Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Bioengineering

Senior Strategic Teaching Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 9568maria.parkes04




B325Bessemer BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

10 results found

Parkes M, Tallia F, Young G, Cann P, Jones J, Jeffers Jet al., 2021, Tribological evaluation of a novel hybrid for repair of articular cartilage defects, Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications, Vol: 119, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0928-4931

The friction and wear properties of silica/poly(tetrahydrofuran)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (SiO2/PTHF/PCL-diCOOH) hybrid materials that are proposed as cartilage tissue engineering materials were investigated against living articular cartilage. A testing rig was designed to allow testing against fresh bovine cartilage. The friction force and wear were compared for five compositions of the hybrid biomaterial articulating against freshly harvested bovine cartilage in diluted bovine calf serum. Under a non-migrating contact, the friction force increased and hence shear force applied to the opposing articular cartilage also increased, resulting in minor damage to the cartilage surface. This worse case testing scenario was used to discriminate between material formulations and revealed the increase in friction and damaged area was lowest for the hybrid containing the most silica. Further friction and wear tests on one hybrid formulation with an elastic modulus closest to that of cartilage were then conducted in a custom incubator system. This demonstrated that over a five day period the friction force, cell viability and glucosaminoglycan (GAG) release into the lubricant were similar between a cartilage-cartilage interface and the hybrid-cartilage interface, supporting the use of these materials for cartilage repair. These results demonstrate how tribology testing can play a part in the development of new materials for chondral tissue engineering.

Journal article

Stevenson H, Parkes M, Austin L, Jaggard M, Akhbri P, Vaghela U, Williams H, Gupte C, Cann PMet al., 2018, The development of a small-scale wear test for CoCrMo specimens with human synovial fluid, Biotribology, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2352-5738

A new test was developed to measure friction and wear of hip implant materials under reciprocating sliding conditions. The method requires a very small amount of lubricant (<3 ml) which allows testing of human synovial fluid. Friction and wear of Cobalt Chromium Molybdenum (CoCrMo) material pairs were measured for a range of model and human synovial fluid samples. The initial development of the test assessed the effect of fluid volume and bovine calf serum (BCS) concentration on friction and wear. In a second series of tests human synovial fluid (HSF) was used. The wear scar size (depth and volume) on the disc was dependent on protein content and reduced significantly for increasing BCS concentration. The results showed that fluid volumes of <1.5 ml were affected by evaporative loss effectively increasing the protein concentration resulting in anomalously lower wear. At the end of the test thick deposits were observed in and around the wear scars on the disc and ball; these were analysed by Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy. The deposits were composed primarily of denatured proteins and similar IR spectra were obtained from the BCS and HSF tests. The analysis confirmed the importance of SF proteins in determining wear of CoCrMo couples.

Journal article

Milner P, Parkes M, Puetzer J, Chapman R, Cann P, Stevens M, Jeffers Jet al., 2018, A low friction, biphasic and boundary lubricating hydrogel for cartilage replacement, Acta Biomaterialia, Vol: 65, Pages: 102-111, ISSN: 1742-7061

Partial joint repair is a surgical procedure where an artificial material is used to replace localised chondral damage. These artificial bearing surfaces must articulate against cartilage, but current materials do not replicate both the biphasic and boundary lubrication mechanisms of cartilage. A research challenge therefore exists to provide a material that mimics both boundary and biphasic lubrication mechanisms of cartilage.In this work a polymeric network of a biomimetic boundary lubricant, poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) (PMPC), was incorporated into an ultra-tough double network (DN) biphasic (water phase + polymer phase) gel, to form a PMPC triple network (PMPC TN) hydrogel with boundary and biphasic lubrication capability. The presence of this third network of MPC was confirmed using ATR-FTIR. The PMPC TN hydrogel had a yield stress of 26 MPa, which is an order of magnitude higher than the peak stresses found in the native human knee. A preliminary pin on plate tribology study was performed where both the DN and PMPC TN hydrogels experienced a reduction in friction with increasing sliding speed which is consistent with biphasic lubrication. In the physiological sliding speed range, the PMPC TN hydrogel halved the friction compared to the DN hydrogel indicating the boundary lubricating PMPC network was working.A biocompatible, tough, strong and chondral lubrication imitating PMPC TN hydrogel was synthesised in this work. By complementing the biphasic and boundary lubrication mechanisms of cartilage, PMPC TN hydrogel could reduce the reported incidence of chondral damage opposite partial joint repair implants, and therefore increase the clinical efficacy of partial joint repair.Statement of SignificanceThis paper presents the synthesis, characterisation and preliminary tribological testing of a new biomaterial that aims to recreate the primary chondral lubrication mechanisms: boundary and biphasic lubrication. This work has demonstrated that the

Journal article

Parkes M, Cann P, Jeffers J, 2017, Real-time observation of fluid flows in tissue during stress relaxation using Raman spectroscopy, Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 60, Pages: 261-265, ISSN: 1873-2380

This paper outlines a technique to measure fluid levels in articular cartilage tissue during an unconfined stress relaxation test. A time series of Raman spectrum were recorded during relaxation and the changes in the specific Raman spectral bands assigned to water and protein were monitored to determine the fluid content of the tissue. After 1000 s unconfined compression the fluid content of the tissue is reduced by an average of 3.9% ± 1.7%. The reduction in fluid content during compression varies between samples but does not significantly increase with increasing strain. Further development of this technique will allow mapping of fluid distribution and flows during dynamic testing making it a powerful tool to understand the role of interstitial fluid in the functional performance of cartilage.

Journal article

Parkes M, Sayer K, Goldhofer M, Cann P, Walter WL, Jeffers Jet al., 2017, Zirconia phase transformation in retrieved, wear simulated and artificially aged ceramic femoral heads, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol: 35, Pages: 2781-2789, ISSN: 1554-527X

Zirconia in Zirconia toughened alumina ceramic hip replacements exists in an unstable state and can transform in response to stress giving the material improved fracture toughness. Phase transformation also occurs under hydrothermal conditions such as exist in vivo. To predict the hydrothermal aging that will occur in vivo accelerated aging procedures have been used, but validation of these models requires the study of retrieved hip joints. Here 26 retrievals are analysed to determine the degree of phase transformation in vivo. These were compared with virgin heads, heads that had undergone the accelerated aging process and heads wear tested to 5 million cycles in a hip simulator. Monoclinic content and surface roughness were measured using Raman spectroscopy and white light interferometry respectively. The monoclinic content for retrieved heads was 28.5% ± 7.8, greater than twice that in virgin, aged or wear tested heads and did not have a significant correlation with time, contrary to the predictions of the hydrothermal aging model. The surface roughness for retrieved heads in the unworn area was not significantly different to that in virgin, aged or unworn areas of wear tested heads. However in worn areas of the retrieved heads, the surface roughness was higher than observed in wear simulator testing. These results indicate that current testing methodologies do not fully capture the operational conditions of the material and the real performance of future new materials may not be adequately predicted by current pre-clinical testing methods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Journal article

Parkes M, Myant C, Cann PM, Wong JSSet al., 2015, Synovial fluid lubrication: The effect of protein interactions on adsorbed and lubricating films, Biotribology, Vol: 1-2, Pages: 51-60, ISSN: 2352-5738

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Synovial fluid lubrication is dependent on protective protein films that form between joint surfaces. Under static conditions surface film formation occurs through adsorption, while under dynamic conditions protein aggregation under shear and load becomes the dominant mechanism. This work examines how the protein content of six model synovial fluids affects film formation under static and rolling conditions and if the changes in properties can be correlated. With an increase in the statically adsorbed mass and the rate of adsorption the film thickness under rolling increased. These increases did not correlate with the total protein content of the fluid, but were dependent on the type of protein. An increase in pH reduced the adsorbed mass, rate of adsorption and film thickness, but was of secondary importance to the type of protein. The rolling film thickness was also correlated with the viscoelastic properties of the films formed under static conditions. In this case thinner rolling films corresponded to the more hydrated, viscoelastic adsorbed films. The strong correlations found between the properties of the adsorbed films and those formed under rolling indicate that the same protein-protein and protein-surface interactions may govern both mechanisms of film formation despite the differences in the film structures.

Journal article

Quadling A, Vandeperre L, Parkes M, Lee WEet al., 2015, Second Phase-Induced Degradation of Fused MgO Partially Stabilized Zirconia Aggregates, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY, Vol: 98, Pages: 1364-1371, ISSN: 0002-7820

Journal article

Parkes M, Myant C, Dini D, Cann Pet al., 2014, Tribology-optimised silk protein hydrogels for articular cartilage repair, Tribology International, Pages: ---, ISSN: 0301-679X

Journal article

Parkes M, Myant C, Cann PM, Wong JSSet al., 2014, The effect of buffer solution choice on protein adsorption and lubrication, Tribology International, Vol: 72, Pages: 108-117, ISSN: 0301-679X

Journal article

Roberts O, Lunt AJG, Ying S, Sui T, Baimpas N, Dolbnya IP, Parkes M, Dini D, Kreynin SM, Neo TK, Korsunsky AMet al., 2014, A study of phase transformation at the surface of a zirconia ceramic, Publisher: Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2014, Pages: 1173-1177

Yttria Partially Stabilized Zirconia (YPSZ) is one of the most important engineering ceramic materials in that it displays a whole host of outstanding structural and functional properties. Of particular importance for load-bearing applications is the remarkable fracture toughness of YPSZ that arises from its ability to undergo martensitic transformation, a phase transformation that is dependent on stress, temperature, time, humidity, grain size, and the proximity of an interface. The present study was aimed at revealing the influence of the thermal ageing on the tetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation in the near-surface regions of YPSZ. In order to perform qualitative and quantitative characterisation of the phase composition, three principal microscopic techniques were employed: atomic force microscopy, depth resolved Raman micro-spectroscopy, and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Satisfactory consistency was achieved between the results obtained using different techniques. Moreover, the data obtained in this way displayed complementarity that provided valuable input for the development of thermodynamic modelling of the complex inter-dependence between phase state and processing history of zirconia ceramics.

Conference paper

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