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Evonik intensifies research into regenerative medicine
New Tissue Engineering Project House established in Singapore, focuses on specialty materials for health and medical applications.

Evonik is starting its Tissue Engineering Project House in April 2018. Scientists from various disciplines will work to make reliable solutions possible for tissue regeneration following accidents or disease. The aim is to develop materials for biological implants in medical applications. Located in Singapore, the Project House will work closely with Evonik experts in the US and Germany.

After having successfully concluded the Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Alabama (US), Evonik is now taking the next step in the direction of regenerative medicine. At the Medical Devices Project House, Evonik conducted research on polymer-based materials such as those used for resorbable implants. Evonik has established 11 project houses since the year 2000. Tissue Engineering is Evonik’s 12th project house.

According to expert estimates, the market for the materials needed in the field of tissue engineering is growing by roughly 30 per cent per year and will reach the USD 3 billion mark by 2021. Tissue engineering refers to the growth of living cells on a scaffold material, for which they require special nutrients and growth factors. The ultimate goal is to grow tissue outside of the organism and then implant it as a way of creating or regenerating bones, cartilage, tendons, or even arteries. Alexander Koenig, the head of the new project house, put it this way: “We aim to conduct research into reliable, scalable, effective tissue engineering solutions for regenerative medicine.”

Evonik has extensive experience with materials such as biodegradable polymers suitable for use as scaffold materials for tissue replacement. Koenig says, “As we continue developing these materials, we will also be establishing new areas of expertise and be working with the Medical Devices Competence Center in Birmingham.” Using 3D-printed scaffold materials to produce desired tissue structures to repair injuries, for instance, is an area he considers one of the topics of the future. Another focus is on optimizing the conditions under which tissue cells grow on the scaffold materials.

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