Tofail Syed

Tofail Syed


Dr Tofail Syed is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, University of Limerick and a member of the Bernal Institute of the same university. He has established in Ireland unique expertise in metallic and ceramic biomaterials, surface and interface analysis, nanomedicine and advanced manufacturing.

Dr Tofail has developed super-resolution chemical nanoscopy based on infra red and Raman spectroscopy for understanding disease processes, early diagnosis of diseases and monitoring therapeutic outcome. Such techniques are also critical in understanding and control of the interface between biological entity and non-biological materials.

He was key to the discovery of piezoelectricity, pyroelectricity and ferroelectricity in synthetic bone mineral, hydroxyapatite. Electrical activity such as piezoelectricity and electrical surface charge are considered to be significant in stimulating bone growth.

Dr Tofail has also developed a new alloy that overcomes the current poor visibility of biomedical metals such as NiTi used in minimally invasive surgical procedures. The alloy is 15 times cheaper compared to its Pt-doped counterparts while giving comparable radiopacity. He has also invented washable, self-sterilising woven textiles which can have numerous applications in hospital, nursing home, crèche, public transport for infection control. 

His clinical interests are in bridging nanotechnology and medicine to understand and treat diseases.

Dr Tofail has led two European FP7 projects as coordinator ( and and partnered in two FP7 projects.

Dr Tofail has won many awards and distinctions. For the development of the new radiopaque NiTi alloy he received the Academic/Emerging Medical Technology Company Gold Award 2013 for the development of n 2013 in Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards hosted by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA). He also received MSSI Special Award for Research 2013; Junior Chambers International The Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) 2012 Award for Limerick and Ireland, and Limerick Person of the Month Award for April 2012.  In 2015, he has been awarded a prestigious Visiting Professorship by the Rector of Wroclaw University of Technology and the President of Wroclaw City. His edited book has been honoured by the Royal Society of Chemistry as Book of the Month in August 2012.

Dr Tofail has published over 200 scientific publications, 3 granted patents, 32 patent applications. He has given 5 Plenary and 22 Invited lectures in international conferences.

Dr Tofail is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering and Editorial Board Member, Microscopy Research and Technique (2013-present). He is the incumbent Chair of the International Symposium for Electrets (2019-2021) and the Chair of the Workshop on Electrically Active Materials for Medical Devices (8-10 June, 2015).

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