Dr. M. Shah Jahan
The focus of the Biomaterials Research Laboratory is to understand microscopic processes
that bring about macroscopic changes in material properties. The lab employs a number
of spectroscopic techniques to evaluate the production of free radicals in sterilized
implants. This work has led to changes in the manufacturing processes used by the
orthopedic industry. Over the last decade, the lab has expanded to provide analytical
services for most of the world’s orthopedic manufacturers.
The laboratory has a state-of-the-art Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) Radical Analyzer
(Bruker Instruments). The ESR technique is unique in its ability to elucidate molecular
defect sites in various materials, which are often pre-cursors to material property
degradation. The laboratory also employs a number of optical emission and spectroscopic
techniques, including UV/VIS/NIR spectrophotometry, thermoluminescence and radiation-induced
emission. These experimental techniques can be carried out at material temperatures
from 25 to 500 Kelvin.
These powerful scientific tools allow researchers to put together a fundamental understanding
of material behavior in various environments. The ultimate result is a predictive
model that can be used to improve man-made materials like those used in hip and knee
joint replacements. Researchers work closely with colleagues at Los Alamos National
Laboratory, providing experimentation and expertise to assist with the US Nuclear
Stockpile Stewardship program.
Analytical Services for Industry and Research Institutions
The Physics department has a wealth of analytical resources that can be applied to
industrial Research and Development projects on a fee-for-service basis. For example,
faculty and researchers support various industrial organizations in the fields of
polymer research and orthopedics like Cambridge Polymer Group, Smith & Nephew Orthopedics,
Wright Medical Technologies, Inc., and a host of others. All information is kept completely
confidential to preserve the proprietary intellectual property interests.
Research in free radicals is applied in areas such as medical devices, artificial
joints, sunscreen products, and a range of agricultural applications. Application
of free radical research also involves studying the amount of radiation exposure,
such as from a nuclear reactor incident like that in Japan.
Examples of Analytical Services:
Quantification of Free Radical Concentration in crosslinked and conventional polyethylene
Characterization of the reflectivity properties in tanning lotion formulae using optical
Examples of Ongoing Projects
- Free Radicals in Biomaterials
- Polyethylene components of hip and knee replacements
- Polyurethane binder in nuclear stockpile materials
- Polymer aging
- Surface modification and sterilization effects in biomaterials
Collaborators and Affiliates
For more information, please contact Dr. M. Shah Jahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901.678.2620.