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.