Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours


Faculty of Business and Law

School of Accountancy

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Professor Ross Crawford
Chair in Orthopaedic Research
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
Dr Phong Tran
Division / Faculty


When a biomaterial is implanted into the body and bacteria get into the implantation site, both the bacteria and tissue cells actively seek to establish their colonization on the biomaterial surface. This process, called ‘the race for the surface’ by Anthony Gristina in 1987, is still a subject of intense investigation. It is generally accepted that a biomaterial’s success in integrating with the body depends on if tissue cells win or the bacteria win the race. However, evidence from the literature has been accumulating to suggest that this ‘race for the surface’ is more complex and we should look at the picture more holistically.

Research activities

This project aims to investigate how the interactions of bacteria with tissue cells and with biomaterial surfaces influence the fate of the bacteria. Students will be embedded in a multidisciplinary team and working with material scientists, microbiologists and surgeons.


Using cutting-edge technological tools, students will design surfaces and conduct bacterial experiments to gain new understanding that can ultimately lead to the development of better antimicrobial implants for patients.

Skills and experience

background in chemical/medical/material engineering or biology/microbiology is required.

prior training/experience with tissue or bacteria culture is preferred.


Contact the supervisor for more information.