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Synthesis and characterisation of Novel Bioceramics

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  • Full or part time
    Prof I Gibson
    Prof J M S Skakle
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Calcium phosphates are widely used for bone-replacement materials due to their chemical similarity to natural bone. 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, then characterise these materials using such techniques as X-ray diffraction, Raman and IR spectroscopy, solid state NMR, electron microscopy and cell culture.
Whilst some chemical knowledge is highly desirable, knowledge of the solid state and a willingness to learn and engage in interdisciplinary research is essential for such work, where chemistry, physics, biology and medicine meet.

The applicant should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in chemistry or a cognate discipline. Knowledge of: Solid state chemistry, materials chemistry or physics, some knowledge of X-ray diffraction.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.


J. Duncan, J. F. MacDonald, J. V. Hanna, Y. Shirosaki, S. Hakakawa, A. Osaka, J. M. S. Skakle, Iain R. Gibson; “The Role of the Chemical Composition of Monetite on the Synthesis and Properties of -tricalcium phosphate”, Materials Science and Engineering C34, 123-129 (2014).

J. Duncan, S. Hayakawa, A. Osaka, J.F. MacDonald, J.V. Hanna, J.M.S. Skakle and I.R. Gibson; “Silicate-substituted α-Tricalcium Phosphate: an X-ray Diffraction, X-ray Fluorescence and Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Study”, Acta Biomaterialia 10, 1443-1450 (2014)

Application Process:
Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for PhD in Chemistry, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form.

Informal inquiries can be made to Professor I Gibson, ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

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