Xingdong Zhang - 2021 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal Recipient
Xingdong Zhang - 2021 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal Recipient

The recipient of the 2021 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal is Professor Xingdong Zhang of Sichuan University, China.

Professor Xingdong Zhang, born in 1938, graduated from Sichuan University with a major in solid state physics in 1960 and has been working at Sichuan University since. He studied biomaterials at Queen Mary University of London for half a year as a senior visiting scholar from 1987 to 1988. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Macau University of Science and Technology, China and University Polytechnica of Bucharest, Romania in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

Professor Zhang started his biomaterials research in 1983 focusing on fundamental science and the transformation of bioactive materials and regenerative medicine, mainly involving treatments for the musculoskeletal system. In the 1980s, his research group was the first in China to develop hydroxyapatite ceramics, plasma-spray coatings, titanium dental implants and total hip replacements with hydroxyapatite coatings. In the 1990s, his team found that porous calcium phosphate bioceramics can induce bone regeneration and then developed osteoinductive artificial bone products for clinical use. In the 2000s, they found that type I collagen-based hydrogel could induce bone marrow stromal cells to differentiate along a chondrogenic lineage, which was used to regenerate articular cartilage through tissue engineering. Based on further research on the mechanism of tissue regeneration induced by materials, he proposed the concept of “tissue inducing biomaterials”, i.e. biomaterials designed to induce the regeneration of damaged or missing tissues or organs without the addition of cells and/or bioactive factors. The concept is included in Definitions of Biomaterials for the Twenty-first Century (Zhang, X. and Williams, D., Elsevier, 2019). He has established three companies to translate these research results into clinical applications.

Professor Zhang is the co-founder and Honorary President of the Chinese Society for Biomaterials, as well as the senior consultant to the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China. He has also established the National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, which was the first professional biomaterials research organization in China, as well as the Research Base of Regulatory Science for Medical Devices of the NMPA and the Engineering Research Center for Materials Genome.

Actively engaged in international cooperation since the 1990s, Professor Zhang has been appointed to professional positions or bestowed honorary titles by several leading universities and institutions. Examples of these include Foreign Promoter (PhD supervisor) at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands from 1994 to 2003, Research Advisor at the National Institute for Materials Science, Japan from 2005 to 2007, University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, USA from 2018, and President of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE) from 2016.

Professor Zhang has also received numerous awards, including two Chinese National Awards of Science and Technology, Outstanding Contribution Award (CSBM), the 2015 Clemson Award for Applied Research (USA), 2015 Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress, Sharma International Award from the Society for Biomaterials and Artificial Organs (India), and Hashiguchi Lungi Fund Award (Japan), just to name a few. He is also a Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering and Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Professor Zhang will receive the Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal at the annual meeting of SFB to be held in Chicago, USA in April 2021.