German-Chinese Cooperation for the Development of Biomaterials launched
Today, the cooperation agreement between the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht and the Chinese Tianjin University for the future cooperation of the two institutions has been signed in Teltow, Germany by Prof Dr Wolfgang Kaysser, scientific director of GKSS, and Prof Dr Gong Ke, president of Tianjin University. This cooperation aims at intensifying the development of innovative material for regenerative medicine. Here, the commonly lead "Tianjin University – GKSS Joint Laboratory for Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine" is a basic element of this cooperation.
The new institution has already been launched with a festive opening in China in December 2009. Today, the Chinese partners gained insight into the laboratories of the GKSS "Centre for Biomaterial Development" in Teltow, together with the senior government official Peter Hassenbach of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Prof. Wolfgang Kaysser (GKSS), Prof. Gong Ke, President of Tianjin University and Prof. Andreas Lendlein (GKSS) are pleased about the prosperous contract signing (f.l.t.r.)
With regards to the cooperation with the Chinese researchers, Site Manager Prof Dr Andreas Lendlein stated: "It is our common task to create a new technology platform for the development of multilayer systems for medical applications. In the framework of this project, both partners managed to unify their individual skills in an excellent manner.“
Apart from the semi-annually changing project meetings between China and Germany, an exchange of the doctoral candidates involved in the project is planned. This exchange is supposed to take place in the framework of an exchange programme in cooperation with University of Potsdam and Freie Universität Berlin. First discussions among the parties involved have been held respectively.
The shared laboratory is funded in equal parts by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as well as by the Chinese Ministry for Research and Technology (MOST). In this respect, an amount of approximately two million Euro has been provided for the project in Germany, which is supposed to run for an initial period of five years.
Recreating Biological Materials
Body tissues, such as the blood vessel wall or the inter-vertebral disc, owe their excellent biomechanical features and functions to the highly organised structure on the smallest level. The development of such multilayer systems in a laboratory is highly elaborate. Partially, the basic materials required for this process, the monomers, cannot even be obtained commercially.
The cooperation with the Chinese project partners is supposed to help overcome the shortages existing in this regard. At the Centre for Biomaterial Development, the basic material is then processed to polymers as well as, in further steps, to layer systems. For this purpose, the Teltow department responsible for active polymers has been enlarged by six employees.
"Our Chinese cooperation partner, the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology of Tianjin University, is the highest ranking of all nationally funded institutions in the area of chemical engineering in China," stated the head of the department PBA, Dr Marc Behl.
He and Prof Dr Andreas Lendlein are closely connected with Prof Dr Dr Yakai Feng, the head of the department for polymers in Tianjin. This relationship based on long-lasting collaboration was established during Prof Dr Dr Yakai Feng's time as guest scientist at the Centre for Biomaterial Development in Teltow from 2005 till 2007.
The area of regenerative medicine is regarded as one of the future areas of medicine. It deals with the functional reconstruction of diseased tissue and organs by stimulating the body's own regeneration processes, especially by means of biomaterials. Through the progress in the area of tissue engineering, applications like skin, bone and cartilage replacement have already become reality.
Centre for Biomaterial Development
GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht
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