Xiaolong Zhu is the twelfth recipient of this prestigious prize. He was selected by the jury for his scientific study of biochemical modifications of titanium implant surfaces designed to promote osseointegration (the growth of bone into the implant surface structure). Osseointegration is necessary for the implant to achieve long-term stability. A special method was used to synthesize a nano-hydroxyapatite (HA) prototype that closely mimics the mineral phase of bone. Nano-HA was mixed with collagen gel and coated onto pure titanium or titanium oxide. Bone cells subsequently showed an excellent adhesion to the nano-HA/collagen surface. The conclusion of Dr. Zhu's study is that this approach may lead to further optimization of osseointegration.