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ERCD researchers finalists in AiF Otto von Guericke Award 2021
08. December 2021

ERCD researchers finalists in AiF Otto von Guericke Award 2021

Biomimetic Long-Term Resorbable Tympanic Membrane Implant - ERCD research team among top 3 finalist nominees at the 25th Otto von Guericke Award of the AiF 2021

The research project "Biomimetic Long-Term Resorbable Tympanic Membrane Implant - MyringoSeal" is one of the top three "Industriellen Gemeinschaftsforschung" (IGF) projects of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) 2021. The interdisciplinary research team for this project, consisting of Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Neudert and Dr. -Ing. Zhaoyu Chen from the Ear Research Center Dresden (ERCD), Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Clinic and Polyclinic for Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine (ENT Clinic) at TU Dresden as well as Dr.-Ing Dilbar Aibibu and Dipl.-Ing. Lukas Benecke from the Institute of Textile Machinery and Textile High Performance Materials Technology (ITM) at TU Dresden, is one of three finalist teams of the Otto von Guericke Award 2021 of the AiF.

For the first time: complete rehabilitation of the tympanic membrane

More than 30 million people worldwide suffer the consequences of a defective eardrum every year. Without specialist medical treatment, this can lead to permanent damage and result in hearing loss. Today, autologous cartilage skin, muscle skin or synthetic materials are used to reconstruct the tympanic membrane, a procedure known as myringoplasty. "Since the properties of these materials do not correspond to those of the natural eardrum, complete rehabilitation of the eardrum function is not possible with them," says Professor Neudert.

In the IGF-project "MyringoSeal", TU Dresden scientists from the ERCD and ITM have developed a biomimetic artificial tympanic membrane implant, whose acoustic properties and mechanical stability are comparable to those of a human eardrum. "For the first time, this newly developed membrane enables a complete functional restoration of the tympanic membrane. The production of such implants is made possible through use of the technology of electrospinning silk fibroin and polycaprolactone (PCL) biomaterials," Dr. Aibibu describes the research results. “Unlike currently used materials, this tympanic membrane implant allows for a natural restoration of sound conduction. Operatively, it feels like natural tissue.” Dr. Chen emphasizes, and Benecke adds: "During development, we made sure that the materials were cuttable. This allows the membranes to be adapted directly on the tympanic membrane defect." Due to its properties, the material also holds in place at the target location via water adhesion. This is important since neither seams nor adhesives can be used in this area.

The IGF-project "MyringoSeal" of the research association Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (DECHEMA) was publicly funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) via AiF within the framework of the IGF funding program.

Research results also applicable in completely different industries

The research cooperated in the IGF-project with Heinz Kurz GmbH from Dusslingen, among others. Its managing director Matthias Mertens summarizes his opinion: "As a medium-sized manufacturer of medical products, especially in the field of ENT and passive middle ear implants, we are thrilled with the results. On the one hand, because completely new therapies are opening up for patients for which there was previously no option. On the other hand, it also strengthens us in competition by enabling us to differentiate ourselves from what exists on the market."

Dr. Andreas Förster, managing director of DECHEMA, further emphasized: "MyringoSeal enables the precisely fitting production of complete fiber materials. This opens up a wide range of possible applications, not only in medical technology, but also in other fields such as electrical engineering or architecture. Factors such as the application-oriented collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises and the cross-industry use of research results make this project an outstanding example of industrial collaborative research."

The following 4-minute video gives an exciting overview of the MyringoSeal project:

IGF project contact:

Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Neudert, ERCD
E-Mail:, Tel.: +49 351 458 3107

Dr.-Ing. Dilbar Aibibu, ITM
E-Mail:, Tel. +49 351 463 3944040

About Otto von Guericke-Preis

The AiF awards the Otto von Guericke Prize to the IGF project of the year. It has been awarded since 1997 and is endowed with 10,000 euros. With the prize, the AiF recognizes scientists for outstanding achievements in the field of industrial collaborative research (IGF), which is publicly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics.

Each year, the AiF's research associations have the opportunity to submit proposals. A jury consisting of the members of the Scientific Council (WR) of the AiF initially selects three finalist teams from the proposals received, which have convinced the jury with a particularly high gain in knowledge, but also with the great economic significance of the results for medium-sized companies. The jury later selects the winning team from among them. The Otto von Guericke Award will be presented at an event.