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Development of new nanocomposite materials for dental application

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The University of Otago and Silventum Limited, a new spin-out company co-founded by Dr Carla Meledandri, are seeking a top-class candidate to undertake research leading to a PhD in the area of nanomaterials/materials science for dentistry.

The application of nanoscience in dentistry, or ‘nanodentistry’ is a rapidly-emerging field showing significant promise to provide new dental technologies leading to improved health outcomes. Due to the unique properties of materials at the nanoscale, incorporating nanoengineered structures into dental materials (e.g. restorative materials, cements, lining materials) can offer a wide range of potential benefits including, but not limited to, improved structural, aesthetic, mechanical and/or antimicrobial or other bioactive properties. This project is designed to build on the current knowledge of the research team for the exploration, design and development of novel nanoparticle-containing dental materials with improved properties compared with existing commercial materials. This project is highly collaborative and will involve interactions with, and contributions from, the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Otago, along with partner company Silventum Limited.

This work will require the preparation of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles with tailored surface functionality for subsequent incorporation into a variety of materials which may include gels, foams, resins, cements and ceramics. The functionalised nanoparticles will be prepared through colloidal-based synthetic methods, and the emergent properties of the nanoparticles and dental materials will be thoroughly assessed.

The successful candidate will have a B.Sc. Honours or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, materials science/engineering or related discipline, and an excellent command of written and spoken English. Applications from international as well as domestic students are welcomed, but please note that candidates must meet the university’s English language requirements for International postgraduate students for admission to the University of Otago (

Knowledge and experience with polymers, colloidal and surface chemistry techniques and/or nanocrystal synthesis and related characterisation techniques would be an advantage, but not required. The tenure of the scholarship is for three years, and it is desired that the successful candidate would take up the position as soon as possible.

The student will receive a stipend of NZ$25,000 per annum in addition to course fees.

Applications should include a full CV and the names/contact details of at least two referees. Applications should be sent (preferably by email) ASAP to: Dr. Carla Meledandri, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; .

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