NOVA is an innovative multi- and inter-disciplinary Fellowship hosted by the University of Birmingham in the UK with the primary aim to develop antimicrobial graphene oxide (GO)-lanthanide glasses (Ln)-hydroxyapatite (HA) composites for bone repair. The proposed research is a novel research direction, and there is no previously published research on what is proposed to be a new class of multi-functional composites. The research was conducted to address the following scientific questions:
(i) Will the developed innovative composites prevent bacterial adhesion and proliferation?
(ii) Can these materials influence osteoblastic cell behaviour regarding adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation?
(iii) Do the developed composites show any luminescence behaviour?
The aims and objectives of NOVA have been successfully achieved and are reported in detail in the technical report part B.
During NOVA, the luminescence, antibacterial and osteoblastic cell culture studies of Lanthanides Hydroxyapatite (Ln-HA) composites; Lanthanide Hydroxyapatite plus Graphene oxide mixed composites were successfully achieved. Results support the argument that lanthanum-doped hydroxyapatite composites present enhanced osteoblastic cell response and antibacterial activity - the two key features contributing to an improved biological outcome for the next-generation bone grafts. All developed materials presented antibacterial activity, as compared to the positive control (culture plate with no antibacterial activity). The lower values correlate with the highest antibacterial activity, as discussed. Most of the exploitation plans initially proposed have been achieved.
The REF rating and the quality of Dr Nandyala’s research work have been impacted and recognised by:
Impact on Dr Nandyala’s career
Dr Nandyala developed friendly teamwork in the research group and trained students in the lab policies, good lab practice and procedures such as how to write COSHH forms, Risk Assessment and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and providing practical training such as Furnaces, 3D printers, Micro CT, FTIR, SEM, XRD instruments etc. In the duration of the NOVA, Dr Nandyala have been trained NMR and SPS instruments at Queen Mary University London. Dr Nandyala have been supervised the following two MSc Engineering students from May till September 2018.
Mr. Bibo Zhao ID: 1768886
Project: Development of Lanthanum doped glass reinforced hydroxyapatite composites
Mr. Chris Miller ID: 1578274
Project: The effect of lanthanides and glass formers on the structure and properties of a glass-ceramic hydroxyapatite composites.
The career objectives of the Dr Nandyala will be getting further research funding to keep developing his further research projects and goals. Further, Dr Nandyala has gained international visibility and made connections with other academics from the NASA collaboration and joint publications are under submission stage. Furthermore, Dr Nandyala has received the first time an opportunity for a keynote lecture from Japan. Thanks to NOVA, Dr Nandyala’s number of citations has been increased to 1300 from 1000 since 2017. Dr Nandyala, has secured and started a new staff position at the School of Materials and Metallurgy, University of Birmingham as a technical research officer in the H2020-MSCA-ITN, DOC-3D Printing project as a technical support to train a new generation of Early-Stage Researchers.