Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Upcoming Seminar: Pamela Habibovic Feb 7th 3pm HLT

17 January 2018

Pamela Habibovic Seminar Banner

Abstract: Current treatments of damaged organs and tissues that are based on a patient's own material, cells and growth factors, fail to meet the needs of our increasingly aging population, since they are associated with important drawbacks of limited availability, biological instability and high costs. Regenerative strategies based on synthetic biomaterials are becoming increasingly attractive as an alternative to strategies based on tissue, cells or growth factors, because they are relatively inexpensive, off-the-shelf available and adaptable to requirements of individual clinical application. Nevertheless, biomaterials for tissue- and organ regeneration need to be designed in such a way that they exert the desired function in the body, in a spatiotemporally controlled manner. This requires a different set of tools for design of biomaterials and for screening of their interactions with the biological system than is currently used in the field. In this lecture, a number of such tools is discussed, including the application of bioinorganics as synthetic "growth factors", use of micro- and nanotechnology to independently design chemical and structural properties of biomaterials, application of microfluidics to increase throughput and complexity of screening of material-cell/tissue interactions and the use of nanomaterials to spatiotemporally control the behavior of functional biomaterials in the body.

Pamela Habibovic obtained her PhD degree in 2005 from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. In 2006, she worked as post-doctoral research fellow at Children's Hospital Boston-Harvard Medical School and in 2007 she spent a year as post-doctoral research fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From 2008 until 2014 she led a research group at the University of Twente, first as assistant and later as associate professor. In 2014, she moved to Maastricht University, where she became Full Professor of Inorganic Biomaterials and where she cofounded MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine. At MERLN, she chairs the Department of Instructive Biomaterials Engineering. The main focus of her research group is on synthetic bone graft substitutes, bioinorganics, nanomaterials for theranostics in regenerative medicine and high-throughput approaches in biomaterials research. For her research she received prestigious Veni, Vidi, Aspasia and Gravitation grants of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research among other external research funds. Since 2013, she serves as a council member of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB), and since 2017 she holds the role of the ESB President. Habibovic is an editorial board member of the journals Acta Biomaterialia, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, Advanced Biomaterials and Devices in Medicine, Regenerative Biomaterials, Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials Research. She has published over 70 peer-review articles on the topic of biomaterials and regenerative medicine. In 2013, she received the Jean Leray Award of the European Society for Biomaterials.