Ismael is currently investigating the degradation of composite materials made of biodegradable polymeric matrix and calcium-based particles. The biodegradable polymers used as matrix are poly(alpha-hydroxy acids). These polymers have been widely investigated in orthopaedic applications. Their heterogeneous degradation profile brings some disadvantages. With the objective of mitigating those disadvantages calcium-based fillers, such as hydroxyapatite, tri-calcium phosphate or calcium carbonate, have been incorporated to the matrix to form a composite. Little is known about the mechanisms of degradation of these composite materials. Many factors, including polymer type, particle size distribution, spatial particle distribution and solubility of the particle affect this degradation profile. The interactions between the different factors are complex and need to be processed using computational tools. A full knowledge of the different factors that play a role and a thorough characterisation will allow the generation of a computational model that will deepen the understanding of the composites degradation.
Areas of expertise
biodegradable composites, degradation modelling, scaffolds for bone tissue repair