Michael Mucalo

Michael Mucalo

Job Title

Senior Lecturer, Chemistry


Michael has been at the University of Waikato for 17 years in the Department of Chemistry. He was previously a post doc in the then Government Industrial Research Institute in Nagoya, Japan where he first developed an interest in biomaterials, especially those based on calcium phosphate. There he pioneered a process for stimulating calcium phosphate growth on substrates such as cotton which was then widely mimicked by researchers in other countries for other substrates. He completed his MSc and PhD at Auckland University in the study of spectroscopy of colloids and electrode surfaces and was a Foundation Fellow studying pre-ceramic precursors at the DSIR Chemistry Division at Lower Hutt where he witnessed the transformation of the DSIR into CRIs in 1992. Michael places a strong focus on collaborative research, particularly with researchers from other disciplines to benefit from different opinions and expertise. A key driver for him is to transfer skills and knowledge to students as an investment in the future of science. Collaborations have involved working with a large number of industry and CRI partners and one of the outputs of this which WaikatoLink has been involved with has been the formation of GRAFTOSS, a medical device company developing a sintered bone implant containing infiltrated chitosan sourced from bovine bone for use by surgeons and veterinarians. Other important research areas include controlled release drug or nutrient delivery and infra-red spectroelectrochemistry as well as colloid science. Michael's work with biomaterials, in particular, has often led to many conference presentations, TV appearances, media articles and public lectures.

  • Development of Biomedical Materials for Human and Veterinary applications
  • General calcium phosphate chemistry
  • Synthesis of Metal colloids (nanoparticles) and study of their properties
  • IR spectroelectrochemistry of Unusual Corrosion Systems in Aqueous and non-Aqueous Solvents
  • Controlled Release Drug Delivery for Human and Veterinary Applications
  • General collaboration with industry for problem solving