Effect of mechanical properties and surface nanostructure on phosphate-based glasses biomedical performance

Applications are invited to apply for a 4-year joint UKRI/EPSRC funded PhD studentship between the University of Surrey and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) on the synthesis, characterisation and mechanical testing of a new class of bioresorbable biomaterials.


4 years - starting in 2023

Application deadline

Funding source


Funding information

Full UK tuition fees covered for 4 years. Stipend at £18,609 p.a. increase pending. This studentship is for students with UK or EU-settled status only.


The project, starting in 2023, will focus on smart phosphate-based glasses that can simultaneously induce tissue regeneration (hard and soft) and deliver antimicrobial effects via controlled release of metallic ions (e.g. Ag+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Ga3+, Ce4+). The slow release of antibacterial ions as the tissue heals prevents inflammatory reactions and reduce patient’s recovery time.

The sol-gel and coacervation techniques will be used for fabrication of phosphate glass fibre mats for wound healing and 3D scaffolds via 3D printing for bone regeneration. Structural and morphological characterisation of the glasses will be investigated using a multi-technique approach involving electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), thermal analysis, physisorption, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy at synchrotron radiation facilities.

The mechanical properties of the biomaterials and their changes and degradation (in time/with the environment) will be established; their effect on cells-biomaterial interaction, biomaterial degradability, antibacterial effect will be investigated. In particular, dynamic (in-situ) mechanical testing will allow the response of the biomaterial under different conditions (e.g. change in temperature, extracellular matrix environment, time) to be assessed.

Spanning across materials science, chemistry, biology and medicine, this proposal is truly multidisciplinary. The PhD candidate will develop a range of complementary skills in fabrication (electrospinning, 3D printing), cell culture and cutting-edge characterisation techniques in addition to unique training and expertise in mechanical testing and measurements at the micro and nanoscale at NPL. The successful applicant will have access to the professional training courses and support offered by NPL’s Postgraduate Institute for Measurement Science (PGI) and Surrey’s Doctoral College.

This studentship is for a January 2023 start.

Related links

The mechanical test facility at NPL


NPL is the UK's National Metrology Institute, developing and maintaining the national primary measurement standards. The successful candidate will have access to a suite of microstructural characterisation tools and mechanical test systems capable of measurement and characterisation across different length scales. They will also have access to training in metrology and access to facilities and expertise housed at our main Teddington site.

Eligibility criteria

This studentship is for students with UK or EU settled status only.

Candidates must have a first class or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline, including biomaterial science, chemistry, physics, chemical engineering and material science and a strong interest in bio/nanomaterials.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

How to apply

Please contact Dr D Carta (d.carta@surrey.ac.uk) before applying. Applications can be made through the PhD Chemistry course page.

Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Daniela Carta

Dr Tony Fry


Studentships at Surrey

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