TUT prof bags coveted science award

10 July 2018

The Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Prof Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, Assistant Dean of Postgraduate, Research, Innovation and Engagement at the Faculty of Science, has won the first prize in the category “Research for Innovation Awards – Corporates” at the 2017/2018 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) South32 Awards. 

Prof Keolebogile Motaung after receiving her award at the NSTF-South32 awards. 

The award is in recognition of her sterling work in tissue engineering of bone and cartilage as well as related research and innovation dependent on medicinal plants.

Prof Motaung and her research group on medicinal plants have already embarked on the manufacture of a cream, La-Africa Soother (LAS), and plant-derived morphogenetic factor implants, which are natural products from medicinal plants. 

“LAS, the first of its kind, offers athletes, sportsmen and women an alternative natural anti-inflammatory cream/ointment. The ointment relieves muscle pain, treats pain at the source, and is long lasting. LAS should be applied before and after physical activity, in order to prevent injury. This differentiates it completely from other ointments in the market,” said Prof Motaung.

“The repair of bone and cartilage is a challenging clinical problem. Autologous and allografts are the gold standard for the treatment of bone and cartilage, but it requires tissue to be harvested from an alternative site within the patient. Plant based morphogenetic factor (PBMF) implants offer orthopaedic patients and patients suffering from osteoarthritis an alternative that is less invasive. These novel injectable biomaterials (PBMF) enable the surgeon to perform a controlled delivery of material precisely to the defects, without the need of a second painful operation.”

“These products offer novel and alternative treatment opportunities for tissue engineering of bone and cartilage,”  Prof Motaung added.

With the theme Sustainable Energy for All, the NSTF-South32 awards are referred to as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa and are the largest, most comprehensive, and most sought-after national awards of its kind. 

  • The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 5352   Email: deruyterw@tut.ac.za