Martin King

Martin King

Professor, TECS

Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science
Textile Technology

Wilson College Directory

About Martin King

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Martin King is regarded as an international specialist in the area of biotextiles, implantable devices, biomaterials and medical textiles. He joined the Department of Textiles and Apparel, Technology and Management in September 2000 following over 30 years experience working in industry, education and the government sector in Canada and Europe.

As one of the first graduates in Polymer Technology from Manchester University, U.K., Martin King was hired by Canadian Industries Limited (I.C.I. Fibres Division), and later by Celanese Canada Limited, Montreal, Canada, to work as a product development engineer on nylon and polyester fibers and yarns at its Millhaven plant in Kingston, Ontario, Canada . During this time he worked on the start-up of the first continuous polymerisation plant for the spinning of short staple polyester fiber for blending with cotton, on improvements in texturising nylon and polyester multifilament yarns, as well as developing polyester fibre/rubber adhesive systems that led to the manufacture of the first commercial polyester tire cord.

 Martin King then returned to the U.K. to work with L.N. Phillips and W. Watt on the development of carbon fibers at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (now the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), Farnborough, Hants. He was instrumental in identifying alternative precursor polymer systems and wet spinning and carbonising biconstituent acrylic/novoloid fibers for use in carbon fiber reinforced composites.

Over the last 25 years Martin King has developed an interest in the field of biomaterials and biotextiles (a term he has coined to describe the application of fibrous structures designed specifically for biological environments). During his 28 year tenure as a faculty member in the Department of Clothing & Textiles at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, he has worked with his graduate students on many research projects related to the study of implantable devices and has published widely in the textile science, biomaterials and medical literature. Support for these projects has come from national funding agencies, medical foundations and industrial sponsors.

During his time at the University of Manitoba, Martin King taught undergraduate courses in textile science and design, apparel engineering, applied economics and the appreciation of research. At NCSU he is currently teaching TT 331, Performance Evaluation of Textile Materials. At the graduate level, he has taught courses in polymer, fiber and textile science, biomaterials and research methods. He has advised and examined graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines, such as chemistry, civil, mechanical, biomedical and biosystems engineering, architecture, food science, anthropology, surgery, history and computer science, with their textiles, apparel or biomaterials related research projects. In 1989 he was awarded the University of Manitoba Merit Award for Teaching, Research & Service.

Martin King is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the following:

  1. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
  2. American Society for Testing & Materials
  3. International Biodeterioration Society (U.K.)
  4. Canadian Biomaterials Society
  5. Canadian Society of Forensic Science
  6. Fiber Society
  7. Institute of Textile Science (Canada)
  8. Society for Biomaterials
  9. Textile Institute (U.K.)

He has served these organizations in various capacities including President of the Institute of Textile Science and the Canadian Biomaterials Society.

Over the years he has been recognised as an expert witness by different courts to present forensic evidence on topics related to the identification, damage and failure of textiles, apparel and surgical implants in cases of misleading advertising, product failure, patent litigation, medical liability, fire injury, rape and murder.

He also currently holds adjunct appointments in clothing & textiles in the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and in biomaterials science at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.


Martin King’s primary research thrust is currently in the area of biotextiles, biomaterials science and implantable devices. This is an emerging specialised field that has its roots in materials science, but which now relies heavily on the interaction between many different disciplines. Martin King’s particular approach has grown out of his interest in the degradation processes of fibers, polymers and textiles, and issues related to structure/property relationships. His work involves a number of arenas of activity.

  • The analysis of retrieved clinical explants with the object of understanding their failure mechanism and reasons for impaired performance in vivo.
  • Computer modelling of the function of implantable devices within a particular anatomical site, e.g. an arterial bifurcation, with a view to optimising their dimensional, mechanical and flow characteristics.
  • Development of original designs using novel structures, new polymers, innovative surface coatings and alternative methods for cleaning and sterilising implantable devices. This has led to the application of various stabilised proteinic coatings and conductive coatings to the surfaces of cardiovascular devices, as well as studies of new permanent polymers, such as polyvinylidene fluoride, and absorbable polymers in different surgical applications. More recently bicomponent fiber spinning technology has been harnessed to produce partially absorbable fibrous structures for use in tissue engineering applications.
  • Development of in vitro test methods to measure the biostability, dimensional, mechanical, fatigue and biological properties of biotextile implants. This includes cell culture and immunohistochemical techniques for evaluating the biocompatibility of biomaterial surfaces to different cell lines.
  • Development of in vivo protocols for the short term and long term evaluation of novel implantable devices in animal models.

The specific types of surgical products that have been studied include:

  • Sutures
  • Vascular prostheses
  • Endovascular stent grafts
  • Heart valves
  • Hernia repair meshes
  • Anterior cruciate ligament prostheses
  • Total artificial heart
  • Breast prostheses
  • Ocular implants

Martin King’s ability to work within a multidisciplinary framework has been enhanced by his appointment over the last 17 years as a visiting professor in the Department of Surgery and the Quebec Biomaterials Institute at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada. By working in a hospital environment as well as a textiles research laboratory he has been able to create working interfaces between the physical and biological sciences and between the research process and clinical practice. He challenges his graduate students who come from such diverse disciplines as chemistry, immunology, mechanical engineering, cell biology, geology, biochemistry, surgery and textile science to work in teams to solve clinical, engineering and scientific problems.Martin King and his graduate students are also actively involved in research into the harvesting, retting and processing of textile quality bast fibers such as linen and industrial hemp, and into the sensory properties of textiles, particularly the measurement of odor intensity by human panels, biosensors and electronic nose technologies.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Gýnie biologique (Biomedical engineering), Université de Technologie de Compiègne, 1992
  • F.I.T.S., Fellowship, , Institute of Textile Science, 1991
  • A.U.M.I.S.T., Polymer & Fibre Science, University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, 1970
  • B.Sc. (1st class) Polymer Technology, University of Manchester, 1966


Chitosan based bioadhesives for biomedical applications: A review
Hamedi, H., Moradi, S., Hudson, S. M., Tonelli, A. E., & King, M. W. (2022). [Review of , ]. CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS.
Comparison of the mechanical properties and anchoring performance of polyvinylidene fluoride and polypropylene barbed sutures for tendon repair
Immunomodulation Strategies for the Successful Regeneration of a Tissue-Engineered Vascular Graft
Zhang, F., & King, M. W. (2022, March 27), ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS, Vol. 3.
A hybrid vascular graft harnessing the superior mechanical properties of synthetic fibers and the biological performance of collagen filaments
Zhang, F., Bambharoliya, T., Xie, Y., Liu, L., Celik, H., Wang, L., … King, M. W. (2021), MATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING C-MATERIALS FOR BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, 118.
Chitosan/Graphene Oxide Composite Films and Their Biomedical and Drug Delivery Applications: A Review
Moradi, S., Hamedi, H., Tonelli, A. E., & King, M. W. (2021). [Review of , ]. APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL.
Development of a polycaprolactone/poly(p-dioxanone) bioresorbable stent with mechanically self-reinforced structure for congenital heart disease treatment
Zhao, F., Sun, J., Xue, W., Wang, F., King, M. W., Yu, C., … Wang, L. (2021), BIOACTIVE MATERIALS, 9.
Evaluation of an electrochemically aligned collagen yarn for textile scaffold fabrication
Xie, Y., Chen, J., Celik, H., Akkus, O., & King, M. W. (2021), BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS, 16(2).
Exploration into practical significance of integral water permeability of textile vascular grafts
Guan, G., Yu, C., Fang, X., Guidoin, R., King, M. W., Wang, H., & Wang, L. (2021), JOURNAL OF APPLIED BIOMATERIALS & FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, 7.
Hydrolytic Degradation of Polylactic Acid Fibers as a Function of pH and Exposure Time
Vaid, R., Yildirim, E., Pasquinelli, M. A., & King, M. W. (2021), MOLECULES, 12.
Process-Property Relationships for Melt-Spun Poly(lactic acid) Yarn
Gajjar, C. R., Stallrich, J. W., Pasquinelli, M. A., & King, M. W. (2021), ACS OMEGA, 6.

View All Publications


Third Annual Biomaterials Day 2019
NC Biotechnology Center(10/01/19 - 11/30/19)
Biomaterials Day 2018
NC Biotechnology Center(10/01/18 - 12/31/18)
Research Collaboration between Pakistan and the United States on the Development of Innovative Technical Textiles and Medical Textile Products
US Agency for International Development (USAID)(9/15/15 - 9/14/18)
Spinning and Drawing Resorbable Yarns from Bacterial Polyesters
Atex Technologies, Inc.(9/03/13 - 5/15/16)
Knitted Spacer Fabrics as 3D Tissue Engineering Scaffolds
Atex Technologies, Inc.(9/03/13 - 5/15/16)
Modeling to Predict Fluid Flow and Strength Loss
Tengion, Inc.(8/15/11 - 5/15/12)
Review of Fiber-forming Resorbable Polymers
Atex Technologies, Inc.(9/01/11 - 5/31/12)
Development of Abrasion Test between Endovascular Graft and Stent Materials
Cook Medical Technologies, Ltd.(6/17/11 - 6/16/12)
3D Textile Architecture for Tissue Engineering Scaffolds
NCSU National Textile Center Program(5/01/10 - 4/30/12)
Novel 3-Dimensional Nanofibrous Extra Cellular Matrix for Generation of Functioning Neo-Ilets.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)(6/01/10 - 8/31/11)

Areas of Expertise