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Synthesis and characterisation of Novel Bioceramics

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.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemistry.
Essential Background: 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.
Knowledge of: Solid state chemistry, materials chemistry or physics, some knowledge of X-ray diffraction.

Funding Notes

To qualify for Elphinstone funding you MUST have a First Class Degree or equivalent OR a 2.1 Honours Degree or Equivalent, PLUS MSc at Commendation/Distinction level in a relevant subject. Please note Elphinstone funding pays tuition fees 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)

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Chemistry. Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for PhD in Chemistry, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR, EXACT PROJECT TITLE AND INDICATE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ELPHINSTONE FUNDING ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Professor Skakle ([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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