YPLC Midlands finalist - Matthew Wadge

Matthew graduated from the University of Nottingham with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Materials Science in 2017. His undergraduate achievements contributed to his receiving the Armourers and Brasiers' TWI Best BSc/BEng Student of the Year Award. Following on from his final year project work on generating biomedical titanate structures, he embarked upon a PhD within the Engineering Faculty at Nottingham, under the supervision of Professor David Grant, Dr Ifty Ahmed and Dr Reda Felfel. His PhD topic revolves around the translation of biomedical/antibacterial titanates, using DC magnetron sputtering, onto alternative biomedical materials for implantation. Matthew's constant inspiration for his project work is to help alleviate implant failure and improve natural implant fixation, ultimately to improve people's quality of life.

In addition to his project work, Matthew also actively helps and runs STEM outreach activities. He recently volunteered as both event manager (2017/18) and city co-ordinator (2018/19) for the Pint of Science festival in Nottingham, an annual international science outreach festival hosted over three nights in May in over 300 cities and 24 countries worldwide. As one of the two city co-ordinators, Matthew is responsible for over 60 volunteers, as well as 56 academic speakers. In addition, he has also helped organise 'An evening with astronaut Michael Foale', which had over 450 attendees. In his spare time, Matthew likes to engage in sports such as squash and football as well as playing the guitar.

Can titanates provide an alternative method of improving current implant surfaces?

Despite recent studies showing 70.6% of hip implants can survive for at least 15 years, the remaining percentage accounts for a large number of patients, considering nearly 90,000 hip implants were fitted in 2017 alone. Of these failures, aseptic loosening (implant loosening not due to infection), and infection make up nearly 40%; an alarmingly high number. With current methods of improving implant surfaces resulting in coating spallation due to high temperatures (>1,500C), how can we achieve better adhesion/antibacterial properties, without using such high temperatures?

The presentation will introduce an interesting alternative to the present method of plasma spraying hydroxyapatite, that can not only provide 'natural' adhesion between the implant and surrounding tissue, but can also be tailored to have further bioactive ('bone growing'), or antibacterial properties. Matthew will delve into the world of titanate structures, demonstrating the simplistic methodology to produce them and how to tailor them for specific applications. In addition, novel work into the effectiveness of gallium incorporation into the titanate structures will be presented.

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