Yogya (KU) – Currently, many damages in body hard tissues in form of bone structural defects are found in Indonesia. Until now, this case has not been solved yet, particularly because of the expensive price and raw material. It is a pity because until now bone raw material is still imported.
This has encouraged UGM through its researchers to develop bone substitute material such as Hydroxyapatite (HA). HA is used because adult bones consists of 68% HA, as well as dental email (97%). “So far, the most common step taken by doctors is to take other bones in patient’s body (autograph). The availability of synthetic HA will be a promising choice,” said the Chairman of research team of UGM Bioceramics Minifactory, Dr. Alva E. Tontowi, in his office, Wednesday (2/6).
Mentioned by Alva that UGM research team consists of several lecturers, doctors and practitioners such as Ir. Arif Budiman, M.S., D.Eng. (Chemical Engineering Department), drg. Ika Dewi Ana, Ph.D. (Faculty of Dentistry), dr. Punto Dewo, Sp. Ortho (Dr. Sardjito Central Hospital), Dr. dr. Rahadyan Magetsari, Sp. Ortho (Dr. Sardjito Central Hospital), Dr. Ngakan Putra Antara (Bandung Ceramics Board), A. Hendrawan J., S.T. (alumnus of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department), and Dr. M.K. Herliansyah.
Alva explained that the needs of bioceramics material from year to year are increasing. He mentioned that the world's need currently is 1,625 tons/year and in Indonesia it is 10 tons/year. “Currently, Indonesia imports products from developed countries such as Japan, Germany, USA and Switzerland,” he said.
Still depending on imports, the HA price is relatively expensive. For instance, importing HA in form of 2 ml packaging paste is 1.25 million rupiahs, whereas 500 gr of powder pack is 5 million rupiahs. “Although the HA raw material is available in Indonesia, there is no factory here to make it into a useful product,” explained Alva.
Further, Alva added that the minifactory that has been officialy opened by Vice Rector of Alumni and Business Development, Prof. Atyanto Dharoko, on 26 May 2010 is expected to be the incubator of UGM medical factory that in the next 20-30 years is projected to be one of new players in medical industry in Indonesia and the world. “Maximum production capacity is still small, between 1.2 tons/year, or only 12% of market share from the total of 10 tons/year,” said Alva.
Bioceramics Minifactory establised in former UGM workshop is a research project of Ministry of Research and Technology that was pioneered since last year. Technologically, synthetic HA produced here uses several natural raw material, including gypsum from Kulon Progo, calcite from Gunung Kidul, cow bones and other natural materials based on Ca/P. With the relatively cheap product by 30-40%, the UGM synthetic HA product can subtitute imported products, so, many patients in Indonesia can be helped. “Besides research, we make small production and, later, this will be utilized by the community,” he explained.
He added that the UGM synthetic HA has passed toxicity and in vivo tests. Later, the product will also undergo clinical and medical ethics tests as well as the test conducted by the Medicine and Food Supervision Board before getting commercialized.