Food and Drug Administration

NSF, FDA, A&T organize international workshop on biodegradable metals for medical implants

February 28, 2012

The National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration are teaming up with N.C. A&T and Germany’s Hannover Medical School to hold a daylong public workshop on the emerging field of biodegradable metals.

“State of the Art in Biodegradable Metals: A Think-Tank Workshop” will be held Friday, March 30, at the FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is expected to draw researchers from around the world. the agenda and registration information are at the event's website.

“This conference provides a unique opportunity for global experts in the field of biodegradable metals to come together to review the current status of the field, to identify key challenges remaining, and to explore opportunities to meet those challenges through collaboration,” said Dr. Jagannathan Sankar, director of the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials at N.C. A&T.

“We hope this session will be the first of many that will help accelerate access to this technology, which promises better outcomes for patients.”

Biodegradable metal implants have potential in certain types of surgery, including orthopedic, craniofacial and cardiovascular, through the use of devices that safely degrade once they are no longer needed. This could eliminate the need for surgical removal of devices.

The conference will cover the breadth of current knowledge in the field, especially regarding magnesium-based systems such as those being developed by the ERC.  Hannover is an ERC research partner, as are the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Cincinnati.

Sessions will cover such topics as in vivo studies of magnesium implants in musculoskeletal and cardiovascular applications, corrosion control, cytotoxicity, alloy design and characterization, sensor technology, and biodegradable iron.

Presenters will include a select group of global experts from academia, large industries, small entrepreneurial networks, and the FDA. A panel discussion will cover current views on this technology.

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