Bioinspired design optimization of bioceramics

This interdisciplinary PhD project will investigate the relationship between nano- and micro- structures and micromechanics of human enamel-mimicked highly textured bioceramics as well as human dentine-mimicked hierarchical bioactive ceramic scaffolds.

Application deadline
Funding information

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax-free stipend of approximately £14,777 p.a., in line with standard RCUK stipend levels (2018-2019).

About

Natural materials like human teeth and bones have complex and hierarchical architectures spanning a range of length scales, designed to achieve remarkable mechanical properties. However, it is still challenging to synthesize structures that can mimic the entire structural and mechanical characteristics of these natural materials. Advanced manufacturing and processing techniques with fine microstructural control offer new possibilities for design and fabrication of bioceramics with tunable structures and mechanical properties. This would provide biomimetic engineering solutions for dentistry, orthopaedics, and regenerative medicine.   

This interdisciplinary PhD project will investigate the relationship between nano- and micro- structures and micromechanics of human enamel-mimicked highly textured bioceramics as well as human dentine-mimicked hierarchical bioactive ceramic scaffolds. The objective is to elucidate the structural and mechanical key factors that affect the integrity, in particular the fracture behavior in bioceramics as fabricated by innovative processing and manufacturing.

The successful candidate will engage in the in situ characterization activities, using advanced experimental mechanical microscopy techniques available at the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Surrey, including TOF-SIMS, XPS, SPM, EDX, EBSD, STEM, TEM, FIB-SEM tomography, FIB-DIC micrometre residual stress mapping and analysis, as well as synchrotron X-ray methods. These will be combined with modelling to provide systematic means of explaining the toughening and fracture mechanisms in the fabricated bioceramics. The ultimate objective of these activities will be to understand how the strength and toughness can be better controlled via microstructural optimization, and hence direct the manufacturing and processing towards the development of new bioceramic products.

The principle supervisor, Dr Tan Sui, is an expert in multi-beam microscopy with multi-modal synchrotron X-ray techniques. The co-supervisor, Prof Julie Yeomans is a world-leading expert in ceramics.

Start Date: 1st July 2018. Alternatively 1st October 2018 could also be accommodated.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least an Upper Second Bachelor’s degree, and preferably a Master’s degree, in an appropriate discipline (e.g. engineering, material sciences, physics, chemistry or related subject)

If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply

Formal applications can be made through our Biomedical Engineering programme page.

Application enquiries are recommended prior to submission and can be directly made to Dr Tan Sui t.sui@surrey.ac.uk

Application Deadline: 31st May 2018

Contact details

Tan Sui
15 AA 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689670
E-mail: t.sui@surrey.ac.uk

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