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Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

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Professor Serena Best

Tel: +44 (0)1223 334307
Fax: +44 (0)1223 334366
e-mail: smb51 at

BSc University of Surrey 1986
PhD University of London 1990

Dr Serena Best

Biomedical materials
Bioceramics are used as bone grafts, coatings, fillers in composites, and as articulating surfaces and may be classified as "bioinert", bioactive or bioresorbable. Our aim is to develop the range and performance of ceramics in clinical applications through implant design, materials characterisation and by exploring the potential for biological tests which more accurately predict the clinical performance of the emerging new generation of biomaterials.

Skeletal reconstruction
Bone fixation and defect filling are ideally performed with materials which closely match the body's natural template. The aim of this programme is to develop synthetic "substituted apatites" (hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4) 6(OH)2-based materials with physiologically relevant ionic lattice substitutions, chemically similar to bone mineral) to act as defect fillers and scaffolds for tissue engineered implants. The materials, designed to enhance the speed of integration with hard tissue, will also be investigated as injectable, self-setting cements, coatings and particulate reinforcement in biomedical composites for application in a range of skeletal sites.

Bioactive glass-ceramic implants
By combining the advantages of near net shape forming, the ability to produce fully dense components with controlled microstructures and optimisation of chemical composition, this research area aims to develop strong, tough, bioactive glass ceramics for application in major load bearing applications within the skeleton. This programme will also link into the production and characterisation of second generation bioactive composites with enhanced mechanical and biological performance.

Articulating surfaces
Alumina and zirconia components are used to minimise wear problems in hip- and knee- prostheses, but there is still scope for improvement in implant performance and lifetime. We are analysing the effects of the physiological environment at a submicroscopic level to enhance predictive modelling and testing of implant components through evaluation of fatigue properties and accelerated wear simulation.

K. HING, S.M. BEST, W. BONFIELD, "Characterisation of porous hydroxyapatite", Journal of Materials Science:Materials in Medicine, 10 135 (1999).

E. FERNANDEZ, J.A. PLANELL, S.M. BEST, "Precipitation of carbonate apatites in the cement system a-Ca3(PO4 )2-CaHPO4- CaCO3", Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 47, 466 (1999).

K.A. HING, S.M. BEST, K.E. TANNER, P.A. REVELL, W. BONFIELD, "Histomorphological and biomechanical characterisation of calcium phosphates in the osseous environment", Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers part H, 212, 437 (1998).

J.E. BARRALET, S.M. BEST, W. BONFIELD, "Carbonate substitution in precipitated hydroxyapatite: an investigation into the effects of reaction temperature and bicarbonate ion concentration", Journal of Biomedical Materials Research , 41, 79 (1998).

J.C. MERRY, I.R. GIBSON, S.M. BEST, W. BONFIELD, "Synthesis and characterisation of carbonate hydroxyapatite", Journal of Materials Science:Materials in Medicine, 9, 779 (1998).

Professor Best's biography

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