Why we focus on collagen research
The name Geistlich is often seen by the market as a synonym for bone regeneration. However, it is less well known that the reason for this also lies in Geistlich’s collagen expertise. Today, this is the starting point for almost all Geistlich Pharma products. Dr. Terance Hart, Chief Science Officer at Geistlich Pharma, gives us an insight into the potential in this field.
Dr. Hart, Geistlich Pharma has now been working on collagen for regenerative medicine for more than 30 years. Why is that?
Geistlich Pharma established the basis for this as many as 160 years ago. At that time, the company produced glue or gelatine from animal bones and skins. In the 1980s, Dr. Peter Geistlich, in close collaboration with scientists of international standing, discovered how this knowledge can be used to regenerate bones and soft tissue. For Geistlich Bio-Oss®, organic components were removed from bone material for the first time without changing the natural microstructure and mineral composition. This was followed by the development of Geistlich Bio-Gide®, a resorbable bilayer collagen membrane.
What is so special about this?
Like other Geistlich products, Geistlich Bio-Gide® is made from natural materials. This means that its structure and chemical composition are very similar to that of human tissue. As a result, our products are generally very well tolerated.
However, more and more products are being launched on the market that deliver comparable results. Why should a dentist choose our products?
I believe that a main argument in favour of our materials is that our offering is based on a deep understanding of medical regeneration. Knowledge about collagen is essential in order to understand soft-tissue regeneration. This is what gives our customers the certainty of knowing that our products do exactly what it says on the tin.
Why exactly is Geistlich Pharma so interested in collagen?
Due to possible interactions with stem cells, we believe that collagen still has tremendous potential for regenerative medicine. For this reason, we recently founded a new division. It aims to achieve a better understanding of the behaviour of cells and soft-tissue regeneration based on different types of collagen.
What are Geistlich Pharma’s goals for the future?
At some point, our vision is to extend medical regeneration to other parts of the human body. Our wealth of experience and success in regenerative dentistry provide an ideal stepping stone for expanding our research work accordingly. This is a great place from which to start.