Elfick:Research

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Orthopaedic Biomaterials Our research encompasses many aspects of orthopaedics. Most notable amongst these is research into the tribology (lubrication, friction and wear) of total joint replacements (hip, shoulder and knee). This work is augmented with investigation of the cellular/tissue reaction to orthopaedic biomaterials and their wear products. Further research has included empirical biomechanical evaluation of fracture fixation products for the femur and humerus.

Optical Spectroscopy Raman spectroscopy is a very valuable tool for non-invasively probing the chemistry and molecular structure of matter. The application of Raman to materials science and live cell diagnostics are great. Instrumentation is being developed to investigate the utility of conducing Raman in the near-field using an apertureless approach.

Synthetic Biology The feasibility of using engineering design principles to create complex metabolic pathways in cells is now established. We have on-going research considering the use of bacteria as sensors for heavy metal poisoning of drinking water (such as the arsenic biosensor presented at the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition, http://www.igem2006.com).

Nanotribology The tribology of biological systems is in general poorly understood at the molecular level. On-going basic science research into the molecular lubricating ability of adsorbed proteins, glycoproteins, lipids, polyelectrolytes and so on will inform many future medical and engineering applications.

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