Dr Sammons graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1976 with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences. She gained her PhD in 1980 on the biochemistry and genetics of spore germination of Bacillus subtilis 168. She was then awarded a Royal Society European Exchange Fellowship to work at the Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS, Gif-sǔr-Yvette, France on chromosomal rearrangements in Bacillus subtilis trpE26. She returned to Birmingham in 1982 to resume work on the molecular biology of bacterial spore germination but in 1988 she moved to the Department of Anatomy, to take up a Research Fellowship as a cell biologist. In 1991 she was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the charity “Action Research” to work on the molecular biology of osteoblast-hydroxyapatite interactions and the influence of calcium phosphate phase variability in plasma sprayed coatings on bone cell behaviour. She moved to the School of Dentistry and was made a lecturer in biomaterials in 1997, senior lecturer in 2005 and has been Course Leader of the BMedSc(Biomedical Materials Science) degree programme since 2001.
Infections associated with implanted medical devices cause considerable problems because they can rarely be successfully treated with antibiotics and in most cases the implant has to be removed. Dr Sammons research focuses on ways to improve cellular attachment and differentiation on titanium surfaces and inhibit bacterial attachment and proliferation. This may include ion implantation or application of coatings (especially hydroxyapatite) which optimise the tissue response and reduce bacterial interactions. Sammons has published several papers on biofilms and biomineralisation, having worked for several years on the manufacture of hydroxyapatite by a species of Serratia bacteria. She maintains collaborative links with researchers and companies in Japan, initiated by a BBSRC Japan Partnering award, and in Europe via membership of a Eureka! Consortium, as well as collaborative links with Italian and Swedish researchers, working on cell-dental implant interactions and degradation of bone-substitute materials, using the scanning electron microscope as an investigative tool. She was recently awarded a grant from the Furlong Charitable Foundation to carry out a collaborative programme of research on the development of reinforced artificial ligaments.
(Chapter in a Book) Sammons, RL. (2011) “Modifying biomaterial surfaces to optimise interactions with bone” In Williams R (ed) Surface modification of biomaterials; Methods, analysis and applications. Woodhead Publishing, Oxford. pp 365-391.
Mangano, C., Mangano, F., Shibli J.A., Tettamanti, L., Figliuzzi, M., d’Avila, S., Sammons, RL, Piattelli, A. (2011) Prospective evaluation of 2,549 Morse Taper Connection Implants: 1-6-year Data. Journal of Periodontology, 82: 52-61.
Dong, Y; Li, X; Tian, L; Bell, T; Sammons, RL; Dong, H. (2011) Towards long-lasting antibacterial stainless steel surfaces by combining double low plasma silvering with active screen plasma nitriding, Acta Biomaterialia, 7:447-457.
Sammons R.L., Wang, A., Thackray, A., Yong, P, Kuboki, Y., Ametani, A., Macaskie, L.E. (2010), Bacterial Calcification: Friend or Foe? (Review), Nano Biomedicine 2: 71-80.
Dong, YC; Li, XY; Sammons, R; Dong, HS. (2010) The Generation of Wear-Resistant Antimicrobial Stainless Steel Surfaces by Active Screen Plasma Alloying with N and Nanocrystalline A. Journal of Materials Research Part B – Applied Materials, 93B: 185-193.
Lindgren, C; Hallman, M; Sennerby, L; Sammons, R. (2009) Back-scattered electron imaging and elemental analysis of retrieved bone tissue following sinus augmentation with deproteinized bovine bone or biphasic calcium phosphate. Journal of Materials Research Part A, 88A: 823-831.
Slater, N; Dasmah, A; Sennerby, L; Hallman, M; Piattelli, A; Sammons, R. (2008) Back-scattered electron imaging and elemental microanalysis of retrieved bone tissue following maxillary sinus floor augmentation with calcium sulphate Clinical Oral Implants Research 19:814-822.
Ledo, HM; Thackray, AC; Jones, IP; Marquis, PM; Macaskie, LE; Sammons, RL. (2008) Microstructure and composition of biosynthetically synthesised hydroxyapatite. Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine, 19:3419-3427.