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NIFE - Making-of

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Lower Saxony Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development

With the Lower Saxony Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development (NIFE) in Hannover, the region and the federal state of Lower Saxony cement their status as one of the leading locations internationally for biomedical research and development.

NIFE was founded by the Hannover Medical School (MHH), the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo), and the Leibniz University of Hannover (LUH) in cooperation with the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH). The aim of the centre is to bundle transdisciplinary research and development focused on implant research in Lower Saxony in one institution.

Biological, biohybrid and biofunctionalised implants are developed in NIFE and are used to reconstruct or restore failed organ function. The aim is to develop implants with optimal biological function and preferably lifelong durability. This addresses the increasing importance of tailored and suitable implants; a result of demographic trends. At the same time, research is carried out on new approaches to reducing the post-operative, cost-intensive complications related to implants due to infections or mechanical or electrical failure. Such complications regularly require very expensive treatment. Despite the different functionalities of the organs concerned and the corresponding demands on the specificity of implants, there is a wide range of issues common to all organs which benefit from shared approaches to solutions.

The pre-clinical and clinical expertise available at NIFE is used to translate biomedical findings from the laboratories more quickly into marketable products, in parallel to the research and development activities. Topics range from the development of biomaterial for implants, infection biology, imaging and laser medicine to regenerative therapies.

NIFE is run by a board of management consisting of representatives of the eight main research areas. Dr. Manfred W. Elff is spokesman for the board.

The board of management is advised by a representative each from the Leibniz University of Hannover, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, and the Hannover Medical School. The board is overseen by the supervisory board made up of the three presidents of the participating universities.

The board of managment and the supervisory board are supported by an external advisory council comprised of 18 persons of renown from the fields of science, industry, politics and society.

The establishment of NIFE has created a transdisciplinary center in the field of implant research which carries out research across several organ systems and along the whole innovation chain. The sheer wealth of bundled knowledge at the center will have a considerable positive impact on the transfer and translation of scientific findings to the market. NIFE contributes to Hannover’s excellent standing as a biomedical hub and makes it an even more attractive location for national and international life science businesses.