Researcher wins praise for product with bite

Researcher wins praise for product with bite
Dr Tay Bee Yen (left), senior scientist at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, and Dr Margam Chandrasekaran, chief executive officer of Bio Scaffold International, pictured with a jaw model.

SINGAPORE - Researcher Margam Chandrasekaran found himself glued to the television during the National Day Rally as his work received a ringing endorsement from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

After settling down on the sofa to watch the event, the 48-year- old saw photographs of his research into bio-scaffolds being splashed on the screen.

"Technology is transforming our lives," Mr Lee told viewers during last Sunday's Rally as he described the technique that helps to prevent bone loss in patients awaiting tooth transplants.

Dr Chandrasekaran, who helped to do research on how to produce bio-scaffolds using 3-D printing, said he and his team "only found out two weeks before the Rally that PM might mention it".

But he added: "We didn't know for sure."

His former colleague, Dr Tay Bee Yen, 48, a senior scientist at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, described it as "a pleasant surprise".

The millimetres-long cylindrical scaffolds were a world's first when they were introduced here in 2009.

They are made from a bio-polymer and placed in tooth sockets to prevent bone in surrounding gums from collapsing. The tools work in much the same the way that scaffolding does when supporting buildings under construction.

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