Advanced and nanostructured materials
Nanostructured materials are at the leading edge of current research. This is due to their inherent ability to exhibit enhanced functionality on the length scales commonly found in biological environments. Developing nanostructured materials requires careful preparation with novel methodologies and thorough characterisation. The Group are focussed not only on understanding the relationship between scale and properties, but also on how these exciting new nanostructured biomaterials can be employed to enhance human health and quality of life.
Bioceramics and glass technologies
Ceramics and glasses have been used successfully for many years in the repair of skeletal tissues in the face and mouth, chiefly in the fields of bone and tooth repair. The main challenge now is related to understanding how to improve the regenerative capability of bioceramics so that they can better stimulate healing in patients. The Group has significant expertise in research into bioglasses and ceramics as well as composite systems that use these as fillers. Biofunctional compositions have been developed, some of which have now been licensed to commercial manufacturers who have placed them on the market, benefiting patients.
Investigating the relationships between the nano-, micro- and macro-scale structures of materials and their associated mechanical and biological properties is of utmost importance when trying to engineer new biomaterials. The group has access to a wide range of state-of-the-art experimental techniques which enable our researchers to develop, test and optimise promising new materials. Electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), XRD, NMR, DLS, rheometry and Raman spectroscopy are just some of the techniques we use to characterise materials.