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Materials Engineering & Material-Tissue Interactions

Division C - Department of Engineering

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Alba C de Luca

Dr Alba C de Luca

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Associate Member of St Edmund's College

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 748534

Research Interests

Protein adsorption and cell attachment are the first cellular events taking place when the implant surface encounters the tissue, followed by cell adhesion and bone mineralisation. In this context, surface modifications may significantly affect the initial osteoblast response and their phenotypic expression, encouraging cell growth and osseointegration.  Patterns in the micrometer range have been found to affect cell attachment, migration, proliferation and orientation, whilst nanometer features are responsible for protein adsorption, receptor activation, and focal adhesion formation and organisation. Chemical modifications leading to biomimetic surfaces have also been shown to stimulate structural components of the forming bone, improving osteoblast-like cell differentiation and higher mineralisation on the substrates.

My research is focused on the response of foetal human osteoblasts (fHObs) to stainless steel substrates modified both physically and chemically.


  • Dr. Mareike Zink (Soft Matter Physics Division, University of Leipzig, Germany);
  • Prof. Stefan Mayr (Leibniz Institute for Surface Modification (IOM), University of Leipzig, Germany);
  • Prof. Matteo Santin (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, UK).


  • Human bone cell responses