Skye Sisco

Skye Sisco


Dr. Michele V. Manuel


Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


Material Science and Engineering


Music Performance


Material Advantage (MA) , Material Science and Engineering Ceramic Mug Drop (CMD) Design Team, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), UF Symphony Orchestra, UF Wind Symphony

Academic Awards

Robert David Adamson Scholarship, Dean’s List, President’s Honor Roll



Research Interests

Biodegradable metallic materials, biomaterials

Hobbies and Interests

Playing bassoon, crocheting, and baking

Research Project

Effect of duplex phase volume fractions on the viability of MgLiZn biodegradable implant

Millions of people suffer bone fractures every year and require surgical implants to heal. Traditionally those implants will be permanent (non-degradable), but a new wave of biodegradable implants are growing in popularity. Magnesium (Mg) is a very promising base material for these implants as it naturally degrades in the human body, has appreciable biocompatibility, and has a similar density and modulus of elasticity to bone, making it an excellent candidate for orthopedic implants. However, pure Mg degrades rapidly and has low ductility which makes production difficult. Alloying Mg with 5-10.3 wt% lithium (Li) will produce an alloy with both body-centered cubic (BCC) and hexagonal-close packing (HCP) phases present, allowing for improved ductility. Alloying Mg-Li with ZInc (Zn) also provides benefits as Zn is antibacterial, improves corrosion resistance, and increases mechanical strength. Finding a balance between improving the alloy’s ductility, yield strength, and corrosion rate is difficult. Adding Li will improve ductility but lowers yield strength and corrosion resistance, while adding Zn improves yield strength but lowers ductility. One potential answer to balancing the effects of added Li and Zn is the volume fractions of BCC and HCP phases in the alloy. In this project we will cast MgLiZn alloys with 6, 7.5, and 9 wt% Li, heat treat the samples, polish and etch to analyze microstructure, run SEM to confirm composition, perform mechanical testing, and analyze degradation rates of the samples. This work aims to advance the knowledge and application of biodegradable metals, decrease rates of infection, and remove the need of secondary surgery, overall decreasing cost and improving patients’ quality of life.