A new foreign researcher has been employed at the Tomsk Scientific Center (TSC) of the SB RAS. Sven Rutkowski, a highly qualified specialist in physical chemistry and engineering, has joined its research team in October 2021. The area of his scientific interests is physical and chemical surface treatment methods for medical devices.

‘I come from a small town of Templin, which is located near Berlin. I was always fascinated by chemistry as a science, so I was educated in this specialty. In 2014, I graduated from the University of Potsdam,’ says Sven. ‘One of my friends, also a chemist, worked as an assistant professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, one of the ten best universities in China. He invited me to enroll in doctoral studies at this university and I willingly accepted his suggestion. My research was devoted to micromotors and drug delivery systems. In that position, I acquired some important skills in the field of chemical surface treatment of products.’

Nowadays, scientists do not limit themselves to the framework of any one country. They try to gain experience of working with international teams in different parts of the world. Even the Covid-19 pandemic is unable to complete the scientific knowledge development. While still in China, Sven decided that the next page of his research biography would be connected with Russia, the ancient Siberian city of Tomsk.

In March 2020, he became an employee of the Laboratory for Plasma Hybrid Systems at Tomsk Polytechnic University. ‘It is interesting for me to combine the possibilities of physical and chemical methods of surface treatment for medical devices,’ says the scientist. ‘During these one and a half years, I have implemented several projects in this area. The obtained results have been published in a number of papers by high-ranking scientific journals. They are devoted to manufacturing of special micropumps, which are biodegradable and non-toxic microparticles for delivery of liquids and drugs, as well as optical tweezers designed to fix them.’

It is important to note that the Laboratory for Plasma Hybrid Systems has close partnership with TSC SB RAS. As a result of this collaboration, both equipment (complete production lines) and procedures for deposition bioactive coatings on medical implants using the microarc oxidation method have been developed. An industrial partner of the project is ‘Microalloy’ LLC. The medical devices possess a structure similar to that of bone tissue. Their surfaces contain substances, which accelerate tissue regeneration. The bioactive coatings on the implants significantly reduce the recovery duration for patients and increase the ratio of favorable outcomes after surgery. To date, more than four hundred patients have been implanted with prostheses coated using this technology.

Therefore, hiring of Sven as a research fellow at the Tomsk Scientific Center of the SB RAS has been a logical step in the collaboration development. He is greatly impressed by the Tomsk Academgorodok. ‘It is a very reasonable approach to create such a comfortable environment for scientists, when both institutes and residential buildings are located in one place. I think this affects the level of scientific research being carried out. There is nothing like Akademgorodok in many countries of the world,’ the scientist believes.

The researcher noted the high level of competence of specialists at TSC SB RAS in the field of designing advanced scientific equipment for modification of various surfaces. Saying about plans related to the Tomsk Scientific Center of the SB RAS, Sven emphasizes: ‘We will strive to move forward in the development of both effective surface treatment methods and specific products that are in demand on the market. I think we will be able to find new partners, which is especially important at the stage of deploying new products and technologies.’