DEPARTMENT OF METALLURGICAL & MATERIALS ENGINEERING,
UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA.
2.0 Concept Note:
Due to the need for improved quality of life and increased life expectancy for the young and the aged, the number of patients needing expensive medical implants to correct body dysfunctions by replacing or repairing tissues and organs with appropriate biomaterials, has continued to rise in Nigeria and the world over. This issue is becoming increasingly important as the average human population increases and situations where the need to implant early in life becomes progressively more numerous. Among the materials used for load bearing implant applications, metals exhibit the most suitable characteristics.
The metals intended for biomedical application such as for human implants should have good corrosion stability in the human body, high fatigue resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, good ductility, low elastic modulus, excellent wear resistance, low cytotoxicity and a negligible tendency to provoke allergic reactions. In the case of bone implant, finding materials that meet all the aforementioned criteria for biomedical applications and have a modulus near that of bone has proven to be a major challenge. However, little attention has been paid to this field in the African continent.
The intent of this research group is to design, develop and characterize biomaterials as well as to determine their suitability for interfacing with human biological systems for the purpose of easing suffering, promoting healthy human life and longevity.
This research area is novel in this part of the world and ongoing in Europe and Americas.
Since this research will involve theoretical modelling and experimental design, we believe strongly that this combinational approach could lead to something outlandish that could add to the image of the university.
The materials for making medical implants are readily available in Nigeria and the basic know-how is not lacking.
This field of research will also enhance the building of biomedical experts in Nigeria, knowledgeable in design and development of implants.
This research will reduce the suffering of patients who are tricked into buying inferior implants abroad.
The awareness this research group will create can attract collaborative activities with prominent research groups in this area worldwide, since some members of this research group benefitted from overseas training.
It will in turn lead to reduction in the number of deaths arising from implant complications in Nigerian hospitals.
Creating a research group in this field will be the only way to sustain the expertise gained by few lecturers during their study overseas as well as transferring the knowledge to the students which could be very valuable for their career goals.
In the long run, this research has both academic and business dimensions. The product is capable of being commercialized, which might attract funds to our university.
3.0 Composition of Biomaterials Research Group
1. Prof. Boniface A. Okorie – Principal Investigator.
2. Dr. Simeon I. Neife – Member
3. Dr. Paul S. Nnamchi – Member
4. Camillus S. Obayi – Member