Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 7027p.cann




Mrs Chrissy Stevens +44 (0)20 7594 7064




456BCity and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Philippa Cann is a Principal Research Fellow in the Tribology Group; her main research interests are in experimental studies of the lubrication mechanisms of complex fluids and the application of advanced experimental methods to the study of bio-lubrication.  Dr Cann’s first degree was in Chemistry from Kings College London University.  Her PhD studies in Tribology were undertaken at Imperial College and were under the supervision of Professor Alistair Cameron.     

In 2007 Dr Cann and Dr Daniele Dini established the Biotribology Group with a focus on implant tribology, articular cartilage damage mechanisms and soft contact lubrication.  Many of these activities are carried out in collaboration with Professor Justin Cobb (Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital).

In September 2011 Dr Cann and Dr Dini organised the first International Conference on Biotribology (ICoBT) which was held at Imperial College.  The Conference brought together over 200 delegates from a wide cross-section of Biotribology research.  A second ICoBT meeting will be held in Toronto 11-14th May  2014.  We also work widely with industry and recent research funding includes projects in dental and shaving tribology.

Dr Cann has published over 120 papers in tribology particularly on mechanisms of grease lubrication in rolling element bearings and more recently on synovial fluid lubrication of artificial joints.

In 2013 Dr Cann co-authored the  joint winner of the SAGE Best Paper Prize in 2012 published in Journal of Engineering in Medicine entitled  “Edge loading in metal-on-metal hips: low clearance is a new risk factor”

Dr Cann was awarded the Tribology Trust Silver Medal in 2004 and is the Editor-in-Chief of Tribology International.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Charalambides M, Bikos D, Masen M, et al., 2021, Effect of micro-aeration on the mechanical behaviour of chocolates and implications for oral processing, Food & Function, Vol:12, ISSN:2042-6496, Pages:4864-4886

Parkes M, Tallia F, Young G, et al., 2021, Tribological evaluation of a novel hybrid for repair of articular cartilage defects, Materials Science & Engineering C - Biomimetic and Supramolecular Systems, Vol:119, ISSN:0928-4931, Pages:1-10

Samaras G, Bikos D, Vieira J, et al., 2020, Measurement of molten chocolate friction under simulated tongue-palate kinematics: effect of cocoa solids content and aeration, Current Research in Food Science, Vol:3, ISSN:2665-9271, Pages:304-313

Porte E, Cann P, Masen M, 2020, A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels, Soft Matter, Vol:16, ISSN:1744-683X, Pages:10290-10300

Porte E, Cann P, Masen M, 2019, Fluid load support does not explain tribological performance of PVA hydrogels, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol:90, ISSN:1751-6161, Pages:284-294

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

De Laurentis N, Cann P, Lugt P, et al., 2017, The Influence of Base Oil Properties on the Friction Behaviour of Lithium Greases in Rolling/Sliding Concentrated Contacts, Tribology Letters, Vol:65, ISSN:1023-8883

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, ISSN:1873-2380, Pages:261-265

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

Tsui S, Tandy J, Myant C, et al., 2016, Friction measurements with yoghurt in a simulated tongue-palate contact, Biotribology, Vol:8, Pages:1-11

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

Fan J, Myant C, Underwood R, et al., 2012, Synovial fluid lubrication of artificial joints: protein film formation and composition, Faraday Discussions, Vol:156, ISSN:1359-6640, Pages:69-85

Myant CW, underwood R, fan J, et al., 2011, Lubrication of metal-on-metal hip joints: The effect of proteincontent and load on film formation and wear, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol:6, ISSN:1751-6161, Pages:30-40

Mavraki A, Cann PM, 2011, Lubricating film thickness measurements with bovine serum, Tribology International, Vol:44, ISSN:0301-679X, Pages:550-556

Fan J, Myant CW, Underwood R, et al., 2011, Inlet protein aggregation: a new mechanism for lubricating film formation with model synovial fluids, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H - Journal of Engineering in Medicine, Vol:225, ISSN:0954-4119, Pages:696-709

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