The Biomedical Materials research degrees cover an exciting area of research in the School focusing both on fundamental understanding of interactions between man-made materials and biological tissues and the development of useful applications. We have close links with the world's leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies and the clinical applications of our research impact many areas of medicine.
The subject of biomedical materials covers those materials that are used in the context of biology and medicine, usually to evaluate, treat, augment or replace any tissue, organ or function of the body. In surgery, a biomaterial may be a synthetic material used to replace part of a living system or to function in intimate contact with living tissue.
A new area in biomaterials involves the exploration of nanotechnology for drug delivery, biological sensing or tissue regeneration. Examples of these bionanomaterials are small particles that may be used for the delivery of drug molecules to target sites within the body or to detect diseased areas.
Biomaterials are produced using chemical, physical, mechanical processes and they often employ or mimic biological phenomena in order for them to interact with their biological surroundings in defined ways.
Application of research
The clinical applications of our research impact many areas of medicine, including drug delivery, cancer, wound healing, stem cell technology, repair and regeneration of nerve, tendon, cartilage, bone, intevertebral disc, skin, ligament and cornea.
We have strong ties with industry, including ongoing collaboration with Smith & Nephew, Johnson & Johnson, and Versamatrix A/S (Denmark), developing novel biomaterial based strategies for wound healing, bone repair, control of inflammation and drug delivery.
To underpin the research and teaching activities, we have established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing.
To complement our teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.