Ti-based smart materials for load-bearing biomedical implants

Scientific Context of the Project

Ti and its alloys are the most common materials in orthopaedic and dental implants. However, some major clinical concerns are still valid, namely bone resorption due to stress shielding, lack of bioactivity, harmful effects after intense release of metallic ions and wear debris due to low tribocorrosion resistance, and infection, resulting in the need of a premature revision surgery. This PhD work aims at finding integrated solutions to these issues by developing novel Ti-based highly-porous smart composites, that will (i) reduce stress shielding by its low Young’s modulus, (ii) increase bioactivity by its micro-porous bioactive TiO2 film, (iii) increase tribocorrosion resistance by hard reinforcing phases having healable bioactive surfaces, that will give bioactivity under normal loading and high wear resistant under local excess contact pressures, and finally (iv) reduce infection risk by pH-sensitive agents encapsulating antimicrobial particles, that will release antimicrobial agents only when infection occurs. In this way, the development of smart surfaces with on-demand anti-wear and antimicrobial properties will be addressed for the first time in this work.

Innovative Aspects of the Project

The SMARTLANT project offers a highly challenging, innovative and original concept of smart hip stem in order to increase the lifetime of the implant materials and increase the life quality of the patients. The innovative nature of the project is based on its on-demand antimicrobial properties.

Various pH-sensing systems are rapidly evolving, particularly for biomedical applications; however, the development of MAO-treated smart surfaces with the on‐demand releasing capability of antimicrobial species will be addressed for the first time in this work. We claim that an intelligent surface that can regulate the release of antimicrobial agents and support the load in a way to minimize tribocorrosion damage can be a big step in avoiding infection and degradation on biomedical implants.

Research Environment and Infrastructure

IZTECH is among the top research universities in Turkey. Several projects are currently being performed in MSE in the fields of ferroelectric, piezoelectric, multiferroic materials, advanced ceramic materials, biomaterials, nanomaterials for drug delivery and semiconductors. IZTECH has all the key facilities to process, characterize and test smart Ti-based implant materials that will be developed during the project.

Preferred Academic Background

Materials Science and Engineering, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Bioengineering

Required GRE Score

GRE Quantitative 149.00

Project Acronym


Main Supervisor

Prof. Fatih Toptan (IZTECH)


Asst. Prof. Deniz Tanıl Yücesoy (IZTECH)

Assoc. Prof. Duygu Ege (BOUN)

Recruiting Institution

İzmir Institute of Technology, Graduate School, Urla/İzmir

PhD Awarding Institution

İzmir Institute of Technology, Graduate School

PhD Title

PhD in Materials Science and Engineering

International Academic Secondment

University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Intersectoral Mobility

AMGEN Türkiye and Istanbul Health Industry Cluster (ISEK)