The European Ceramic Society


May 23, 2023

PhD in biomaterials: bioinspired dental ceramics

The PhD project will be performed in a unique interdisciplinary platform within the Advanced ceramics and powder metallurgy research group of the KU Leuven Department of Materials Engineering and the BIOMAT group of the KU Leuven Department of Oral Health Sciences.

Within these two research groups, we bridge the gap between engineers and dentists. We focus on investigating the interplay between structural integrity, surface and functional properties, and biological behavior of biomedical ceramics, with the specific intention to develop new (bio)materials for dental implants and restorations with prolonged clinical lifetime.

All-ceramic tooth restorations and implants have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they have clear advantages regarding biocompatibility and aesthetic appearance. However, the brittleness and low reliability of ceramics severely limits their design and lifetime. Recent and innovative approaches have been inspired by natural materials, such as bone and tooth, with high damage tolerance to overcome the brittleness. The significant advance in additive manufacturing (AM) over the past years has also enhanced the potential to mimic the heterogeneous and functionally graded architecture of natural materials. Furthermore, AM enables producing patient-specific implants with a customized geometry. In this context, this PhD project will focus on (1) developing zirconia and lithium-disilicate based ceramics that can be used as the building blocks in a bio-inspired architecture, and (2) assembling the ceramic building blocks into bioinspired architecture via AM. A multi-material AM approach will be applied to join different ceramic grades, targeting the production of a strong implant core with a damage-tolerant surface. The clinical potential of the fabricated dental devices will be evaluated in collaboration with dental clinicians and biologists within the group.

More information about the offer here.

Deadline to apply 30th June 2023.

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