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New calcium phosphate bone cements for potential biomaterial applications: bone repair and/or tissue engineering scaffold fabrication

   Department of Chemistry

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  Prof I Gibson, Prof J M S Skakle  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Calcium phosphates bone cements are widely used for bone-replacement materials due to their chemical similarity to natural bone but also their ability to set and harden in situ and their ability to be injected as a paste. The impetus for such research is the ageing and more active population – the need to keep quality of life and activity, and to provide materials with longer endurance within the body. 

In our biomaterials group the focus is on the synthesis and characterisation of various bioceramics, particularly in the targeted doping of the parent calcium phosphates with the aim of improving the properties, such as solubility, cell interaction, handling, and mechanical properties. Our research extends from basic science and fundamental materials chemistry through to biological testing and commercial application of such materials.

The focus of the project, therefore, is to synthesise and control the doping of different elements into parent calcium phosphates that will be one or more of the reactant phases of the cement formulations. These will be used in developing new calcium phosphate bone cement formulations, with the potential of using additive manufacturing processes, such as 3d printing to produce custom-designed scaffolds utilising the cement pastes.

These materials have potential application in fabricating 3D scaffolds for bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, or as medical devices. The materials developed will be characterise using X-ray diffraction, Raman and IR spectroscopy, solid state NMR, electron microscopy, surface area and porosity quantification, solubility testing and mechanical testing. The cell response to the subsequent set cements and scaffolds will be studied using various in vitro cell culture assays. 

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science or Biomaterials.

We are looking for a PhD student who has a strong interest applying concepts in inorganic/materials chemistry to developing biomaterials that have applications in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering or medical devices. In particular, candidates should have a strong desire to work in an interdisciplinary research group, which offers training in all aspects of the project.

Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV, Personal Statement/Motivation Letter and Intended source of funding

Informal inquiries can be made to Professor I R Gibson ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])


This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. There are Additional Research Costs totalling £16,500 attached to this project. These are in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting
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