Prof. George K. Toworfe


Professor George K. Toworfe was the founder and Head of the Department of Biomaterials Science at the University of Ghana College of Health Sciences between 1999 – 2002. He was also the Head of the Department of Basic Dental Science at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana. He has served on numerous committees and boards of the University of Ghana, College of Health Sciences and the Ministry of Health, notably: Academic boards, Committee for the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering Science, Hall Fellow of Mensah Sarbah Hall, Committee for the Proposed Biomedical Institute, committee for the Establishment of the Departments of Radiography, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Dental Technology, Interfaculty Appointments Committee, Ethics and Protocol Review Committee, Audit Review Committee, Faculty Practice Committee, Chairman of the Status Review Committee, Educational Committee, Member of Research Committee of the Ghana Dental Association. Interview panel member for Dental Technicians Diploma programme, Curriculum Development Committee for Dental Technologists, Dental Surgery Assistants & Oral Health.

Faculty Profile

Qualifications

  • PhD in Biomaterials Science, University of Manchester, UK
  • MPhil Materials Science, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • BSc Physics/Mathematics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Dip. Ed Science Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • MThS in Theological Studies from Adonai International Christian University, California, USA
  • QTS Mathematics, London Southbank University, UK
  • Postdoctoral in Biomedical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Certificate in IGCSE Physics Coursework Assessment, Cambridge University, UK

Research Portfolio & Scholarly Interests

» Biomedical Engineering/Tissue Engineering

» Biomedical Materials Science

Postdoctoral Research (2002 – 2006):

Protein adsorption on functionalized polymer surfaces for cellular attachment: NIH funded research grant for the study of ‘Functionalized surfaces for Bone Cell Adhesion’; Calcium phosphate deposition on functionalized surfaces for bone cell adhesion; Effect of functionalized and stretched elastic membrane on cellular function; Nanostructural control of the release of opioids to prevent their abuse. A Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) research grant to study the controlled release of an opioid analgesic for chronic pain relief (such as in cancer patients and post-operative patients) and also preventing its abuse.

Collaborators include: Center for Bioactive Materials & Tissue Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Department of Materials Science & Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania; Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia; Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Presbyterian Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Research experience in Biomaterials (1999 – 2002):

Biomaterials use in Ghana. Research based on use of Materials / Biomaterials among Ghanaian health specialists.

Collaborators: Department of Biomaterials Science, University of Ghana College of Health Sciences, Korle-Bu; Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Ghana. Shrinkage strain in a two-paste composite restorative material, Department of Basic Dental Science, University of Ghana College of Health Sciences.

Investigating the antibacterial action of commercially available (local) dentifrices. Collaborators: Department of Microbiology, University of Ghana Medical School; Departments Restorative Dentistry & Basic Dental Science, University of Ghana Dental School; & Unilever Ghana Ltd.

Honorary Research Fellow (2000 – 2002):

Biomaterials Science Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. I was part of a research team that studied: (i) polymerization shrinkage of experimental restorative material with pre-cured inclusions; (ii) physical and thermal properties of an ultra-hybrid resin-based composite. (in collaboration with the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Dundee, Scotland).

Ph.D. Research (1995 – 1998):

Time-dependent physico-mechanical behavior of dental restorative biomaterials. Investigating the time-dependent characteristic properties (physical, chemical, mechanical and thermal properties) of dental restorative biomaterials (in collaboration with the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Dundee, Scotland).

MPhil. Research (1991 – 1993):

Studies in Magnetic hysteresis of some metallic glasses. Developed and designed experimental techniques to investigate the effect of uniaxial stress on the magnetic hysteresis of metallic glasses, in both as-quenched & annealed states; and the implications for their use as transformer cores to reduce power losses.

B. Sc Honors project (1984 – 1988):

Optical Phenomenon in Semi-conductors (Cyclotron Resonance). Theoretical dissertation that reported the general case of the occurrence of Cyclotron resonance in semi-conductors situated in electric and magnetic fields (perpendicular to each other) with an incident electromagnetic wave. The aim of the study was to derive/deduce the occurrence of cyclotron resonance in semi conductors situated in a variable magnetic field.

Diploma in Education dissertation in Science Education (1984 – 1988):

Teaching of light and its applications at ‘O’ Level; Teaching Sound and Optics at ‘A’ Level. The essay sought to revise existing teaching syllabus in order to make it more practical oriented and more relevant to the General Certificate of Education ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level students.

Teaching Experience

Professor Toworfe has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in the research methods, probability & statistics, intermediate mathematics, introduction to probability & statistics, physics, mathematics, materials sciences, biomaterials science & biomedical engineering as well as carrying out and supervising research at a number of institutions (both local and international) including: Colleges in London & Southeast U.K; Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA; Department of Biomaterials Science, University of Ghana College of Health Sciences, Ghana.

Courses taught include: Introduction to Dental Materials Science; Dental Materials Science; Applied Dental Materials Science; Supervised postgraduate research projects in Dental Biomaterials Science; Biomaterials Science Unit, School of Dentistry, University of Manchester, UK; SOS-Herman Gmeiner International College, Tema, Ghana. (IB Diploma Physics & Mathematical Studies; Supervised IB Diploma students’ projects in Mathematical Studies and Physics; IGCSE Physics, Mathematics & Additional Mathematics); Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Ghana, Ghana. (Practical Physics for Physical Science & Biological Science students) & Physics of Materials; Ghana Education Service, (Mfantsiman Girls’ Secondary & Wesley Girls High Schools); Subjects taught: GCE ‘A’ Level Physics & Mathematics; GCE ‘O’ Level Physics, Mathematics & Additional Mathematics.

Activities

EDITORIAL/REVIEW BOARD POSITIONS

Since 1999, Dr Toworfe has served on editorial/review board positions of the following international scientific publications:

Institute of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB) Journal (India)
Applied Journal Oral Sciences (Brazil)
Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (USA)
Experimental Biology and Medicine (USA)
Biomaterials (USA)
Surface and Coatings journal (USA)
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research (USA)
Dental Materials (UK)
The Ghana Dental Journal (editor)
African Journal of Oral Health Sciences (Kenya)

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Member, Institute of Physics, UK

Selected Publishing Portfolio

Professor Toworfe has made presentations at international conferences, workshops and seminars in the fields of biomedical engineering, tissue engineering, biomaterials science, materials science and published extensively.

Teaching & Research

Biomaterials

Biomaterials course provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the physical and mechanical properties of biomaterials. The course aims to bring an understanding of the fundamental relationships between the mechanical properties of a range of biomaterials and the biomedical applications of those materials. It looks at several applications of materials and the principles that have led to the choice of biomaterials for those applications. The use and properties of each type of material will be discussed in the light of current clinical applications (implants, surgical tools, catheters, biological implants).

Research Methods

This course is designed to instruct postgraduate (as well as undergraduate students doing research) students in how to conduct research and publish their research findings. The course is also designed to assist them in defining their mode of enquiry and to guide students through a range of issues and considerations which should inform their general approach to research. It will give students a general introduction to postgraduate research, its methodologies, its challenges and its organisation, including in creative practice.