Joint Lab: Bio-Nano-Komposite

The aim of the “Joint-Lab” is to bundle the existing expertise of the participating institutions for the exploitation of biominerals and marine resources and the development of bio-inspired, intelligent materials with novel properties for biomedicine.

Deep-sea glass sponge

Deep-sea glass sponge © W.E.G. Müller

In these areas, the German and the Chinese partners have made great achievements in recent years, which had a major impact at the international level. This “Joint-Lab” should strengthen the high standard of research and development in those areas at the participating institutions and further develop the mutual benefits of the complementary expertise in both partner countries.

Scientific Background

Nature provides enormous inspiration in developing novel materials with new and improved functionalities. Experimental data showed that silicatein isolated from siliceous sponges can be used for a guided synthesis of silica which is cytocompatible. So we proposed to utilize these technologies to develop a biomimetic nanoscale biocomposite based on silica with a matrix consisting of nano-hydroxyapatite and recombinant collagen, developed by the Chinese partner, that allows better ingrowth of bone and dental implants.

New bone Formation - © W.E.G. Müller

Project and Objectives

New organic and inorganic materials that are recently becoming available will be combined to form an auspicious new type of nanoscale biocomposite. The objectives of the Joint Lab comprises:

  • Expression of functionally active silicatein
  • Development of adhesive proteins
  • Design and fabrication of fusion proteins of silicatein and adhesive DOPA-containing proteins
  • Biomimetic synthesis of scaffold materials consisting of nanohydroxyapatite and collagen
  • Development of novel biosilica/nano-hydroxyapatite-containing composite materials and coating of metal implants used in surgery or dentistry with enzymatically (via silicatein) produced biosilica
  • Development of novel nano-fillers composed of biosilica/nanohydroxyapatite-containing composites for dentistry
  • Characterization of the novel scaffold materials
  • Investigation of the biocompatibility of the designed and fabricated composites
  • Preclinical studies
  • Clinical studies

Aspects of Research Structure

The objective of the German-Chinese “Joint Lab: Bio-Nano-Composites” is the establishment of a joint scientific laboratory of excellence in a rapidly developing technology of the future, nanotechnology. The newly developed nano-biomaterials will be applied in the field of biomedicine, particularly for the treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. The Joint Lab will also help in patenting and exploitation of joint results.

Funded in the context of the BMBF funding programme to establish joint research structures of German universities with partners in APRA. More information on APRA.