Theo Mossop is a PhD student in I-Form at University College Dublin. He completed a Masters in Materials Science & Engineering in 2018 and also spent time working as an automotive metals specialist. Theo’s PhD is focussed on the development of novel titanium alloys for additive manufacturing.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
Theo’s research project is to develop novel titanium alloys for additive manufacturing. Currently the majority of titanium that is used in biomedical implants is in the form of one or two alloys. There is a revolution going on in this field brought on by additive manufacturing, but these alloys were not designed with this in mind. This has left a gap for new alloys which can fulfil the needs of biomedical implants better, while also requiring less post-processing, thus reducing costs.
This project could be very impactful because the current state-of-the-art titanium alloys have room for improvement in their properties when it comes to biomedicals implants. The research could increase safety margins, and improve patient health in all forms of orthopaedic implants.
Theo’s research will be focused on β-phase titanium alloys. This is a phase of titanium that is usually only stable at high temperatures. It has many advantages over the main technologies, which usually use α-phase or duplex α+β alloys. One major advantage is that β-Ti is considerably less stiff than α. This is a very important consideration in implants because if an implant is stiffer than the host bone, it creates a phenomenon called stress shielding, which reduces local bone density – leading to implant failure. With a hybrid approach of design for additive manufacture and less stiff alloys, the stiffness of bone can be closely matched and avoid this problem.