Biomaterials that are appropriate for elderly people form an area of research for engineers and other scientists who collaborate closely within the UMCG with various medical disciplines, including optometry, ear-nose-and-throat medicine, and transplant medicine. Such collaboration allows for the optimal clinical use of biomaterials.
The UMCG is one of the few hospitals in the world where all applicable forms of organ and tissue transplant are carried out. Biomaterial research will support transplant research in several different ways. For example, artificial organs and improved preservation techniques will be developed. Work is also underway on improving the quality of donor organs themselves. New biochemical markers are being developed to more rapidly determine the quality of donor organs. Donor organs which doctors would in the past have rejected for transplant are now capable of ensuring many years of healthy life for the recipient, thanks to the use of new techniques. In the future, new technologies based on stem cell research will also be deployed. The UMCG is already working on these developments, today.