A Review on “Biometal Conferences”
The International Symposium on Biodegradable Metals – or short “Biometal conference” is devoted to advanced research on biodegradable metals. The first edition of such conference was held in Berlin, Germany, in 2009, as a symposium under the umbrella of the 9th THERMEC International conference. Some 36 abstracts were submitted and presented, with great interest of an audience composed mainly by academic scientists. The second Biometal was held in 2010 in Maratea, Italy and organised as an independent event inspired by NATO Advanced Schools or Gordon Research Conferences. Some 50 abstracts were presented, and the audience was mainly composed by academic scientists. Some industrial scientists from North America, Asia and Europe, as well as few accreditation officers from Europe and North Americal, and few clinicians joined the audience. The third Biometal was held in Quebec City, Canada still under the umbrella of the 10th THERMEC 2011, thus beneficiating of a large audience from all the materials science and engineering field. Some 65 abstracts were presented. In 2012, the 4th Biometal event went back to Maratea, Italy: some 80 abstracts were presented in front of an audience composed by more than 100 attendees, form academia, companies, clinics, and accreditation organisation in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. The 5th event washeld in Umang Island, Indonesia so as toto provide an easy access to attendees from Asia and Oceania. This year, the event returned to Maratea, Italy. 88 abstracts were presented in front of a heterogeneous, cosmopolitan and truly international audience.
Although a remarkable amount of progress has been made since the first edition in 2009, the format of the symposium was unchanged, and scientists beneficiated of the relative calm of the isolated location. Guided and free sessions alternated, very few keynote speakers, selected oral talks and a number of poster communications were presented and discussed during the symposium.
Significant new assets have been acquired and built over the past year include (i) the launch of an online survey on standards and guidelines in spring 2012; this resulted in (ii) a think tank on standards and guidelines, initiated during the 4th Biometal2012 in Maratea and pursued at the “ASTM-FDA Workshop on Absorbable Medical Devices” in November 2012 at FDA (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/ucm312601.htm); (iii) the decision to move once every some years to Asia (the 5th Biometal Symposium was in Indonesia, www.biodegradablemetals.org); (iv) the tutorial on the first meeting day fulfilling the goal to initiate juniors to the field as well as recall basic concepts for senior scientists; (v) and the expansion of our industrial supporters and partners from 4 global regions: Europe, America, Oceania, and Asia. This adds to other assets established in the first year of the plan, which included a low cost and all included registration fees, an open and privileged access to our meetings for students, a very friendly and unofficial atmosphere where junior and senior scientists have truly the chance to exchange, discuss and mutually beneficiate from the curiosity of the first and the knowledge of the last.
It is our belief that we now have in place necessary key resources and actions to meet new challenges. First and foremost, the Biodegradable Metals Symposium enjoys a talented, passionate, curios and committed interdisciplinary audience that years after years is engaged in exploring further the frontiers of the field and spreading the news into their scientific home societies. From the beginning of the symposium we encouraged the active exchange with regulatory agencies and standardization organizations (ISO, DIN, ASTM). It is this continuous dialogue which has been leading to first workshops at FDA and which are now extending to workshops including notified bodies and standardization organizations (ISO, DIN). We will continue to keep the audience of the Biometal conferences involved in creating guidelines and standards for testing and evaluation of biodegradable metals.
Finally, we are trying to publish a special issue which regroups a number of highly-original manuscripts from every meeting. However, we have not published a special issue from the 2011 meeting, but we think that the active exchange during the conferences have broadening the view on this growing field.
We encourage the readers to note the multidisciplinary aspects in the field, common in biomaterials but emphasized here by the reversed perspective on corrosion. Degradation and corrosion are mechanisms which need to be engineered and controlled processes to generate positive effects in the body. These controlled processes make biodegradable metals breaking the paradigm of corrosion resistance which are still expected from current permantent metal implants. We hope you will enjoy reading this supplement of eCM as we had pleasure in assembling it. Finally, special thanks to the very professional, and pro-active team of eCM.
Looking forward to meet you during the next Biometal conferences, please check www.biodegradablemetals.org for the next event!
Diego Mantovani, PhD, FBSE
Lab. Biomaterials & Bioengineering, Laval University
Quebec city, Canada
Frank Witte, MD, PhD
Julius Wolff Institute and Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery
Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Presentation and Poster Abstracts