Evonik opens research hub in Singapore; intensifies regenerative medicine research

April 17, 2018

German specialty chemicals company, Evonik has opened its first research hub for resource efficiency topics in Singapore, internationalising its research in the areas of functional surfaces and additive manufacturing. With the Biopolis-located research hub, Evonik is also expanding its collaboration with public and private research institutions and organisations in Singapore.

Evonik has formed a partnership with Nanyang Technological University Singapore to develop novel technologies in additive manufacturing for industrial application.  In addition to research on functional surfaces and additive manufacturing, the new R&D hub will be the home for Evonik’s 12th project house. Evonik has eleven other project houses it has put up since 2000.

At the Tissue Engineering Project House, scientists and experts 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.

The Project House will work closely with Evonik experts in the US and Germany. Ulrich Kuesthardt, Evonik’s Chief Innovation Officer, says: “We aim to create additional growth with innovations. For this reason, we are pursuing research in fields such as healthcare solutions, where we expect innovation to drive additional new business for us. In conjunction with that Innovation growth field, we intend to tackle tissue engineering at our new project house with an eye to cutting-edge applications in the field of regenerative medicine.” 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.

According to expert estimates, the market for the materials needed in the field of tissue engineering is growing by roughly 30%/year and will reach the US$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.

According to Alexander Koenig, thead of the new project house, Evonik aims 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 Centre 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 optimising the conditions under which, tissue cells grow on the scaffold materials. Evonik has exceptional expertise in the field of biotechnology. The company also has the knowledge of the culture media needed and of its ingredients (amino acids, etc.). As Koenig points out, “In Singapore we can draw on an excellent environment for innovation. Here you have cutting-edge research on 3D printing and top universities in the field of medical research.”


Category: Technology & Devices

Comments are closed.