2nd Annual biomaterials Workshop (2nd ABW 2004)

Venue: Cranfield University, Shrivenham

Location: Shrivenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Mar 15, 2004 End Date/Time: Mar 15, 2006
Registration Date: Mar 10, 2004
Abstract Submission Date: Dec 31, 2006
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Topics to be included:

Addressing problems associated with current plasma spraying of calcium

Characterisation and performance of calcium phosphate coatings

Alternative methods to coat orthopaedic & dental implants

Review of the 1st Annual Biomaterials Workshop

This Biomaterials Workshop was hosted by Cranfield University (Shrivenham campus) and held on 17th March 2003. It was the inaugural launch of a series of such meetings designed particularly to introduce new researchers to more established workers in the field and present new & emerging areas. The meeting attracted more than 80 delegates from as far away Spain and Belgium.

Delegates were welcomed to the workshop by the head of the sponsoring University department, Professor Cliff Friend and the founder and president of the ABW council, Susan Essien Etok.
The first presentation of the initial morning session was delivered by Professor Peter Marquis (University of Birmingham) who comprehensively described conventional and new material systems for use as dental restorative materials. He convinced everyone that finding alternatives to metallic amalgams is a high technology challenge and described the potential benefits of newly developed nano-particulates as they can provide the material quality and aesthetics required. The subsequent paper, delivered by Professor Andrew Lloyd (University of Brighton), presented an intriguing method for enhancing osteointegration through exploitation of part of the natural mineralisation process. In particular the role of calcium-binding phospholipids within matrix vesicles was described and Professor Lloyd showed how such lipids can, in vitro, self assemble into 3-D gels that may provide a suitable environment for rapid calcification.

Different fabrication routes to produce apatite coatings were expertly discussed by Dr David Grant (Univeristy of Nottingham). In particular, coatings formed by plasma spraying and laser ablation were compared with respect to their chemistry, surface topography and cell interaction. Dr Grant emphasised the need to apply absorption corrections in diffraction measurements of crystallinity and pointed out the lack of any ASTM methodology in this respect. Subsequently, Dr Jonathon Knowles provided a persuasive description of the use of phosphate based glasses as biomaterials, and explained how the solubility of such materials can be significantly modified through the addition of Na or Ca ions. Dr Knowles explained that these glasses are relatively soluble in contrast to the bioglasses traditionally employed as biomaterials. He went on to show that, by annealing the glasses to crystallization, the subsequent phase mix can be employed to determine the amorphous structure. One use of such glasses is as 3-D fibre network structures to support cell growth systems. The final presentation of the morning session was provided by Dr Peter Wilshaw (University of Oxford) who described an elegant and novel approach to formation of a strongly adherent bioactive coating based upon a nanoporous alumina ceramic. Dr Wilshaw explained that the advantage of this technology is that pore diameter can be easily controlled and that these pores are typically ~0.2mm, which is significantly lower than conventional porous materials used for biomaterial applications. Very low dissolution rates in culture media & osteoblasts were reported (0.03% in 10 days) and the rate of Al release is also apparently very small. Cell interaction with these surfaces was illustrated and the potential for loading the pores with bioactive materials discussed.

Following lunch, delegates had the luxury of being able to ‘mix and match’ between 3, carefully orchestrated parallel sessions. The talks were diverse, from an industry perspective of plasma sprayed coatings (Robert Scott, Biomet-Merck) to bone fragility & its causes (Peter Zioupos, Cranfield University) and an introduction to the medical devices faraday partnership (Faye Smith, MDFP).

The final 2 formal presentations of the day were from Professors Joe Franks and Jim Elliott. Professor Franks (Brunel University) described a room temperature fabrication route for the formation of diamond like carbon coatings with high substrate adherence. These were described as being hard and flexible and good for preventing thrombus formation. Finally, Professor Elliott (Queen Mary), who has been described as one of the most notable pioneers in apatite structural chemistry, carefully described the key ionic packing arrangement of the apatite lattice and pointed out that most of the space is occupied by phosphate ions packed into a pseudo-HCP arrangement. He went on to illustrate several ionic substitution possibilities and, in particular, carbonate substitution into phosphate and hydroxyl sites. He finished by indicating that apatites can still produce surprising results and described how his recent work has shown evidence of formate substitutions.

Overall, the day offered a broad and diverse programme that reflected the range of interests of the biomaterials community. All the lectures were of high quality and well received by all the delegates. A lunchtime poster session (best poster award going to J. Blaker, Imperial College for Silver doped bioactive glass coated sutures for tissue engineering and wound healing applications), and a cake cutting ceremony also served to ‘entertain’ the delegates.

The success of this first workshop was due principally to its professional organization and delegate & speaker enthusiasm. There is no doubt that these workshops will continue to provide a high quality forum for encouraging collaborations and promoting awareness & understanding in the field. Further details of the next workshop will be announced in due course at www.cranfield-biomaterials.com.

K.D. Rogers April 2003

Delegate comments:

"I have received very positive feedback on your meeting from my research
Students and postdocs!"

Professor Andrew Lloyd, Brighton University

"It was my first time at this type of event and it was the most rewarding experience I have ever had. The whole experience took me by surprise. Next time I will not be scared of putting a
poster or even a presentation forward! I am grateful for the chance to make contacts with all
like-minded people. Special thank you to Susan Essien Etok, who organised the event. It is a commitment from beginning to end and from your side a lot of work has been done too. Congratulations on the success."

Cristina Gomes-de-Sousa PhD student, QMW, London

"This was very well organised and informative meeting!"

Dr Francois Schwind, Bio-rad, Belgium

“The 1st Annual Biomaterials Workshop was very well organized with an excellent programme of speakers”

Dr. Karin Hing, Advanced Research Fellow, QMW, London


Cranfield University (RMCS), Shrivenham. Wiltshire SN6 8AL
United Kingdom