UCL-Chinese biomaterials collaboration forged
24 July 2007
Dr Jie Huang, UCL Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a research fellowship under the UK/China Fellowships for Excellence Programme, which is run by the Department for Children, Schools & Families (formerly the Department for Education & Skills), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Dr Huang is engaged in a long-term medical/engineering research programme at UCL to design new forms of prostheses that will be able to satisfy both the biological and mechanical requirements of the tissues to be replaced, and thus to successfully secure a permanent fixation.
This summer and autumn, Dr Huang will visit the National Engineering Research Centre in Biomaterials (NERCB) at Sichuan University in China, to establish a collaboration between UCL Mechanical Engineering and NERCB in the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering. Funded by the PRC State Ministry of Science and Technology since 1999, the NERCB is a leading biomaterials research group in China, and is the first state-approved national institute for biomaterials.
Dr Huang's research visit to NERCB is in collaboration with Professor Xingdong Zhang, Professor Zhongwei Gu, and Professor Xudong Li, who did his doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Mohan Edirisinghe (now Chair of Biomaterials in UCL Mechanical Engineering). The aim is to develop a new generation of tissue engineering scaffold by optimising its chemistry, microstructure, architecture, biological responses and mechanical properties, particularly in older patients. Population ageing is a major challenge for many countries and medical research is key to tackling the issues of ageing populations, where increasing numbers of patients need specialist age-related medical treatment.
It is envisaged that the visit will mark the start of a long-term relationship between UCL and Sichuan University, to develop more research exchanges and joint research grant applications, to raise UCL's biomaterials and tissue engineering research profile in China.
Dr Huang has been a member of UCL Mechanical Engineering since 2006. The Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment scheme recently awarded the new biomaterials and bioengineering team at UCL with £250,000 to upgrade laboratories.
To find out more, follow the links at the bottom of this article.
Image: Biopolymer tissue engineering scaffolds prepared in UCL Mechanical Engineering