Millions in funding for Hanover’s implant research

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Meike Stiesch. Sorce: MHH / Hans & Jung, Hannover.

Meike Stiesch. Sorce: MHH / Hans & Jung, Hannover.

Twelve million euros for new collaborative research centre/transregio led by the MHH in cooperation with Leibniz Universität Hannover and other partners

Stand: 25.05.2021

A great success for medical research in Hannover: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the new Transregional Collaborative Research Centre TRR 298 on implants with around twelve million euros over the next four years. Under the leadership of Hannover Medical School (MHH), MHH physicians will work together with engineering and natural scientists from Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) to develop the implants of tomorrow. "On the one hand, this shows how powerful medical research is at the MHH," emphasises MHH President Michael Manns, "on the other hand, we have once again demonstrated how successfully the cooperations between the universities and research institutes in our metropolitan region are developing. Our already close cooperation with Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) is now placed on an even firmer footing. I would like to thank all those involved for their commitment."

Intelligent implants of tomorrow

The "Safety-integrated and infection-reactive implants" (SIIRI) research network, which is headed by Professor Dr Meike Stiesch, Director of the MHH Clinic for Dental Prosthetics and Biomedical Materials Science, is taking a completely new approach to implant research. "For the first time, we want to research safety-relevant concepts from the engineering sciences, such as those used in aviation to increase safety, for medicine," explains Professor Stiesch.

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines want to work together to develop intelligent implant systems for dentistry and orthopaedics as well as hearing implants, which for the first time will use the latest technology to allow continuous monitoring of implant function and thereby early detection of complications such as infections. This will enable early therapeutic intervention to combat these infections, which in part can be life threatening. However, the scientists want to go even further in this network: "We are developing intelligent implant systems that can independently initiate early repair and thus healing via cell-based, chemical and physical so-called closed-loop systems," adds the professor.

Close cooperation between the different disciplines

The interdisciplinary and innovative concept became possible through the close cooperation of dentists, physicians, engineers, natural and social scientists. The starting point for this interdisciplinary research is the NIFE (Lower Saxony Centre for Implant Research and Development), which has been established in the Medical Park Hannover as an internationally visible research institute, achieving top results in experimental research and bringing them into clinical application for various organ systems.

In the Transregio - SFB, more than 150 scientists from the MHH, Leibniz Universität Hannover of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, the Technical University of Braunschweig and the University of Music, Drama and Media (HMTMH) will jointly research the development of new implants to increase patient safety.

"This extremely challenging task can only be tackled jointly between the institutions involved. The engineering and medical competences of the project partners complement each other perfectly for this purpose," emphasises co-spokesperson Professor Dr Hans Jürgen Maier, head of the Institute for Materials Science at Leibniz University. Scientists from the fields of mechanical engineering, chemistry and physics are involved from Leibniz University; they bring expertise from materials science and sensor technology, for example.

Another innovative approach in this research network is that not only are the interfaces between technology and biology researched, but the patient perspective is also included in all research and development steps from the very beginning. Research into doctor-patient interaction will contribute significantly to a further increase in future implant and thus patient safety.


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