With a predicted ageing population and increasing expectations regarding quality of life in old age, there is an ever increasing demand for procedures such as total hip replacements, bone reconstructions, and spinal fusions, resulting from conditions such as articular cartilage degeneration and osteoporosis.
Commercial calcium phosphate composites for bone regeneration are restricted to applications that require only moderate load bearing abilities. High toughness bioinert materials are used in the articulating couple of artificial joint implants, but they do not support direct bone/material interfaces or bond. To date there is no tough and strong ceramic in regular clinical use with ability to create a strong, biologically relevant, interface with bone.
New advances in biomaterials, with improved processing, bioactivity and/or tailored shapes, providing enough structural integrity and bone integration/regeneration are currently in development at the laboratory scale. However, due to the gap between academic R&D and commercial production, and between materials scientists and clinicians, medical application of these new materials will never be possible unless companies and medics are involved in the development.
This COST Action, NEWGEN, aims at creating the seed for the European research and industry collaboration, combining basic knowledge from academic laboratories, R&D centres, medical units from hospitals, and a significant number of companies