Tissue engineering conference explores the science of creating body spare parts
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Tissue engineering conference explores the science of creating body spare parts

ICTERM Official Opening – Panel of Speakers

From top left:VUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal – Professor Gordon Zide and VUT Chairman of Council and Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Municipality – Cllr Simon Mofokeng

From bottom left: Professor Yasuhiko Tabata, from Kyoto University in Japan; Professor Micheal Pillay, from Faculty of Applied Sciences VUT.

Qhawekazi Memani

Vaal University of Technology (VUT), in conjunction with the Tshwane University of Technology and Rice University from the United States, Houston, Texas hosted the 2nd International Conference on tissue Engineering (ICTERM) under the theme: “The future of regenerative medicine in Africa”.

The conference which ran until 30 July, has drawn together under one roof, experts under the discipline of Tissue Engineering from countries such as Singapore, United States of America, Canada, Egypt, Nigeria and Zimbabwe to share their expertise, exchange information, foster collaborations and promote education. The conference also serves as a platform to launch a first on the continent: the Africa Tissue Engineering and Regeneration Medicine International Society (ATERMIS).

Cllr Simon Mofokeng, the Executive Mayor of the Emfuleni Municipality, welcomed everyone to the event. People who came to honour the opening were the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of VUT, Professor Gordon Zide; Vice-chancellor and Principal of TUT, Prof L van Staden; Professor Yasuhiko Tabata, Kyoto University, Japan; and Prof Wagner Williams, University of Pittsburg, USA. Delegates from different companies were also acknowledged.

“Tissue engineering is a social justice discipline as it offers hope to hundreds of thousands of patients,” said Prof van Staden.

Prof Tabata and Prof Williams paved the way for other presentations by other experts, young, aspiring scientists and students from the academic and national laboratories by sharing their expertise.

This included having found solutions for bone-tissue engineering, wound healing, cartilage formation through the use of drug delivery systems that promote natural healing potentials, the use of stem cells and 3D-printing procedures.

Throughout the week and the weekend, keynote speakers addressed the following issues, amongst others:

“Future perspective of regenerative medicine”. This is a phenomenon that will enable the life-long wellbeing of patients using new methods developed by innovative technology techniques and tailor-made medicine for patients.

It has become evident to these scientists that some of the drugs used to treat patient conditions cause them to become more ill.

“Austrian cluster for Tissue Regeneration”, the European perspective, or rather experiences, of the matter at hand; and

“Super hydrophobic surfaces for blood contacting medical devices”.

Prof Maurice Ndege, Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Dr A Nesamvuni: Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Post graduate Studies, Research and Innovation at TUT, thanked everyone for their efficiency and highlighted that we live in exciting times.

Scientists have painted a picture of what the future of tissue regeneration in Africa is and are hoping to learn more during the conference.

The sponsors of the event were also acknowledged.

The opening of this prestigious event was hosted at the VUT Desmond Tutu Hall on 26 July, proceedings following the opening took place at the VUT Gauteng Science Park and the Riverside Sun Hotel.

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