Visiting: Prof. Hala Zreiqat
Prof. Hala Zreiqat, head of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Unit, University of Sydney, AU. We were glad to welcome Prof. Hala Zreiqat from the 15th to 21st December 2017 at our Institute. As one of the leading researchers in the field of synthetically crafted bone substitues in Tissue Engineering, she and her research team developed a unique ceramic material, called Baghdadit, that acts as a biodegradable scaffold on which the body can regenerate new bone. In her talk on Tuesday, 20th of December, in course of a MURCE seminar, she explained that this material does not only resemble the porousity and strength of natural bone, but also enhances the regeneration process, which makes it superior to other available materials and promising to positively affect the quality of life of millions of people globally. Experiments in sheep have shown the regrowth of native bone tissue into the synthetic scaffold and a progressed vacularisation within only three months, while allowing full load after three weeks already. After modifications of the material composition, it is even 3D printable, which allows it to be formed to various defined structures of different pore size and geometry. Hala Zreiqat reported that further experiments on these scaffolds must be carried out to reliably conclude their practicality as bone transplant, yet. Further, her lab recently developed an artificial material that resembles the biomechanical properties of human tendons and thus, may likely deliver promising results to act as a tendon transplant in the future. However, she admits that there will still be a long way to go before any of these inventions will become a standard treatment in regenerative medicine, granting her more time to make her dream of growing a whole new hip based on Baghdadite come true.