Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers at University of Kent investigate glass as a healing material


The University of Kent is collaborating with research teams from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London and University College London (UCL) to develop novel forms of degradable glass for a variety of medical applications, including new bone growth.

The Kent team, led by Bob Newport, Professor of Materials Physics and Director of the Functional Materials Group, has successfully steered a joint bid to the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which has released almost £1million in new research funding to the partnership.

The aim of the research is to investigate bioactive glasses and their possible use for a variety of medical applications. Bioactive glasses are significantly different to the glass used for the likes of TV screens or bottles; for instance, it is possible in some cases to produce a glass that will actually prompt the body to grow new bone. In all cases, the glass will dissolve safely away when in contact with body fluids such as blood plasma.

Commenting on the project, Bob Newport said: ‘The longer-term possibilities for tissue regeneration, for example, are really quite exciting – and even in the short-term these glasses offer the possibility of surgical implant materials with antibacterial properties and improved bio-compatibility. The challenge we have accepted at Kent is not only to synthesise the new materials, but also to begin to understand their make-up at the level of their constituent atoms.’

Conventionally, a glass is created by casting it in a furnace at high temperature, but there is a chemical technique to manufacture the glass at much lower temperatures from high-purity chemicals. The sol-gel process, as it is called, extends the region of glass forming, so that one can create certain chemical compositions that were previously impossible, and also create some unusual structures such as a high level of porosity. This opens up the possibility of building valuable attributes into the glass: and this is in fact the focus of the new funding. Key to the recently announced research support is the development by the Kent team of a means of using this route to make a series of bio-dissolvable glass materials able to prevent the formation of bacterial infection on surgical implants.

The newly-funded multidisciplinary partnership – involving the synthesis and advanced X-ray and neutron scattering expertise at Kent, a leading solid state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) group at Warwick and the Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at the Eastman Dental Institute at UCL – will allow the scientists to examine the relationship between the structure and in vitro properties of this family of glasses.

In many ways this new project builds upon the long-standing Kent-Warwick research partnership in sol-gel materials, and complements their work on silicate-based bioactive glasses undertaken with the Tissue Engineering Group at Imperial College and aimed at understanding the material’s ability to promote bone regeneration.

| alfa
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>