MERLN has a long history in developing biomaterials for medical devices and regenerative therapies for damaged and diseased bone tissue. This started in the 1980s with the pioneering work by Professor Klaas de Groot on calcium phosphate-coated metallic implants and calcium phosphate ceramic bone fillers. Later, our work on intrinsically osteoinductive calcium phosphate ceramics has and still is contributing to the understanding of the fascinating phenomenon of biomaterials-driven bone regeneration.
This work has contributed to development of a product for spinal fusion that is now used in over 30000 patients worldwide. We are also exploring the power of bioinorganics, i.e. inorganic compounds, often present in trace amounts in the body, to affect processes related to bone formation and remodelling. We have proposed the use of bioinorganics as “synthetic growth factors” as an alternative to use of biological growth factors, for developing fully synthetic and, therefore, more affordable bone regenerative therapies. We are also highly active in developing implants based on metallic biomaterials, both non-degradable and degradable, by combining our expertise in materials science with advanced (additive) manufacturing techniques.
Finally, we are combining different material classes, for example in the form of composites or coatings, with the aim to develop biomaterials with superior properties and performance.