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Biomaterials Engineering (bioMEG)

The following people are in this group:

More about this group

The Biomaterials Engineering (bioMEG) group is led by Professor Bo Su.

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 these 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.