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Industry connection

Industry professionals are an important part of the ASBTE, connecting academic research to clinical and commercial reality.

 

Here we profile two of our industry members, working in the Australasian biomaterials and tissue engineering industry. 

Berkay Ozcelik- PolyNovo

 

Berkay is the Product Development Manager at PolyNovo, a Melbourne based biotechnology company that develops medical devices using the patented bioabsorbable polymer technology NovoSorb®. The family of medical grade biodegradable polymers can be used in a variety of tissue repair applications including dermal regeneration.

Berkay first became interested in tissue engineering in high school after learning about stem cells and the possibility to regrow limbs or organs following trauma or disease. This led him to a degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne followed by PhD studies developing biodegradable porous scaffolds. After a short postdoc position, he moved to the CSIRO to gain more industry-relevant experience, working in the field of antimicrobial coatings. In 2017, Berkay joined PolyNovo and has rapidly progressed within the organisation, from Research Scientist to Senior Development Scientist to his current role as Product Development Manager.

 

In 2023, Berkay led the development of PolyNovo’s second product, NovoSorb® MTX, which is available across the U.S., and has already benefitted a significant number of patients. His expertise focusses on taking new medical devices through the product development process, including Quality Assurance requirements, obtaining regulatory clearances, and validation activities to ensure the product can be manufactured and distributed to treat patients in need. Inspired by helping patients, he is currently working on two new products, within a larger portfolio, which he hopes will contribute to similarly successful outcomes.

 

Berkay has been a member of the ASBTE since 2014 and has attended and presented at several events and conferences, initially representing CSIRO and subsequently PolyNovo. Outside of work, Berkay is a keen graphic artist and loves to create fantasy and sci-fi characters – perhaps one day we will see this join with his biomaterials passion in creating a tissue regeneration superhero!

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Christoph Meinert- Gelomics

Christoph is co-founder and CEO of Gelomics, a Brisbane-based start-up that is focused on accelerating biomedical research and development by enabling scientists to grow human tissue equivalent in a petri dish. Gelomics has developed a range of materials and photocrosslinking equipment for the production of 3D cell matrices, including their flagship product, LunaGel which was launched in 2021.

Christoph obtained  a BSc in Biotechnology from the University of Darmstadt in Germany and a PhD in Bioengineering from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where developed photocrosslinkable materials for cell culture and tissue engineering applications. He then worked for 2 years as a postdoc in the Herston Biofabrication Precinct, before switching to an industry-based role with Gelomics. He has been involved with the ASBTE since 2011, when he first came to Australia to work with Prof Travis Klein at QUT. From this initial presentation at the ASBTE annual meeting, he has since attended and presented at many ASBTE meetings, now handing the baton over to provide current students with the opportunity to present their work and network with other members.

Christoph is keen to see Gelomics contribute to a future where biomedical research is entirely animal free. The aim is to enable scientists to reduce animal testing by having better models than the standard 2D cell cultures and ultimately to replace animal models altogether. Having translated the developments from his PhD into commercial products, one of his proudest achievements is in taking something all the way from an initial concept right the way through to a product that is scalable, reproducible and used by over 200 laboratories worldwide.

As an engineer, Christoph also loves to understand how mechanical parts work together and really come together as a final product. This passion can be seen in his spare time where as a car enthusiast, he enjoys modifying cars, adding big rims and wheels, but not too much noise!

To hear more from Christoph, watch his interview in our Biomaterial Bites series: https://youtu.be/7DMboFCu_94

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