In the Composite Biomaterial Systems Laboratory, we conduct research and development in two general areas:

Bone Mechanics and Quality

Biomaterials for Skeletal Reconstruction

We can summarize our efforts as interdisciplinary investigation and innovation for improved bone health and repair. A great deal of what we do concerns structure-function-property relationships, how these change with aging and disease in bone, and how they can be optimized in the development of superior structural biomaterials.

What are Composite Biomaterial Systems?


Made up of multiple parts/phases.


  • A naturally-derived material, such as human tissue (e.g. bone, cartilage, tendon, etc.).
  • A material developed for biomedical applications (e.g. implantable biomaterials for the reconstruction of bone).


Representative of our holistic, interdisciplinary approach to research and development.

  1. Jan. 28, 2021Congratulations Cullen Tielemans for completion of your MASc

    Hard work pays off and now Cullen Tielemans has completed all of the requirements for his MASc degree.

    His thesis is titled "The Effects of Methacrylated Glucosamine on the Mechanical Properties of Gelatin Methacryloyl Hydrogels and Gelatin-Methacryloyl/Nanohydroxyapatite Composite Materials."

    Well done, Cullen!

  2. Dec. 31, 2020Congratulations to Sanaz Hashemi for passing her Comprehensive Exam!

    Congratulations to Sanaz Hashemi for passing her Comprehensive Exam!

    Sanaz is the WCBSL's second PhD student to reach this milesone since 2015 (when Prof. Willett joined the University of Waterloo).

  3. Dec. 31, 2020Congratulations Dr. Comeau for lastest paper in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering

    Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Comeau (former postdoc and research associate) for the publication of her recent work on functionalization of GelMA in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.

    Comeau, P.*, Willett, T.L., (2020) A Carbodiimide Coupling Approach for PEGylating GelMA and Further Tuning GelMA and GelMA-nHA Composite Properties. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering

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What we do:

Bone mechanics and bone quality research

Crack growth in cortical bone fracture specimen
A crack growing in cortical bone during fracture toughness testing.

Development of biomaterials for skeletal reconstruction

A vertebra model printed using our novel nanocomposite inks and digital light projection.