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GCU gets German grant for orthopedic implants

By Our Correspondent
February 06, 2023

LAHORE:Government College University (GCU) Lahore has received a grant of five million Euros from the German Science Foundation for the development and commercial production of low-cost orthopedic implants in Pakistan.

The foreign grant involves funding for the National Centre of Excellence on Biomaterial Materials Science and Tissue Engineering, which will be established at GCU Lahore. The 67th Syndicate meeting of GCU Lahore, chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Asghar Zaidi, approved the project and the establishment of the National Center of Excellence, and the associated academic department which will offer BS, MS, and PhD programmes in Materials Science Engineering, Biomaterials, and Tissue Engineering.

The syndicate also approved nine other projects worth Rs587 million, including the development of a comprehensive Campus Management System, the upgrading of 130 classrooms to smart classrooms, the renovation of the Stephenson Natural History Museum, the establishment of a centralised life sciences lab, and the construction of a new sports gym, and the solarisation in the main campus and the new campus.

The German project titled "Low-cost bioactive glass-based composite coatings for orthopedic implants" aims to use state-of-the-art 3D printing technology to fabricate different types of orthopedic implants coated with bioactive glasses. The 3D printed implants will address the issue of corrosion and uncontrolled release of toxic metal ions from current stainless steel and titanium-based orthopedic implants.

Prof Zaidi said that the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, Dr Eng Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman, would serve as the founding director of the National Center of Excellence. Engr Jawad Manzur would be the deputy director.

He said the project aimed to make implants more affordable for the low-income population. The current orthopedic implants in Pakistan can be expensive and are susceptible to corrosion and toxic metal ion release. However, the cost of imported implants can reach 70,000 rupees, making them unaffordable for many in the low-income country.