National Dental Centre Singapore Receives $18.3m Research Grant and Industry Funding to Participate in Development of Next Generation Implants that Accelerate Bone Regeneration

 Singapore, 14 December 2021: A project involving the National Dental Centre Singapore was awarded a research grant and industry funding of total value $18.3million to develop a next generation of jaw implants to enhance and accelerate bone regeneration. A less invasive and novel technique will shorten the operation process and patients can recover faster.

The industry collaboration with National Dental Centre Singapore, A*STAR research institutes, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), and local medical technology company, Osteopore International, will develop a combination product with patented biological additives. It is a combination of molecular compounds to test for any adverse reactions or osteogenesis differentiation.

According to the announcement issued by Osteopore International yesterday, the global market value of dental bone transplants and dental membranes is estimated at $12.6 billion Australian dollars (about S$12.3billion). The results of this study are expected to develop a next generation 3D printed jaw implant to promote rapid bone growth, reduce complex bone collection processes, and thus simplify the dental surgery process.

Bone regeneration significantly affects oral function and quality of life. Osteopore International said "Functional bone regeneration in the jawbone area is very important, as it has a significant impact on key oral function and quality of life."

Founded in 2003, Osteopore International mainly produces 3D printed skeletal stents that can be degraded by the human body, replacing traditional metal stents and helping patients reincarnate their own bones. In addition to reducing postoperative risks, it can also shorten the treatment time. While the bone grows, the scaffold will gradually dissolve into oxygen and carbon dioxide, and then disappear completely, leaving only the patient's own regenerated bone.

Osteopore’s CEO, Goh Khoon Seng said, "We are very thankful to have received this grant and for the support of all the institutions involved in this research. We strongly believe in developing and commercialising regenerative technologies for the well-being of patients. With this multidisciplinary collaboration, we can tap into a wide range of skillsets to make medical research and development, which would otherwise be a long and onerous process, more efficient and effective."

The two new research institutions, the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), will study biological stimulants to promote bone healing and develop customised manufacturing technologies for the production of regenerative scaffolds, respectively. The National Dental Centre Singapore is responsible for supporting the clinical application of this innovative regenerative technology.

"We are pleased to be a key part of this meaningful project in developing regenerative technologies for dental use. This collaboration demonstrates the value of public-private partnerships in leveraging on each other's expertise to translate scientific discoveries into commercialisable products," said Professor Hong Wanjin, Executive Director of IMCB.

Dr David Low, Executive Director of A*STAR's SIMTech, said, "We are pleased to collaborate with Osteopore and public institutions to jointly develop next generation 3D-printed bioresorbable implants. Such deep public-private partnerships play an important role in boosting the competitiveness of local SMEs such as Osteopore through co-innovation, enabling them to expand R&D capabilities and develop unique products that meet local demands and expand to overseas markets."

"We are excited to lead this national-level research collaboration that looks to shape the next generation of jaw implant. The study is expected to yield improvements to bone regenerative capabilities that would translate into better surgical outcomes and faster recovery for our patients. We believe this novel and less invasive technique will also gain quick adoption by dental practitioners and patients", said CI A/Prof Goh Bee Tin, Deputy Director, Research and Education, NDCS, who is Lead Principal Investigator on this project.

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