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
Bones / Breast cancer
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
About Us
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
Copyright© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy