Modern implants and biomedical materials are rarely used in Pakistan, mostly imported on initiatives taken by progressive surgeons, affording patients and hospitals, suppliers and/or social helpers. However, the costs borne are very high and there is a dire need to develop these materials locally and also explore the local potential for material based novelty. Therefore it is of utmost importance to coordinate all efforts on the biomedical material front in Pakistan to develop national consensus and an effective sign posting mechanism for research and development. Coordination of all efforts shall rely on identification and networking between national and international experts and industry. This requires the transition of lab based concepts to patient-friendly solutions – which we are proud to be developing at the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM).

Pakistan witnessed a catastrophe in the form of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in October 2005. Around 80,000 people died and millions were left homeless. Thousands had to undergo emergency surgeries, several of them amputations. Most of the injuries were skeletal. The absence and dire-need of new-age implants and bone-repair materials was therefore truly highlighted. This coupled with an understanding of Pakistan’s strengths such as a highly experienced and innovative clinical circle, ample eco-geological resources, a huge consumer market and an increasing pool of PhDs, IRCBM was established in 2008 with the following objectives;

  • Knowledge creation through generation of globally compatible intellectual property in the field of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
  • Determining Pakistan specific Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering related issues and addressing them through an applied research approach leading towards scale up and affordable commercialization.
  • Gathering industry, clinicians and scientists on the same platform by acting as a national hub of activity – formulation and implementation of strategies for ending reliance on expensive imports and providing low-cost high-quality biomedical solutions
  • Promotion of an interdisciplinary approach to research and providing services to researchers, clinicians and industry