The interdisciplinary proposal NBC-ReGen4 is based on the existing expertise in materials science of the incoming European Fellow (Dr. Piergiorgio Gentile) in combination with the host laboratories knowledge of biocompatibility assessment and medical device development (University of Sheffield-Scientist in charge: Prof. P.V. Hatton). NBC-ReGen4 is a timely project with respect to the scientific and technological advance on the state-of-the-art and with clear translational relevance to industry and ultimately patients. It aims to produce, characterise and evaluate a series of nanostructured composites with significantly improved properties compared to the existing state-of-the-art, specifically including suitable membranes for guided bone regeneration. Conceptually, the adaptation of nanostructured composite membranes for the development of functional devices in different applications represents a major step forward in the increasingly competitive field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It is also an ideal time to train a talented materials scientist in new methods related to biological evaluation of a biomaterial, as well as transferable skills that will significantly boost his career prospects and opportunities to contribute to society. In detail, in NBC-ReGen4 the innovative composite membranes will be based on commercially available or in-house fabricated calcium phosphate particles incorporated into a resorbable medical polymer matrix (polyglycolic acid or poly(lactide co-glycolide)) further processed by electrospinning. The obtained composite membrane will consist in bilayered structures that can be modified and characterised for specific applications where bone tissue regeneration is required on only one side. Surface functionalization of the different layers to enhance specific properties (such as biomimetic and anti-inflammatory properties) by low-risk and environmentally-friendly techniques, will be also implemented.
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