EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P005756/1
Title: Identifying the Irreversible Mechanical Behaviour of Individual Mineralised Collagen Fibril Assemblies
Principal Investigator: Wolfram, Dr U
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
NHS Nobel Biocare AB University of Bern
University of Grenoble 1
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 October 2016 Ends: 30 September 2018 Value (£): 95,775
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Biomechanics & Rehabilitation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Aug 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 3 August 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis affect millions of patients around the world and are eventually characterised by a reduction of bone strength that results in increased rates of fractures. Life expectancy continues to rise but patient specific treatment solutions to optimally manage those patients are sill not available. Such solutions could consist of tailored medication strategies and, at a later stage, tailored implant solutions which require a thorough understanding of the mechancial competence of structural tissue. While the mechanical behaviour of bone is currently well characterised at the upper level of tissue organisation, the underlying nonlinear mechanical properties of mineralised collagen fibre assemblies, however, remain obscured by structural features such as cellular porosity, lamellar organisation, cement lines, cracks and other interfaces. Starting from preliminary pilot experiments, this proposal aims at performing simultaneous uniaxial micropillar strength tests and structural measurements using small-angle X-ray scattering and wide-angle X-ray diffraction on micron-sized volumes of the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) and, thus, on mineralised collagen fibre assemblies only. This project will result in a versatile and powerful experimental framework that will be used to understand the structure-mechanics relation of ECM with an unprecedented spatial resolution of the mechanical experiment. The results of this project will inform the engineering of patient-specific material solutions in silico through all relevant length scales starting from the ECM level. This, in turn, will foster the development and realisation of production technologies for manufacturing patient-specific "implants on demand" which could be offered as a service or embedded in a hospital. The novel experimental techniques may be useful for testing and developing functional thin films such as implant coatings, investigating the impact of pathological changes on the ECM, or even to reduce, refine, and replace animal experiments.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk