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3D printing of scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

This project aims to develop multifunctional novel bioactive tissue scaffolds using 3D printing, biomaterials science and controlled drug delivery systems to enhance tissue regeneration. Tissue scaffolds are 3D structures that mimic natural tissues’ architecture and support cell growth and differentiation. While tremendous progress has been made in developing scaffolds, developing tissue scaffolds for interfacial tissues such as osteochondral tissue is still challenging.3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, continues to attract attention in the tissue engineering community for its flexibility and customisability. Compared to conventional manufacturing processes, 3D printing has the advantage of fabricating 3D constructs to produce personalised tissue engineering scaffolds with controllable complex geometries to directly match the natural tissue.Applicants will be required to demonstrate their experience in mechanical engineering, bioengineering, medical engineering, or any other related fields, understanding of engineering design, design optimisation, and engineering materials. Knowledge of experimental methods of using 3D printing is desirable.


Zhang, B., Huang, J. and Narayan, R.J., 2020. Gradient scaffolds for osteochondral tissue engineering and regeneration. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 8(36), pp.8149-8170.Zhang, B., Guo, L., Chen, H., Ventikos, Y., Narayan, R.J. and Huang, J., 2020. Finite element evaluations of the mechanical properties of polycaprolactone/hydroxyapatite scaffolds by direct ink writing: Effects of pore geometry. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 104, p.103665.Zhang, B., Gleadall, A., Belton, P., Mcdonagh, T., Bibb, R. and Qi, S., 2021. New insights into the effects of porosity, pore length, pore shape and pore alignment on drug release from extrusion based additive manufactured pharmaceuticals. Additive Manufacturing, 46, p.102196.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Bin Zhang - Dr Bin Zhang is a Lecturer in Additive Manufacturing in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Bin obtained her PhD in 2021 from University College London on additive manufacturing, i.e., three-dimensional (3D) printing of drug-loaded 3D biocomposite bone tissue scaffolds. In 2018-2019, Bin was a visiting scholar in the department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the USA and worked on topics related to patterned surfaces with controllable drug doses using inkjet 3D printing and fabrication of microneedle sensors using stereolithography 3D printing. Before joining Brunel University London, Bin had worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia and the Department of Engineering and Technology at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research focuses on the 3D printing of micro medical devices, the development of drug-loaded devices with extrusion-based 3D printing methods as well as 3D printing techniques for the development of medical training models.