Xiaohui Chen

Xiaohui Chen, BEng (Hons), MEng (Hons), PhD, FHEA


  • Division of Dentistry – Coupland III Building, G.146, The University of Manchester

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


Dr. Xiaohui Chen (Helen) is a Senior Lecturer in Biomaterials Science at the Division of Dentistry, School of Medical Sciences. She is a member of the Faculty Internationalisation Group, the Deputy Lead for Health and Safety (Division of Dentistry) and sits on the Human Tissue Act Committee and the Health and Safety Committee for Dentistry.

Outside University, she is a committee member of the Engineering, Physical and Material Sciences section of the Royal Microscopy Society and a volunteer for the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT).

Helen obtained her BEng (Hons) in Metallurgy at Northeastern University of China, a MEng (Hons) in Materials Science at Queen Mary University of London and a PhD in Dental Materials at Barts and the London, School of Medicine and Dentistry. She joined Dentistry here in Manchester as a Lecturer in January 2014.

Helen has a wide-ranging research activities in biomaterials for dentistry including investigating structure and mechanical properties of enamel and dentine, dental erosion, bioactive glasses for oral health, dental resin composites design and optimisation, glass-ceramics synthesis and characterisation, 3D printing replica teeth and implant surface modifications. Helen's research has not only led to journal publications but also patents and products. The novel strong leucite glass-ceramics with controlled microstructure has led to 2 US patents and the commercialisation of ‘Lumineers 2’ that uses a 100% pain-free minimally invasive approach, saving as much as 20% enamel reduction per patient, as tooth preparation and anaesthesia are not required. It is used and sold in 46 countries and won industry awards for clinical and cosmetic excellence from the Clinical Research Associates and Dental Advisor.

Helen is devoted to improving Oral Health Care an overlooked area for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND, what Prof Stephen Hawking had) community with endorsement from the MND Association. Helen and collaborators have been awarded with a UKRI/Zinc catalyst award focuses on Developing an MND oral health care pathway and dynamic toolkit as a part of The Healthy Longevity Global Competition and a Healthcare Research grant from the MND Association on Addressing knowledge gaps: Understanding and tackling oral health needs for people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).


Helen participates in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching:

Helen is an assessor for the New Academics and Fellows programme (NAP).

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of the Academy of Dental Materials, International Association for Dental Research and British Society for Oral and Dental Research,

Member of the Fracto Forum International,

Member of the Health and Safety Committee and Human Tissue Act Committee, Division of Dentistry, School of Medical Sciences, The University of Manchester.

Committee member of the Engineering, Physical and Material Sciences section of the Royal Microscopy Society.


BEng (Hons) in Metallurgy, MEng (Hons) in Materials Science, PhD in Dental Materials, FHEA


Information on Funded and self-funded projects can be found below.

Candidates with a broader interest in dental biomaterials that meet the Entry Requirements for PhD Biomaterials Sciences and Dental Technology are welcomed to contact me to discuss suitability on the following projects. I am also happy to discuss and formulate research projects that are in line with my research interests and fit the candidates' career progression.

  1. Microstructure and crack propagation of CAD/CAM glass-ceramics,
  2. Dentine tubule occlusion and remineralisation,
  3. Resin Composites containing bioactive glasses,
  4. 3D printing replica teeth for teaching and research in Dentistry.

My group

Current PhD students

Former research students

* (competitive govenment scholarship)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Advanced materials
  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Healthier Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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