Meet two of our Erasmus interns Christoph Wellhofer and Magnus Schwieters
Christoph: I am a Master student from the Technische Universität München and I have been doing research work in Oslo for four months. My home institute in Munich has an active Erasmus collaboration with the Department of Biomaterials, so I decided to come to Oslo to do practical research for my semester thesis.
Magnus: I’m a master student from Leibniz University of Hanover studying biomedical engineering. I finished my bachelor with a thesis on electrospun polymeric scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering and since then biomaterials have been my special interest. Looking for an opportunity to practically gain insight into recent research on biomaterials I was happy to find the Department of Biomaterials in Oslo as a partner of my home department, Institute for Multiphase Processes (IMP). Thanks to ERASMUS+, organizing and financing my four month stay in Oslo was possible without any problems.
What have they learned during their stay at our lab?
Christoph: Regarding my research, I investigated the influence of altering sintering parameters on the microstructure of TiO2 scaffolds. My supervisor Anne previously optimised the TiO2 slurries by adding different ions. Therefore, I did my studies considering the most promising outcomes of Anne’s research. The goal was to improve properties like the compressive strength of the scaffolds by altering the temperature profile of the sintering process. I managed to find a temperature profile to improve the compressive strength by 30-110% depending on the ionic concentration in the slurry compared to the previous temperature profile.
I enjoyed my stay at the lab of Biomaterials a lot. The people working at the lab are friendly and open-minded and therefore contribute to a comfortable working atmosphere. The multidisciplinary as well as the multicultural mixture provides a good basis to have different views on research topics and it’s always nice to discuss (scientific) stuff with them. I was also lucky and could see a surgical operation at the dental teaching clinics, which gave me a better understanding why we are doing this research than any text book could give me.
During my stay in Oslo I met a lot of like-minded people. Most of them were Erasmus students and I had an awesome time travelling around Norway with them. The city of Oslo is especially nice since it provides both urban flair and a nice landscape to go hiking etc. I’d definitely recommend anyone who’s into biomedical research to do an Erasmus exchange at the lab of biomaterials at the University of Oslo.
Overall I had a very pleasant stay and I would definitely go here again.
Magnus: During my stay in the lab I was friendly supervised by Manuel Schweikle who as part of his PhD seeks to develop an injectable hydrogel for in situ bone tissue regeneration. Such a hydrogel should particularly regulate the location and morphology of nucleating minerals. In humans, biomineralization is significantly controlled by polyproline-rich proteins, called amelogenins, which are embedded in the extracellular matrix. Against this background, I investigated the effect of amelogenin-derived peptides on the formation of calcium phosphates in solution. Characterising the minerals I got to know lots of interesting scientific methods such as TEM (Transmission electron microscopy), SEM (Scanning electron microscopy), AFM (Atomic force microscopy) and DLS (Dynamic light scattering). Also the working atmosphere in the lab was always nice and welcoming so that I had an overall amazing stay in Norway which I will never forget.