The use of polymers and metals in-vivo are ubiquitous in biomedical applications. However, the engineering interfaces present in the biological environment often limit the success of a device or procedure. This maybe through wear, corrosion or biological-surface interactions (i.e. cell adhesion and bio-film formation); nonetheless it is often the interface that limits success. The ability to engineer such surfaces for enhanced atraumatic adhesion (i.e. to prevent migration of devices), bio-compatibly, wear and corrosion is extremely attractive with a range of application across medicine.
The proposed programme calls for merging coatings deposition method (Physical Vapour Deposition) and surface patterning method (Surface Texturing) in a novel hybrid concept for improved functional properties of engineering surfaces for biomedical applications. This novel approach will allow a tailored spatial architecture of coatings creating new functionality. This PhD will consider the use of thin-film technologies in conjunction with surface texturing to: Optimize surfaces in terms of corrosion, and promote an optimal biological –surface interface.
Surface texturing will be provided by the MTC and used in this project to further functionalise PVD coatings beyond traditional coating architectures. PVD films are typically deposited as 2D single- or multi-layered systems with limited spatial functionality. Surface texturing technology, and Laser surface texturing (LST) in particular, is relatively high TRL technology able to precisely shape the surface morphology of micro-meter thick films. The project will aim to merge PVD and LST technologies, and move this novel concept to higher TRL levels, with a focus on adding value to UK manufacturing.
Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a first-class bachelor’s degree or equivalent, or upper second class bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a Master’s degree in a relevant engineering or science degree such as Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Material Science, Chemistry or other related subjects. We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience.