A new Initial Training Network (ITN) funded by the EU has been awarded in the field of Bioceramics for Bone Repair (BIOBONE) to a consortium with participation of the FAU Institute of Biomaterials led by Prof. A. R. Boccaccini. The total funding awarded is: 3 700 000 Euro.
The coordinating institution is Imperial College London (UK), where Prof. Boccaccini is also a visiting professor. The project has a 4 year duration. The project will offer multidisciplinary research training for young researchers in the field of bioceramics, bioactive glasses and composites for bone repair, which includes the development of ZrO2-based materials for orthopedic applications, CaP and bioactive glass scaffolds for bone regeneration as well as composites and nanohybrids, in collaboration with industry and universities. The scientific goals are to develop advanced knowledge on a range of bioceramics, bioactive glasses, hybrids and composites focusing on i) new processing strategies, ii) biodegradation understanding and optimization, and iii) cell-material interactions. The multi-disciplinary characteristic is reflected in the constitution of the consortium, which includes six academic partners, from universities and research centres, and four industry partners, from six countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland), all of them with outstanding expertise in bioceramics and/or bioactive glasses and composites.
The Institute of Biomaterials (Prof. Boccaccini) will be mainly involved in the development of novel bioactive glass scaffolds with added functionalities and ion release capability for bone regeneration. The projects at the FAU Institute involve the investigation of novel scaffold architectures and new surface functionalisation techniques. The focus will be on the processing methods for these scaffolds, the study of the mechanical properties, degradation behavior and cell-material interactions, which will lead to a new family of bioactive glasses with advanced functionalities for bone tissue engineering.