The Government College University Lahore has established a Center of Excellence in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at its New Campus in Kala Shah Kaku with a five million Euro grant from the German Science Foundation and British Council. The center aims to develop and commercially produce low-cost orthopedic implants in Pakistan.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Syed Asghar Zaidi inaugurated the center on the University's 370-acre New Campus, which is also home to the Institute of Global and Historic Studies, Department of Agriculture, and Sheikh Abul Hasan Al Shadhili Research Center on Sufism, Science, and Technology. Notable figures like Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Mian Misbah ur Rehman, and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizam Ud Din attended the ceremony.
Prof. Zaidi revealed that equipment worth Rs. 250 million has already been installed at the Center of Excellence with support from British Council, while Center is also due to get Euro five million grant from German Science Foundation. The center aims to produce and export low-cost bioactive glass-based composite coatings for orthopedic implants, addressing issues like corrosion and toxic metal ion release from current implants.
The project's Principal Investigator, Dr. Eng Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman, serves as the founding director of the National Center of Excellence, with Engr Jawad Manzur as the deputy director.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Zaidi emphasized the University's commitment to expansion while maintaining excellence, highlighting the significant progress made since the launch of the New Campus in 2019.
He said that in 2020, we launched Phase II of the development of the New Campus to ensure its operational readiness. In 2021, we relocated five departments, established the Institute of History, and improved facilities for over 1,500 students. In 2022, six more departments were relocated, and we initiated projects for the Boys' Hostel, staff residences, and beautification. In 2023, we have the Sheikh Abul Hasan Al Shadhili Research Centre, the Social Sciences Library, a new Academic Block, Residences, and more in progress.
He also mentioned ongoing projects, such as the GCU Tower, girls' hostel, and Oval Cricket ground, and highlighted the University's offering of more than 13 undergraduate programs at the New Campus.
Eminent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan commended the Centre of Excellence as a valuable foreign investment, highlighting the potential for Pakistan to produce and export orthopaedic implants globally. He said here from technology to product would be indigenous; and world would be buyer.
Dr. Eng. Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman told the participants that the project will use 3D printing technology to create orthopedic implants, such as bone plates and screws, coated with bioactive glass-based composites. Bioactive glasses can be doped with different ions for therapeutic benefits and improved tissue regeneration. Dr. Atiq and his team have also researched the use of natural herbs for skin regeneration.
Former President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mian Misbah ur Rehman, stated that Pakistan possesses excellent talent and a significant human resource pool; all we need is to provide them with a robust system. He expressed his appreciation for the hard work of Prof. Zaidi in the development of GCU and highlighted that whatever Old Ravians requested of the Vice Chancellor, he promptly delivered.
Later, the Vice Chancellor also inaugurated the Department of Agriculture and Department of Education on the New Campus.