Imperial College London

Professor Aldo R. Boccaccini

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 6731a.boccaccini




210Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Boccaccini Research Group

 Institute of Biomaterials, Erlangen

Current members of the group at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

We work in a vibrant, multidisciplinary international research group, which currently consists of 22 PhD students and several postdocs/research fellows, visiting undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as academic visitors. We also host periodically a significant number of post-graduate students, researchers and visiting professors via our international collaborations and EU projects.

We work in collaboration with several academics at Imperial College London, specially at the Department of Materials. We collaborate also with both the Composites Centre and the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics at Imperial College London.

Research activities

The research themes of the group lie in the fields of glass, ceramics and composite materials for structural, biomedical and functional applications. The complete list of our publications is available here.

Glasses, ceramics and composites
Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD)
Biomedical material and tissue engineering
Materials for sustainable development and waste recycling 

Glasses, ceramics and composites

We are interested in the development of processing techniques based on powder technology, including nanoparticle technology, electrophoretic deposition, sintering techniques, melting and hot-pressing for fabrication of a variety of advanced materials. Examples of materials produced by these methods include: high-temperature resistant structural components (e.g . SiC fibre reinforced glasses and mullite matrix composites), optomechanical structures (e.g. transparent oxide fibre/glass matrix components), oxidation protection systems and other inorganic coatings (e.g. TiO2 coatings on metallic or ceramic substrates), porous materials (e.g. ceramic and glass foams, carbon bonded carbon fibre composites), nanostructured materials (e.g. carbon nanotube/glass and carbon nanotube/ceramic composites), intermetallic/ceramic composite coatings by electrochemical means, glass-ceramics and ceramic composites for radioactive waste encapsulation (e.g. pyrochlore/glass radioactive waste forms).

Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD)

EPD is one of the processing methods being investigated extensively in our group for fabrication of novel materials with complex micro- and nanostructures. The interest in EPD is based not only on its high versatility to be used with different materials and combinations of materials but also because EPD is a cost-effective method usually requiring simple equipment. With EPD particulate deposits can be made in seconds on suitable surfaces of planar or more complex geometry. Moreover EPD has a high potential for scaling up to large product volumes and sizes, as well as to a variety of product shapes and 3D complex structures. Current focus of our research is on EPD for production of novel ceramic matrix composites, deposition of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotube/ceramic nanoparticle coatings and for fabrication of bioactive nanoporous coatings.

Biomedical materials and tissue engineering

We have a large research programme focussing on the development of bioactive scaffolds for tissue engineering applications, mainly using melt-derived bioactive glasses (e.g. 45S5 Bioglass®) as the key components. In this area, we have pioneered the development of biodegradable polymer/Bioglass® composite foams for bone and soft tissue engineering. Further research involves the fabrication of Bioglass® -based glass-ceramic foams and the functionalisation of bioactive glass surfaces by polymer coatings, carbon nanotubes or protein binding. The investigations on materials for biomedical applications involve also the use of novel bacteria derived polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), in collaboration with Dr. I. Roy at University of Westminster, UK, the development of new biomaterials for engineered heart patches, in collaboration with Prof. S. Harding (National Heart and Lung Institute) and Prof. M. El Fray (Szceszin University, Poland), and the development of novel scaffolds for soft tissue engineering and enhanced vascularisation, in collaboration with Dr. S.Gabe and Dr T. Ansari, St Marks Hospital, London.

Materials for sustainable development and waste recycling

We carry out research investigating the reuse and recycling of industrial wastes. Main activities are devoted to the development and characterisation of novel silicate glasses and glass-ceramics from a wide range of wastes (e.g. building materials obtained from the melting and/or sintering of tailored mixtures of flyash, slag or municipal waste incinerator residues). Further work is related to the optimisation of heat-treatment process for production of glass-ceramics from vitrified air pollution control residues of municipal waste incinerators.

National and International collaborations

Collaborators within Imperial College in a number of research projects include:

  • Prof. C. Cheeseman (Department of Civil Engineering)
  • Dr F. Bresme (Department of Chemistry)
  • Prof. M. Shaffer (Department of Chemistry)
  • Prof. M. Ryan (Department of Materials)
  • Prof S. Harding (National Heart and Lung Institute)
  • Dr S. Gabe, Dr T. Ansari (St. Mark''s Hospital)
  • Prof. E. Saiz (Department of Materials)
  • Prof W. E. Lee (Department of Materials)

Other collaborators of our group within the UK (outside Imperial) are:

  • Dr I. Roy, University of Westminster
    Bacteria Derived PHAs and the PHA/Bioglass® composites
  • Dr I. D. Thompson, King''s College London
    Bioglass® applications in tissue engineering
  • Prof J. Knowles, Eastman Institute, UCL
    Characterisation of biomaterials
  • Prof R. Oreffo, University of Southampton
    Application of polymer/Bioglass® composites in bone tissue engineering
  • Dr Xuebin Yang, University of Leeds
    Application of polymer/Bioglass® composites in dental tissue engineering
  • Prof M. Edirishinge, UCL, London
    Ceramic scaffolds by novel fabrication techniques
  • Dr Vehid Salih, University of Plymouth
    Cell biology of Bioglass®-based glass-ceramic scaffolds
  • Prof Jingzhe Pan, University of Leicester
    Modelling of tissue engineering scaffolds
  • Dr Eva Valsami Jones, University of Birmingham
    Toxicology of nanoparticles
  • Dr Ifty Ahmed, University of Nottingham
       Composites for biomedical applications



International collaborators and research partners include:

  • Prof K. K. Chawla (University of Alabama at Birmingham),
  • Prof J. Stampfl (Technical University of Vienna)
  • Prof R. Conradt (RWTH Aachen Univ. of Technology)
  • Prof D. Eifler (University of Kaiserslautern)
  • Prof. M. El Fray (Szczecin University of Technology, Poland )
  • Prof. M. Ferraris (Polytechnic of Turin, Italy)
  • Prof E. Olevsky (San Diego State University)
  • Prof P. Colombo (University of Padova)
  • Dr I. Dlouhy (Brno, Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Prof C. Leonelli ( University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)
  • Prof Sasa Novak (Josef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)
  • Prof. C. Hellmich (Technical University of Vienna)
  • Prof. H. Haugen (University of Oslo)
  • Prof. L. Hupa (Turku University, Finland)
  • Prof. S. Nazhat, (Mc Gill University, Montreal, Canada)
  • Prof. V. Mourino (Univ. of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Prof J. Chevalier (INSA Lyon, France)
  • Prof. C. Kaya (Yildiz University, Turkey)
  • Prof W Stark (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Prof J Dickerson ( Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA)
  • Prof. B. Fabry (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
  • Prof. P. Greil (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
  • Prof. S. Virtanen (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
  • Prof. D. Schubert (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
  • Prof. J. Groll (University of Wuerzburg, Germany)
  • Prof. T. Scheibel (University of Bayreuth, Germany)
  • Prof. C. Fleck (TU Berlin, Germany)
  • Prof. O. Graeve (University of California, San Diego, USA)


Milo Shaffer, Imperial College London, Carbon nanotube containing composites

Cristina Leonelli, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, Glass-ceramic materials

Ipsita Roy, University of Westminster, Biopolymers

Dr Chris Cheeseman

Dr Alberto Caneiro, Centro Atomico Bariloche, Argentina, Functional ceramics by electrophoretic deposition

Dr Nadire Ali, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Myocardial tissue engineering

Prof. Sian Harding, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Myocardial tissue engineering

Professor WE (Bill) Lee, Imperial College London, Glass-ceramic matrix composites

Prof. Mohan Edirisinghe, University College London, Bioceramics