ISIS User wins prestigious prize for glass research

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Dr Martin, Aston University

For the past 15 years, Dr Martin, Aston University has been using GEM and other ISIS instruments to study the atomic structure of a range of glasses.
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Long-term ISIS user, Dr Richard Martin from Aston University has been awarded the Gottardi Prize for his work on glasses. The prestigious prize, awarded by the International Commission on Glass, recognises young people with outstanding achievements in the field of glass in research and development, teaching, writing, management or commerce.

Dr Martin received his prize at the 24th International Congress on Glass in Shanghai on 08th April 2016.

For the past 15 years, Dr Martin has been using GEM and other ISIS instruments to study the atomic structure of a range of glasses. The past 10 years his research has specifically focused on bioactive glasses, with the aim of understanding how their dissolution properties influence their bioactivity, in order to better design future bioactive glasses.

Bioactive glasses are widely used as synthetic implant materials to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone in patients with small bone defects. They are also used in glass ceramics cements and more recently there has been great interest in also using bioactive glasses in toothpaste to strengthen enamel.

The structural arrangement of bioactive glasses determines how they behave in vivo and how bioactive glasses dissolve which is the first step in promoting bone regeneration. Bioactive glasses typically contain calcium and phosphorus, the main building blocks of bone, which when implanted slowly dissolve in the body and then precipitate into bone material. The release rate can also be designed to stimulate biological response and can be tailored according to the desired application.

Scanning electron microscopy images of bioactive glass

Scanning electron microscopy images. Top: Bioactive glass surface. Bottom: Formation of hydroxyapatite onto the bioactive glass surface after soaking in a simulated body fluid. Credit: RA Martin
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By using GEM, Dr Martin has studied the local structure of these bioactive glass to help understand how the network and glass structure influences the release of bioactive materials.

Dr Martin would like to acknowledge the School of Engineering and Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing at Aston University for the provision of excellent glass manufacturing and characterizing facilities necessary for the preparation of samples prior to the experiments at ISIS. He would also like to acknowledge ISIS for the allocations of beam-time and support from the instrument scientists.

Dr Martin's research has been highlighted in the ISIS Annual Review 2013 (pg 21)

For further information, please see:

Martin R A, et al. An examination of the calcium and strontium site distribution in bioactive glasses through isomorphic neutron diffraction, X-ray diffraction, EXAFS and multinuclear solid state NMR. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 22212, (2012).

DOI: 10.1039/C2JM33058J

Martin R A, et al. A structural investigation of the alkali metal site distribution within bioactive glass using neutron diffraction and multinuclear solid state NMR. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 14, 12105, (2012).

DOI: 10.1039/C2CP41725A

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