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Collagen Calcium Phosphate Composite Devices for Bone Augmentation

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  • Full or part time
    Prof E Tanner
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  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Medical Research Scotland
PhD Studentship Award

This project is one of 11 four year PhD Studentships funded by Medical Research Scotland (http://www.medicalresearchscotland.org.uk) to be delivered jointly by the named University and Company. The Studentship will provide the first-class academic and commercial training needed to equip the successful candidate for a science career in an increasingly competitive market.

"Collagen Calcium Phosphate Composite Devices for Bone Augmentation" to be delivered by the University of Glasgow [Supervisors: Professor Elizabeth Tanner (School of Engineering) and Professor Matthew Dalby (Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology)] and Collagen Solutions plc (www.collagensolutions.com) [Company supervisor: Dr Grahame Busby].

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 4-year PhD project, entitled ‘Collagen Calcium Phosphate Composite Devices for Bone Augmentation’, within the Biomedical Engineering Division in collaboration with Collagen Solutions plc and funded by Medical Research Scotland.

In people, defects above approximately 10mm in diameter, known as “critical size defects”, will not heal spontaneously due to the inability of the repair tissue to bridge the gap. To obtain healing, some form of scaffold or conduit for the bone repair process is essential. The requirements for this material are to be biocompatible and bioactive, that is encourage bone ongrowth by allowing and encouraging attachment of osteoblasts, bone deposition cells, to have appropriate mechanical properties, that is a stiffness similar to natural bone to ensure that the newly deposited bone is mechanically stimulated during load bearing activity and strength in excess of that of bone to prevent fracture during load bearing.

Bone has two structural forms: solid with less than 3% porosity, known as cortical bone, making up the shaft of long bones and porous, with open cells, known as cancellous bone, making up the ends of long bones and the central core of other bones. At the microstructural level both these types of bone consist of Type I collagen fibrils reinforced with approximately 40 vol% bone mineral, a calcium phosphate that is a non-stoichiometric form of hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) aligned and bonded into sheets or cylinders [2]. The strength and toughness of bone are generated by the chemical bonds between the collagen fibres and with the mineral, while the stiffness is dependant on the amount of mineral present, thus behaving as a classic particulate reinforced composite.

The primary aim of the project is to optimse the production of hydroxyapatite reinforced collagen, carry out in vitro cell culture studies and develop the material through to its readiness for initial in vivo testing.

Collagen Solutions plc are manufacturers of collagen for use in biomedical and clinical applications. The University of Glasgow has extensive expertise in the manufacture, in vitro and in vivo assessment of composite bioactive materials.


Enquiries should be sent by email to Professor Liz Tanner:
[Email Address Removed]


Candidates must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK BEng/BSc/MEng degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in the field of biomedical engineering, biomaterials or a related subject.

Applications for this PhD scholarship must be submitted via the online system at the following link:

Please submit a covering letter with your online application, explaining why you wish to carry out this project.

Interviews are expected to take place approximately 2-3 weeks after the closing date for applications.

It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in October 2017.

Funding Notes

PhD Studentship provides: an annual tax-free stipend of £17,500, increasing to £18,000 over the four years; tuition fees at UK/EU rates only; consumables; and contribution to travel expenses. International fees are not covered.


Biomedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow

Biomedical Materials research at the University of Glasgow

Professor Tanner

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Glasgow in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 84.00

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