UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Biomaterials and Surgical Reconstruction

Our internationally renowned Centre for Biomaterials in Surgical Reconstruction and Regeneration (CBSRR) develops innovative materials and devices that address real medical needs.

Our work

As a multidisciplinary team of academics (cell biologists, chemists, engineers and material scientists) and clinicians, we deliver new knowledge, inventions and clinical solutions by innovating new biomaterials, scaffolds, nanomedicine and devices.

Our strengths

Fundamental understanding

  • Correlation of structure and properties of biomaterials at multiple scales
  • Self-assembling behaviour of nanoparticles and macromolecules
  • Interface between biomaterials and cells / tissues.


  • Synthesis and characterisation of novel polymers, bioglass / ceramics, polymer composites, nanomaterials, and nanocomposites.
  • Design, manufacture and characterisation of multifunctional implants and scaffolds for tissue construction and regeneration, assisted drug discovery & delivery, biosensors and devices.
  • Design, manufacturing and characterisation of nano-vehicles and 3D models for drug discovery and delivery with controlled release
  • Biofunctionalization and modifying the physicochemical properties of materials to direct desirable biological interactions and guide the fate of cells / stem cells.

Clinical translation

  • Preclinical assessments of cell therapy, nanomedicine, implants and devices.
  • Clinical trials of implants and devices.

Our research areas include

Design and syntheses of novel biomaterials

  • Functional elastomers and nanocomposites
  • Degradable natural and synthetic hydrogels
  • Bioactive bioglass and bioceramics
  • Multi-functional nanoparticles, nanocomplex and nanofibres.

Tissue engineering for tissue regeneration and drug discovery

  • Design and fabrication of scaffolds for both soft and hard tissue regeneration including bone, breast, cartilage, cornea, heart valve, maxillofacial, muscle, nerves, tendon, skin, hair follicle, vascular vessels etc
  • 3D tissue / disease models for drug discovery and high-throughput drug screening.

Understanding the biomaterial - biological interface

  • Regulation and direction cell / stem cell fate by ECM and ECM-mimics at multiple scales
  • Dynamic microenvironment and responsive scaffolds for guiding cell/stem cell niche.

Nanomaterials and scaffolds for targeted drug delivery with controlled release

  • Regulation and direction cell / stem cell fate by ECM and ECM-mimics at multiple scales
  • Dynamic microenvironment and responsive scaffolds for guiding cell/stem cell niche.


  • 3D printing scaffolds for both soft and hard tissue regeneration
  • 3D bioprinting cell-laden synthetic tissues/organs
  • Electrospun nano-fibrous scaffolds for tissue regeneration
  • Acoustic atomiser for surface coating of implants and scaffolds
  • Design and production of nanoparticles
  • Development of novel bio-fabrication techniques and processes: 3D rotational printer, electrospinning and coagulation extrusion.

Implantable biosensors, electronics and devices

  • Piezoelectric nanofibre-based acoustic biosensors for cochlea implants
  • Implantable electrochemical biosensors
  • Soft stents and robotics for respiratory devices
  • Stimuli-responsive soft actuators and robotics 
  • 3D printed personalised devices for surgical reconstruction and assisted cell therapy.

Our facilities

We have state-of-the-art facilities for synthesis, process, and physico-chemical and biological characterisation and imaging. These include an imaging suite containing TEM, SEM, AFM, confocal and 3D digital microscopy, a polymer chemistry laboratory and biomanufacturing laboratory equipped with commercial and custom-made 3D printers and bioprinters, electrospinning / electro-spraying equipment, and vascular graft coagulation extrusion housed within a GMP/GLP environment.

Imaging facilities and equipment

  • FESEM with EDX
  • TEM
  • confocal microscope
  • fluorescent microscope
  • 3D digital light microscope

Physico-chemical characterisation equipment

  • FTIR
  • UV-Vis
  • dynamic light scattering particle size analyser
  • contact angle measurement
  • mechanical test machine
  • rheometer
  • laser vibrometer

Bio-manufacturing facilities

  • 3D printers (FDM, SLA and DLP)
  • 3D bioprinters (micro-extruders and DLP)
  • electrospinning system
  • coagulation extrusion
  • acoustic atomiser coating
  • laser cutter

Access our facilities 

Centre for Biomaterials in Surgical Reconstruction and Regeneration (CBSRR)

Academic staff

Wenhui Song profile

Head: Prof. Wenhui Song
Professor of Biomaterials & Medical Engineering

Janice Tsui

Deputy Head: Prof. Janice Tsui
Professor of Vascular Surgery

Gavin Jell

Prof. Gavin Jell
Head of Education, Professor of Nanotechnology

Dr Hirak Patra

Dr Hirak Patra
Associate Professor of Nanotechnology

George Hamilton

Prof. George Hamilton
Professor of Vascular Surgery

Peter Butler

Prof. Peter Butler
Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Ash Mosahebi

Prof. Afshin (Ash) Mosahebi
Professor of Plastic Surgery

Kaveh Shakib

Prof. Kaveh Shakib
Associate Professor, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Research fellows and assistants

Dr Jinke Chang

Dr Jinke Chang

Dr Alexandru Chivu

Dr Alexandru Chivu

Dr Xia Huang

Dr Xia Huang

Dr Azadeh Razaei

Dr Azadeh Razaei

 Dr Lei Wu profile

Dr Lei Wu

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Mr Thomas Lester

Honorary staff

Mr Daryll Baker

Mr Daryll Baker

Roundel icon of a silhouette in grey

Dr Michelle Griffin

Roundel icon of a silhouette in grey

Mr Chung Lim

Nima Naderi

Miss Nima Naderi

Dr Shao-An Xue

Dr Shao-An Xue

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Prof. Xuetong Zhang
Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellow

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Funding / Partnerships

There are several on-going projects in different stages of clinical and preclinical studies. These include cardiovascular grafts and stents, soft tubular organs, muscle, artificial cornea, cartilage and bone tissue engineering, chronic wound healing materials, artificial cochlea, breast implants, maxillofacial implants and light responsive soft robotics.

Funding is provided by the EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Bone Cancer Research Trust, Osteoarthritis UK, British Heart Foundation, Royal Free Charity and industry.

Select publications

  1. Song, W. (2022). A smart sensor that can be woven into everyday life. Nature, 603, 585-586.
  2. Cheesbrough, A., Sciscione, F., Darbyshire, A., Song, W., et al. (2022). Biobased Elastomer Nanofibers Guide Light‐Controlled Human‐iPSC‐Derived Skeletal Myofibers. Advanced Materials, 34 (18), 2110441.
  3. Rezaei, A., Li, Y., Turmaine, M., Bertazzo, S., Jell, G., et al. (2022). Hypoxia mimetics restore bone biomineralisation in hyperglycaemic environments. Scientific Reports, 12 (1), 13944.
  4. Georgi, M., Morka, N., Patel, S., Kazzazi, D., Tsui, J., et al. (2022). The Impact of Same Gender Speed-Mentoring on Women's Perceptions of a Career in Surgery - A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Surgical Education.
  1. Zhu, G. H., Azharuddin, M., Islam, R., Patra, H.K., et al. (2021). Innate Immune Invisible Ultrasmall Gold Nanoparticles-Framework for Synthesis and Evaluation. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
  2. Viola, G., Chang, J., Maltby, T., Steckler, F., Song, W., et al. (2020). Bio-inspired multi-resonant acoustic devices based on electrospun piezoelectric polymeric nanofibres. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces.
  3. Li, G., Hong, G., Dong, D., Song, W., & Zhang, X. (2018). Multi-responsive Graphene Aerogel-directed Phase Change Smart Fibres. Advanced Materials.
  4. Wu, L., Liu, C., Darbyshire, A., Loizidou, M., Emberton, M., Song, W., et al. (2018). Stiffness memory of indirectly 3D-printed elastomer nanohybrid regulates, chondrogenesis and osteogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells. Biomaterials, Vol. 186, Dec. 64-79.

Related courses

Public Lectures

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