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Biomedical Materials: my research into bone regeneration

by YPU Admin on November 15, 2019, Comments. Tags: biomedical materials, material science, PhD, science, and STEM

Introduction

Hi, my name is Negin Kamyar and I am a 2nd year PhD student at University of Manchester. I am doing my PhD in Biomedical materials and I am a part of Bio-Active Materials group headed by Dr. Jonny Blaker.

So, about my background - I did my bachelor’s in biomedical engineering in Azad Tehran University. During my bachelor’s, I worked on fabrication of skin patches for wound healing. As I was getting to know my research interest more and more in the biomedical field, I became more passionate to discover new things in my field. To further progress and improve in my field, I decided to apply to University of Manchester to study my Master’s. I successfully got accepted to study Biomaterials at University of Manchester and I graduated with distinction. During my master’s project I worked on the fabrication of three-dimensional (3-D) materials composed of polymers and two-dimensional (2-D) materials for bone regeneration. Since I was very excited about my master’s project, I decided to start my PhD in Biomedical Material and continue my research with more passion and time. My research is focused on the fabrication of 3-D bone implants which can be degraded over time so that the body’s new tissue can replace the degraded implant. These materials can be used for bone fractures and patients with osteoporosis.

So far, my PhD has been great. I published one paper in the ACS applied nanomaterials journal and I also presented my work to one of the biggest world conferences “Material Research Society (MRS)” in Boston. Participation in this conference gave me the chance to meet a lot of researchers around the world and learn new things in my field and share my research with them. I am looking forward to new achievements and opportunities during my PhD research.

In Depth…

When I was a child, I was always very keen on studying medicine in the future due to having a strong feeling and passion for helping people’s lives. My main inspiration in my life was my family who have always supported me to follow my dreams, since I was a child, and still support me today. While studying at school I was very enthusiastic about biomedical science and my parents bought me many science related books which helped me to be sure that it was what I wanted to do. I remember, when I was in the final year of high school, I met one of our family friends, who was doing research on heart stents and I had very long conversation with her about this field. After that day, I started reading more about the different applications of biomedical devices and I became more and more interested in inventing biomedical devices to improve humans’ lives. So, my dream towards medicine always stayed in my mind, but its direction changed to a more interesting and challenging field for me as biomedical engineer. During my bachelor’s, I worked on the fabrication of skin patches for wound healing and I presented my work in an international conference in Poland. One year after getting my bachelor’s degree, I successfully collaborated in publishing an academic book in Persian called “Nanomaterial in Biomedical Engineering” with my supervisor. During my master’s at Manchester University, I found I was more interested in the topic of bone implants because of current challenges in this field. In my master’s project, I worked on the fabrication of a 3-D fibre-based scaffold for potential bone regeneration which could be degraded over time.

Since I was fascinated by my Master’s project, I decided to continue the topic for my PhD. So, I am currently a second year PhD student and absolutely love my research with all its challenges and adventures. My project is a multidisciplinary topic which focuses on the fabrication of tissue scaffolds with different techniques. These scaffolds are 3-D structures which are composed of polymers and two-dimensional materials which can mimic the natural bone’s tissue. These 3-D scaffolds are integrated with biological factors and cells to mimic the physiological environment. In the physiological environment, these scaffolds can degrade over time and stimulate the formation of new tissue. The main aim of this research is finding a new way to help patients who are suffering from bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Now, I am almost midway through my PhD and I still absolutely love my research. I find every day challenging and adventurous for myself. I definitely can say that research is an unlimited area, that every day I learn and discover new things in my field. Beside doing my research, I also help other bachelor’s and master’s students in the lab with their projects which makes me feel more excited about continuing my own research in my field to a higher level. I have to say that that I am very thankful to all my parents’ support that gave me lots of opportunity to experience an amazing adventure in my life.

Figure 1 3-D scaffold for bone regeneration.

Going Further…

If you are interested in reading my paper, please visit the website: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsanm.8b00938?af=R

If you are interest in finding more information about the biomaterial and our group, please visit the websites: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/jonny.blaker.html and https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/david.lewis-4.html

If you are interested in perusing Materials sciences, please visit the website: http://www.materials.manchester.ac.uk/

We also have a school blog which details life as a materials student and interviews a range of students and lecturers: http://www.mub.eps.manchester.ac.uk/uommaterialsblog/




 

Into Deep-sea Pipelines and Material Science

by YPU Admin on August 4, 2016, Comments. Tags: material science, PhD, Research, and UoM

Introduction

Hi! My name is Melissa and I’m currently in the second year of my PhD at the University of Manchester. I am in the School of Materials, and my research focusses on the corrosion of nickel-alloys that are used in deep-sea oil pipelines.

I didn’t expect to end up doing a PhD, but this is where my journey has taken me.

How I got here

Going into college, I had not a clue what I wanted to do, so for my A-levels I picked to do Maths, Science and English, and randomly picking Chemistry as my science as I thought it has the most potential to be interesting.  And it certainly turned out to be true! I absolutely loved chemistry and decided to carry on studying it at University.

So I did a 4 year integrated Master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Manchester. I learnt so much, not only about Chemistry but about myself as well. It had ignited my passion for science, and that passion is something I want to share with as many people as I can, so I do lots and lots of outreach activities.

As my degree came to an end, I knew another decision was looming; what was I going to do next? I knew I wanted to carry on learning, so decided a PhD would be my best opportunity. I was overwhelmed with the variety of PhDs that were available to me. Everything from how bubbles work to building new telescopes to look at the planets.

Whilst doing my research in to what I wanted to go into for my PhD, I came across the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems. This programme was designed to take anyone from any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subject and give them a year’s training in Materials Science for them to then pick a PhD project from a selection offered. Well perfect, I thought! This was a chance to learn about a brand new subject, and then do a PhD as well. So this is what I did, and here I am now! And I found the perfect PhD project for me. It perfectly marries what I had learnt in my Chemistry degree, with my new knowledge of Materials Science.

In Depth

So why is the corrosion of Nickel-alloys so important? Corrosion costs the oil and gas industry about $1372 billion every year – so a pretty expensive problem. And these Ni-alloys are used as nuts and bolts in what we call a well-head, and it’s the well-head’s job to maintain the pressure in the pipeline. Herein lies the problem; these pipelines can be up to 5000m below sea level. Therefore it’s really important to understand how and when these alloys are likely to corrode, so we can better predict their lifetimes, and prevent any failures in the pipeline.

Going Further

When I started this journey, way back on GCSE results day, I didn’t know where I would end up, and I still don’t. I’m just doing what makes me happy and enjoying the ride!

If you want to find out more about the Corrosion research at Manchester you can do so here.

The EPS Outreach Website has lots of details on the different types of work we do with schools and the general public.

And if you would like to know more about what Materials Science is, Strange Matter is a great website.


 

Undergraduate Research

by YPU Admin on February 21, 2014, Comments. Tags: material science and undergraduate research

Our ‘Undergraduate Research’ section will provide an insight into research conducted at an undergraduate level and feature case studies of undergraduate researchers at the University of Manchester.

Introduction 

Hi, my name is Rhys Archer and I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2013. I studied Materials Science and specialised in Textile Science and Technology, and had to undertake around 4 research projects a year based on lab work or industry examples. My 20,000 word final year project was in the form of an extended lab report and looked at the UV degradation of sail cloth material.




My research

I became interested in Textile Science and Technology (TST) as I have always had an interest in both Textile manufacture and Maths and Physics. I decided to study TST at university as I had worked at the government Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) in the materials engineering department as part of my work experience and had used laboratory methods to find faults in materials that had caused fatal accidents. These reports were then used in court as evidence for neglectful practice. I enjoyed the practical side to science, as well applying scientific knowledge to real world situations.

 Before my final year project, I undertook research in areas such as carbon fibre braiding, the use of Kevlar and other specialised materials in space material engineering, the structure and construction of body armour and the use of carbon fibre for the new Airbus design. I decided to concentrate on sail cloth material for my final project as I enjoy sailing, and have always been interested in the materials used for sails and sailing equipment and their resilience to natural factors such as wind abrasion or water damage.



The purpose of the project was to compare 3 different types of sail, subject them to different amounts of UV and then test their strength, tear and colour properties to see if there was any difference, and if so, if there was any trend in what type of material was the most susceptible.

In sailing, UV damage is the biggest commercial issue that affects everyday sailors as well as yacht racers, and so finding a UV resistant material would be ground breaking.

As I had decided to pursue my own research project, I found an industrial sponsor who supplied the material I tested and the specifications to test by. This was a great way to focus my research project, and meant that my research had commercial value. I used the equipment in the labs at The University of Manchester, including a light fastness machine, a tensile testing machine, a spectrophotometer and a scanning electron microscope.

Conclusion

Since completing my final year research project, my interest has been focussed more on the colour properties of materials and how these can be measured accurately. This field of study is referred to as Colour Physics or Colour Chemistry, and looks at what colour is, how it is measured, and the chemistry and math behind it. I enjoy it as there is a creative element with colour and textiles, which relates to design and photography, but with some complex math, chemistry and physics to understand.

Going further...

Find out more about studying Materials Science at The University of Manchester here.

Materials at Manchester – Graphene! Click here for more information.

Link to my final year project proposal presentation can be found here.

Click here for information on carbon fibre.

An interesting journal on textile composites used for space exploration can be found here.

A look at historic sailcloth can be found here.

For more information on modern sailcloth created by my sponsors, click here.

The Health and Safety Laboratory.