The two main themes of the Medical & Sustainable Materials Group (MSM) are research into medical devices and circular economy. The team consists of doctors in Science (Biology, Immunology) and in Chemistry (Materials & Catalysis).

In the field of medical devices, we position ourselves as a privileged player in tissue engineering, from simple cell culture to the implementation of three-dimensional carriers and biocompatible materials, and we are active in numerous research projects at regional, national and international level.

In the field of circular economy, we are working on innovative solutions for material sorting, the use of new biobased materials and the implementation of greener and more nature-friendly processes. To this end, the department participates in numerous developments of new products and processes through research projects of all kinds of government grants (Interreg, Feder, Marshall Plan, H2020). 

Our research is supported by our specialised laboratories (cell culture, microbiology, chemistry) and our technological platforms (plastics processing and characterisation, textile production and electrospinning), which are fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, such as a flow cytometer, real-time quantitative PCR, NF-TIR, optical microscope, solvent extractors, UV spectrophotometer and particle counter.

By acquiring new theoretical and technical knowledge and competences, we support the industry in its search for innovation. These new competencies help the industry with developments so that they can secure their competitive position.

Detecting genetically modified fibres

With classical methods it is not possible to distinguish between ordinary cotton and genetically modified cotton because the difference can only be found in the DNA structure of the fibre. The same methods are also not suitable, for example, to reliably demonstrate the difference between flax and hemp. Methods based on the PCR technique (polymerase chain reaction) have already shown that they can differentiate between wool, cashmere, yak wool and their blends.


Biocompatibilty is the extent to which materials can be used together or the extent to which a foreign material does not influence or deteriorate the biological environment in which it is inserted or brought into contact with. Medical textiles have to comply with increasingly severe requirements in the field of biocompatibility. Centexbel developed a test method to use the flow cytometer to perform in vitro biocompatibility tests as an alternative to the much disputed in vivo tests.

Semi-resorbant textile reinforcing implants

Research and development of a semi-resorbant knitted mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse [POP]