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Professor Bo Su

Professor Bo Su

Professor Bo Su

Professor of Biomedical Materials

Area of research

Biomaterials Engineering for Biological and Medical Applications

Lower Maudlin Street,
Bristol, BS1 2LY
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 342 4313
+44 (0) 117 34 29493


The Biomaterials Engineering Group (bioMEG) mainly works in the area of materials processing and surface engineering for biomedical applications. Our focus is on both basic research in scientific understanding of materials fabrication processing and applied research in materials solutions for clinical needs. The broad and multidisciplinary research is aimed at developing novel materials and surfaces for dental and orthopaedic implants, tissue engineering scaffolds and medical devices.

Our current research activities include:

1. Cell-instructive materials

The development of novel materials able to control cell activities and direct their fate is pivotal for engineering smart implants, functional biological tissues, and advanced cell culture systems. It is well known that both chemical and physical cues have a great influence on cell functions of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, by triggering specific molecular events at the cell–material interface. Our current research projects are focused on physical control of materials and surfaces (i.e. topography and mechanical stiffness) to modulate cells and bacteria. We have been developing new micro/nanopatterning techniques for clinically relevant materials e.g. titanium, ceramics and composites, including anodisation through mask and template, hydrothermal growth, electrochemical micromachining and embossing. We work with stem cell biologists and microbiologists to study how cells and bacteria response to different topographies and the mechanisms which regulate cellular and bacterial attachment, spreading and differentiation or colonisation. We also produce nanofibre network with variable mechanical stiffness to direct stem cell differentiation for tissue engineering scaffolds, cell culture substrates and smart implants.

2. Biomimetic and bio-inspired materials

Natural materials such as seashell nacre, human teeth and bones have remarkable mechanical properties. However, nature grows theses materials from the bottom-up approach using the biologically controlled self-assembly. We explore the top-down approach from powder processing route for the fabrication of hierarchically structured ceramics and composites to offer cost-effective engineering solutions for dentistry, orthopaedics and regenerative medicine.

The design and fabrication of ceramics with tunable density, porosity and gradient are based on colloidal chemistry principle. We have been developing a range of processing techniques e.g. protein foaming, freeze casting, and CNC green machining to control the hierarchical structure and properties of ceramics and composites. The potential applications include tissue-matching implants and restoratives, load-bearing tissue engineering scaffolds.


Dr Bo Su is Professor of Biomedical Materials within the Bristol Dental School at the University of Bristol. He has research experience in materials for over 30 years, including structural, functional and biomedical materials. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Birmingham, he spent five years as a post-doctoral researcher at Imperial College and Birmingham University respectively. He was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship in 2003. He joined Bristol as a Senior Lecturer in 2005 and was promoted to Reader in 2009 and Professor in 2013. He has published more than 150 journal papers and holds 4 patents. He has received funding from EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, NIHR, GWR, charities and industries.

Bo is a Fellow of Institute of Materials, Mineral and Mining (FIMMM) and a member of EPSRC Peer Review College.  His research interests are in materials processing and fabrication, including micro- and nano-fabrication and surface patterning of titanium metals, ceramics, polymers and composites for biomedical applications. He leads the Biomaterials Engineering Group (bioMEG) and is currently the School Postgraduate Research Director.


  • Biomaterials
  • biomimetic materials
  • bio-inspired materials
  • cell-instructive surfaces
  • ceramics
  • composites
  • micro/nanofabrication
  • surface patterning
  • nanotopography
  • implants
  • tissue engineering scaffolds
  • bacteria
  • stem cells



Bristol Dental School

Academic staff

Research groups

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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