Feature

National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials


Biomater ials engineering is a burgeoning interdiscipli­nary science, combining bi­ology, medicine, material sciences and engineering. Strong growth in the field led to the establishment of the National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials (NERCB) in 1999, with MOST authorization. NERCB is the first national institute dedicated to the development of bio­materials. It specializes in research on biomaterials for tissue regeneration and function reconstruction, and medical implants. It has formed a cross-disci­plinary team of innovators, including world-leading experts and ambitious young scientists.

One leader of the NERCB, Zhang Xingdong, academician of the CAE, is an internationally renowned expert on regenerative biomaterials. He pioneered research in China on bioactive ceram­ics and was one of the first in the world to demonstrate that lifeless calcium phosphate ceramics can induce bone regeneration. He and his team pioneered the application of tissue inducing bio­materials in bone and cartilage tissue engineering, with the development of a series of biomaterial products.

In recognition of his contributions, the US National Academy of Engineering elected Zhang as a foreign member in 2014. Zhang’s election as the president of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineer­ing (IUSBSE) in May 2016 is another demonstration of NERCB’s growing international reputation and the strong growth of China’s biomaterial research.

Under Zhang’s excellent academic leadership, NERCB has published more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed in­ternational journals, won two dozen na­tional and provincial science and tech­nology awards, and obtained more than 70 patents. It has carried out significant exchange and collaboration with inter­national universities and research in­stitutes and has organized many meet­ings on biomaterials. NERCB is China’s conduit for exchange on biomaterial research, promoting growth of the field.