The UGM Faculty of Dentistry organized a summer course, “Strategies to Develop and Valorize Multifunctional Regenerative Implants and Scaffolds.”
This summer course is one of the academic internationalization activities in the Doctoral Program of Dental Sciences at UGM.
The course, which took place from July 10 to July 14, 2023, involved a total of 111 participants from 27 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, Poland, Germany, Greece, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, and Romania.
More than 50% of the participants, accounting for 59 individuals, were from abroad, joining online and on-site. Furthermore, 14 international lecturers from nine countries guided and delivered lectures during the course.
Head of the Doctoral Program of Dental Sciences, Widowati Siswomihardjo, explained that this course was designed to provide Indonesian students with an “International Atmosphere at Home.”
“Activities like this will encourage our students to make even greater contributions to the international world based on their field of expertise. Likewise, we want the international academic community to see and feel that we are not far behind them, not only in terms of facilities but also in terms of human resources. Our students are known for their intelligence, diligence, adaptability, innovation, and skills to carry out various tasks, even beyond their specific fields,” said Siswomihardjo.
This program also serves as UGM’s way of introducing Indonesia’s wealth. The on-site participants were also invited to learn about Borobudur when mechanical interlocking technology was not widely known worldwide. Yet, Indonesia had already used it to build the temple.
Participants were also taken to visit the Sangiran site. On this heritage site, they learned about the history of humanity, particularly the discovery of the first Pithecanthropus erectus fossil in the world, which showcased Indonesia as an advanced and prosperous country.
The participants were also introduced to UGM’s innovation and capability to promote community welfare through research in the UGM Science and Technology Area (KST) in Purwomartani and the Agrotechnology Innovation Center (PIAT) in Berbah.
“This activity aims to open the world’s eyes to Indonesia’s richness, diversity, innovation, and excellence,” added Siswomihardjo.
This activity is a form of cooperation with the UGM Doctoral Program of Dental Sciences in the BioTUNE Consortium (http://www.biotune.upc.edu) coordinated by Carlos Mas Moruno.
The BioTUNE Consortium received funding from the Marie Sklowdowska Curie Action (MSCA-RISE) of the European Union. The MSCA-RISE scheme funds the exchange of students and scientists within the consortium.
“This funding supports the mobility of lecturers and students attending this summer course. We hope that students and lecturers can exchange knowledge and later establish academic collaborations,” said Moruno.
The faculty’s Vice Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Rosa Amalia, expressed her hope that this activity would mark the beginning of a better contribution from the Faculty of Dentistry to the broader community.
Currently, biomedical implants are a promising field for regenerative medicine and dentistry. However, clinical cases vary in complexity due to climate, antibiotic resistance, degenerative diseases, poor oral hygiene, and other factors.
“Therefore, I believe this course is essential for students who are studying, working, and will contribute to the health field,” she said.
Throughout the course, students learned various sciences and technologies, such as micro and nano-patterning technology, biomedicine, sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and click reaction technology, which is used to produce high-performance biomedical implants and scaffolds.
Through this course, participants will learn how to develop innovative multifunctional materials to create a new generation of medical implants with instructional potential for cells and antibacterial properties.
“It’s like crossing a road; our body cells need instructions. Proceed, stop, differentiate. Proliferate, but do not differentiate. Slow down. Speed up this process. Move there to defeat bacteria, and so on,” said Siti Hawa Ngalim, one of the speakers from USM in the course.
Additionally, as this course focuses on research and strategies for transferring research products to clinics, it is hoped that participants and all involved parties can contribute better to improving the community’s quality of life and well-being.
Author: Ika Dewi Ana