Jonathan Massera: Biomaterials can solve the challenge of producing human spare parts
Massera leads a research group of Bioceramics, Bioglasses and Biocomposites. He also works as a head of the International MSc degree programme in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering. His research group focuses on the development of new bioactive or bioresorbable bioceramics for the regeneration of bone, but also in the development of polymer-ceramic composites and hybrid biomaterial for the regeneration of soft tissue, such as skin.
“The ceramic, glass and composite materials that we develop can be in the form of bulk, granule, scaffold or even fiber. Once the new materials are developed, we aim at understanding the interaction between the material and proteins, cells, or bacteria,” Massera explains.
The quest for substitutes to restore the physical functions of a damaged tissue or help in its regeneration, is not new. For example, already in ancient Egypt, dental implants were made of ivory, shell, gold, or silver. The use of autograft, tissue from the patient, was first reported in 1820’s, and allograft, tissue from a donor of the same species, 100 years after that. While still being the gold standard, these two have drawbacks that biomaterials can solve.
Because biomaterials can regenerate tissue and are available in any form or shape, Massera believes they can replace autograft and allograft in producing human spare parts.
“Glass-based materials due to their versatility will play an important role in future biomaterials. Our research group at Tampere University will bring its share to innovation.”