Division of Materials Engineering
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Confocal Laser Scanning and Super Resolution Microscopy Lab
Confocal fluorescence 3D reconstruction of tendon cells (nuclei labelled blue, primary cilia cytoskeleton red)
The School of Engineering and Materials Science hosts a confocal microscopy containing two laser scanning confocal microscopes - a Perkin Elmer spinning disc system and a Leica SP2 with multiphoton laser and lifetime imaging system.
In addition the Institute of Bioengineering will soon be purchasing a new confocal microscope associated with a super resolution system. The unit enables live cell fluorescence imaging (GFP, calcium imaging etc), 3D reconstruction and morphological measurement, photobleaching assays such as FRAP and FLIP and fluorescence lifetime microscopy(FLIM). The microscopes also interface with sophisticated mechanical loading systems for tissues, individual living cells (micropipette aspiration) and artificial constructs.
For more information contact: Prof Martin Knight
Hip Wear Simulator
Student testing total hip replacement implants using the hip wear simulator.
The wear testing lab is able to assess the likely success of developments in total hip replacements. We work with a range of companies, including Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics, Corin and Finsbury to evaluate designs before they are implanted into patients. Exciting research ideas are tested such as coatings which make the prosthesis last longer. These coatings are evaluated in our hip joint simulator and the biological response to the particles that are created is also studied.
Mechanical Testing Facilities
Students using mechanical testing equipment.
The School has a variety of mechanical testing equipment used to determine the mechanical properties of different materials and structures ranging from aircraft components to new implant materials or even biological tissues. These testing machines apply forces in compression, tension or torsion and can be used to find out material properties such as ultimate strength and modulus.
Nano Fluids Research Labs
The School has a rapidly expanding group working on heat transfer from nano-fluids which are liquids containing nano-scale particles that act to alter the fundamental thermo-physical properties of the fluid and so increase heat transfer rates. The specific research includes formulation of nanoparticles and stable nanofluids in a purpose built laboratory. In addition, a new test facility is being constructed to investigate flow and heat transfer behavior of nanofluids in micro-tubes. The research will include mechanistic analysis of micro/nanoscale energy transportation and enhanced heat transfer performance.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of human bone from a patient with osteoporosis.
The NanoVision Centre is a state-of-the-art microscopy unit which brings together the latest microscope techniques for structural, chemical and mechanical analysis at the nanometer scale (1/1000000 mm). The facility contains an impressive range of electron microscopes, scanning probe microscopes and associated analytical equipment for use in the cutting-edge research being conducted by students and staff.
Polymer Chemistry Laboratory
Polymer Chemistry Laboratory
This laboratory focuses on controlled polymerisation studies and the characterisation of the polymers made using Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC).
Please visit www.becergroup.com for further information on our polymer chemistry research facilities.
FTIR equipment for materials analysis.
We have a variety of sophisticated spectrometers which are used to identify specific compounds and investigate composition of materials prepared as either a liquid, solid, film or powder.
These devices include:
- Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Raman Spectroscopy
- Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (uv-vis NIR).
Thermal Analysis Facility
Differential Scanning Calorimeter.
We have a variety of excellent techniques for analysis the thermal properties of materials such as melting temperature, glass transition temperature, viscosity, thermal expansion and thermo-mechanical properties over a range of temperatures (-150 to 1600C).
The techniques include:
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
- Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)
- Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA)
- Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
Undergraduate Teaching Labs
We have recently invested £8M in major new teaching laboratories to provide state-of-the-art experimental facilities specifically for teaching of undergraduate students.
Opened in 2016 the lab provides a space on the ground floor with step free access and has a height adjustable bench installed for wheelchair users.
Workshops for Engineering Manufacture
The School has a purpose built, fully equipped teaching workshop where students learn the basics of workshop practice in line with the degree accreditation requirements of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In addition, it contains fully automated CAD/CAM controlled milling machines and two rapid prototyping machines for high speed production of complex components. The workshops are also used during students design build and test projects as part of their Engineering Design modules.