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Summary of the Research Programme of CRC Electrically Active Implants – ELAINE

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European populations are ageing rapidly. By the year 2060, every third person living in Germany will be older than 65. For this reason, the social and socio-economic relevance of regenerative therapies is clearly increasing. This holds particularly true for implants: the older the population grows, the more medical implants for various indication areas are required and the more often they have to be replaced during the course of therapy. The research vision pursued by the CRC 1270 ELAINE (ELectrically Active ImplaNts) focuses on novel electrically active implants. Specifically, ELAINE addresses implants employed for the regeneration of bone and cartilage, and implants for deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders.

Three central research objectives are a means to implement the research vision. The first objective is to establish innovative energy autonomous implants that allow a feedback-controlled electrical stimulation. A second objective is efficient systematic multi-scale studies to enable rapid progress in targeted implant improvements and patient-specific therapies. The third long-term objective is to analyse the basic mechanisms of electrical stimulation in bone, cartilage and brain, and to translate this knowledge in clinical practice.

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    Dr. Tofail Syed, University of Limerick, Piezoelectricity in biological building blocks and potential physiological relevance