Composites Research Group
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The Biocomposites group’s work centres on the research theme of bioresorbable glass and matrix systems for healthcare applications.

These materials have the potential to act as bone scaffold for hard tissue repair, being absorbed by the body at the same rate as bone cells are replaced. The polymer composite approach removes the stress-shielding seen with metallic solutions, that can lead to reduction in bone density, and offers the potential for improved patient recovery rate and long-term sustainability of the bone repair.

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Biocomposites

 
 

The Group has unique experimental facilities in this area including glass-drawing towers for the production of novel phosphate glasses.


Research

Bioresorbable Engineering Nanocomposites for Healthcare (BENcH)

Project: Integrated Molecular Design of Melt-processable Bioresorbable Engineering Nanocomposites for Health-Care (BENcH)

Funder: EPSRC

This project will deliver novel, integrated methodologies for the design and scalable manufacture of next generation resorbable polymer nanocomposites, linking the science and engineering principles which underpin successful processing of such materials.

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In situ polymerisation of bioresorbable composites

Project: In-situ polymerisation of fully bioresorbable polycaprolactone/phosphate glass fibre composites: In vitro degradation and mechanical properties.

Investigators:

Fully bioresorbable composites have been investigated in order to replace metal implant plates used for hard tissue repair. Retention of the composite mechanical properties within a physiological environment has been shown to be significantly affected due to loss of the integrity of the fibre/matrix interface.

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New polymers for composite manufacture
Investigator: Ifty Ahmed
 
Manufacturing restorable composite rods
Investigator: Ifty Ahmed
 
Resorbable fibre textile manufacture

Project: Manufacture of Yarns and Textiles from Novel Resorbable Phosphate Based Glasses

Researcher: Yunqi Wang

Supervisors:

Developing resorbable composites for medical applications - investigating the production of yarns and textiles from novel phosphate-glass fibres (PGF) with new and novel coating agents. Current single filament fibre production drastically limits the use of PGF as they cannot be re-wound and, as such, are limited in terms of architecture produced – typically only non-woven random fibre mats.

  • Manufacture and characterize phosphate-based glasses (PBG) and fibres at the facilities
  • Investigate the TexGen software, which will be used for modelling of textiles.
  • Demonstrate the advantages of utilising PGFs as replacements for silicate based glasses by developing textiles from fibres produced utilising a pilot scale plant (Sinoma Ltd). 
  • The proposed fibre pilot plant facility has the potential to complete the missing link in the supply chain for low energy cost, high-strength, fully resorbable PGF technical textiles.

The Advanced Materials Research Group - Project Summary

 
Production of commercially scalable multifilament phosphate fibre tows

Funder: Innovate UK

Lead Participant: Glass Technology Services Limited

Participants:

The aim of this project is to create a working prototype of a phosphate fibre production facility. Phosphate fibres can dissolve in water to produce materials that are present in the bones and are useful in treating damaged and broken bones. Creation of this production facility will provide the phosphate fibres in a form that can be used to make fabrics and this will be demonstrated by one of the project partners. Fabrics are much more convenient to handle than fibres alone and can be transformed into other products, such as reinforced plastics. These plastics can also dissolve in water and be applied in medicine, but also in other industries where the ability to dissolve in water would be of benefit. For example, recycling is a key issue for the future.

 
 

Composites Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG9 5HR


contact: Prof Nick Warrior
email: composites@nottingham.ac.uk