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3 Phd studentships in Bologna starting November 2019

Doctorate in Health and Technology, University of Bologna, Italy

Positions open to start November 2019

GENERAL INFORMATION

About this doctorate program

This PhD program has a duration of 3 years.  The Doctorate in Health and Technology is an interdisciplinary program, where each PhD student has a supervisor from the technical area (engineering, chemistry etc) and one from the clinical or biological area.  

https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/phd/2019-2020/health-and-technologies

The objective of the interdepartmental Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences and Technologies is to train the next generation of leaders in industrial, clinical, and academic research.  Our goal is to develop an organic research programme at the interface between engineering and medicine, which is inspired by the quantitative and integrative approach of physical sciences, and by the latest development in biomedical research, drive the development and clinical translation of disruptive health technologies.

The doctoral training programme will prepare students in conducting research which:

  • Extend the comprehension of how human physiology and pathology work in term of physical and chemical mechanisms, and how these mechanisms respond when perturbed by external factors such as therapies, changes in life style, and environmental factors.
  • Develop new technologies that by leveraging on this mechanistic understanding pursue a wide spectrum of applications relevant to human health, including prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

How to apply:

Formal application must be submitted through the UniBo portal:

https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/phd/information-enrolling-phd-programme/how-to-apply-phd-programme

Each student, depending on their degree, will be able to apply only for a sub-set of projects among those advertised for this PhD program; among them each student will be allowed to select three projects, and name them in order of preference; however, in some cases it might not be possible to satisfy all requests, and some students might be offered a research project different from those they selected.

The full call is available online:

https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/phd/2019-2020/attachments/35th-cycle-call-for-application/@@download/file/35thCycle_CallForApplications.pdf

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for a highly motivated young researchers with a Master degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Material Science, or related disciplines, willing to study and do research at the leading edge of biomechanical engineering, in close contact with a clinical environment. 

Individuals expecting to obtain their Master degree before 31 October 2019 can conditionally apply.

In order to be admitted to the selection, a student needs a five-year higher education degree, which includes at least one module for each of the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, physiology, and anatomy.

Candidates must be fluent in English as it will be the language used to interact with supervisors and colleagues during the project, and to interact with partners.  Although some understanding of Italian may be useful for daily living, this is not a mandatory requirement.  Communication and teamworking skills are required in our international team.

Deadline:

Applications must be submitted through the Unibo portal by 15 May 2019, 13:00 Italian time (UTC +1)

Salary: 19 367 € per year before taxes.

More information:

For informal discussions please contact Professor Luca Cristofolini luca.cristofolini@unibo.it


PhD PROJECT #1:

Electrospun scaffolds for the regeneration of tendons and ligaments

Summary

Degenerative or traumatic lesions of tendons and ligaments are difficult to repair.  Post-operative failures affect between 15% and 40% of cases (depending on initial indications).  We developed a prototype of an electrospun scaffold replicating the hierarchical morphology and the mechanical properties of tendons and ligaments.  This PhD project will further develop the prototype by increasing the bioactivity and enhance the integration of the constituent material with the surrounding tissues, and will bring this technical solution towards clinical application.

The following aspects will be investigated: optimization of the polymeric biomaterial and its functionalization to improve cell adhesion, recruiting and differentiation and to prevent inflammatory response, optimal technique for effective sterilization; means of surgical attachment to the host tissue.

The collaboration between the technical area (engineering and chemistry) with the clinical counterpart (orthopaedic surgery) will be a key point of this project.

Objectives of this project

The overall objective of this PhD project to bring a promising electrospun scaffold for the repair of tendons and ligaments from the current state of technical development (between TRL3 and 4) towards clinical application.  The following specific objectives will be tackled:

  • Optimization of the sterilization technique to ensure effective sterilization of the nanofibrous structure and preservation of the desired mechanical properties and biocompatibility properties
  • Optimization of the surgical technique to attach the scaffold to the host bone, and/or the residual tendon/ligament, in collaboration with the orthopaedic surgeons to ensure adequate mechanical strength and lack of stress concentrations and surgical practicability
  • Increasing scaffold bioactivity and integration in the surrounding tissues to prevent adverse response of host tissue and avoid inflammatory reactions.

This project covers some basic science (interaction between nanofibrous scaffold and host tissue), it focuses on technological development (implementing and testing different solutions on the scaffold) and has clinical relevance (develop the best solution for implantation).

Rationale and scientific background

The fact that different orthopaedic surgeons chose different strategies for the repair of damaged tendons and ligaments is an indicator that there is no consolidated and satisfactory technique.  In fact, the post-operative outcome is far from satisfactory.  Surgical treatments fail in 15% and 40% of cases (depending on the initial indications).  Artificial implants fail mostly because of biomechanical mismatch (inadequate stiffness, limited strength etc).  Xenografts often do not get properly integrated or even create rejection.  Allografts offer better similarity, but are limited due to cost and availability.  Autografts solve some of the problems above, but are associated with morbidity of the donor site and are limited in stock.

Bioresorbable scaffolds are a very promising option, as they are not limited in availability [1].  We recently developed a technique to manufacture electrospun scaffolds that replicate the morphology and the mechanical properties of the human natural tendons and ligaments [2,3].

To bring this project towards an animal trial and a future clinical application, there are some clear points that need to be fine-tuned.  Specifically, as the key to success of such devices is integration with the host tissues, this project aims to understand how to prevent such common clinical complications, and to develop the extremities and the interfaces so as to grant success in case of implantation.

References

[1]   Sensini, A., and Cristofolini, L., 2018, “Biofabrication of electrospun scaffolds for the regeneration of tendons and ligaments,” MDPI Materials, 11(10-1963), pp. 1-43.

[2]   Sensini, A., Gualandi, C., Cristofolini, L., Tozzi, G., Dicarlo, M., Teti, G., Mattioli-Belmonte, M., and Focarete, M. L., 2017, “Biofabrication of bundles of poly(lactic acid)-collagen blends mimicking the fascicles of the human Achille tendon,” Biofabrication, 9(1), p. 015025.

[3]   Sensini, A., Gualandi, C., Zucchelli, A., Boyle, L. A., Kao, A. P., Reilly, G. C., Tozzi, G., Cristofolini, L., and Focarete, M. L., 2018, “Tendon Fascicle-Inspired Nanofibrous Scaffold of Polylactic acid/Collagen with Enhanced 3D-Structure and Biomechanical Properties,” Scientific Reports, 8(1(17167)), pp. 1-15.

Research project

The focus of the activities will be on optimizing and testing electrospun hierarchical scaffolds made of blends of natural (collagen) and synthetic (PLLA) polymers so as to ensure that they become suitable for implantation.  This PhD candidate will spend 30-40% of his/her time in the biomechanical laboratory of prof. Cristofolini, 30-40% of the time in the Chemistry lab of prof. Focarete and the remaining 20-40% of in the clinical settlement, in collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.  Furthermore, an international secondment of 2+3 months at the University of Portsmouth is planned to complement the preparation of this candidate providing high-resolution imaging and cell culture, whereas an international secondment of 2+3 months at Erlangen University is planned to complement the preparation of this candidate on scaffold functionalization and biomineralization.

Activity 1 – CLINICAL TRAINING.  Building the understanding of lesions of the tendons and ligament, about the current surgical techniques for reconstruction, and about the post-op failure mechanisms.  This activity will be particularly intense during the 1st year, to acquire new clinical understanding.  However, during the entire duration of development and validation activities will be closely connected to the clinical environment.

Activity 2 – STERILIZATION TECHNIQUE.  Within this activity the candidate will first get familiar with the sterilization techniques that can be applied to this family of resorbable materials.  Tests will be carried out to identify a technique and the parameters that grant adequate reduction of the bioburden, without compromising the mechanical properties and the biocompatibility of the scaffolds

Activity 3 –SCAFFOLD BIOACTIVITY AND INTEGRATION WITH HOST TISSUE.  This activity will be carried out in parallel with the previous ones, with the aim to optimize the constituent material and increase the bioactivity of the scaffold and its integration with the surrounding tissues.  Within this activity the candidate will get familiar with scaffold functionalization techniques. 

Activity 4 – BONE INSERTIONS.  The activities within this activity are fundamental to adapt the scaffolds and define the surgical technique that will provide adequate insertion in the host bone.  This is currently one of the main surgical challenges.  The input of the clinical supervisor is extremely important in this phase.

Innovation potential

This proposal mainly aims at technological innovation: this PhD project will provide significant advancement in the development and validation of nanofibrous scaffolds.  In particular, currently no hierarchical scaffold is available for the regeneration of tendons and ligaments.  This research will deliver unpreceded solution with highly biomimetic scaffolds.  The main points of innovation will be:

  • Advancing the development of electrospun hierarchical bioresorbable scaffold
  • Developing and validating technological and surgical solutions for the attachment of such scaffolds to the host tissues
  • Developing and testing innovative solutions to prevent inflammatory response and tissue adhesion

Furthermore, it is foreseen that this project will deliver scientific innovation providing new insights in the way host tissues (tendon, ligament, bone and enthesis) react to nanofibrous scaffolds

Expected results and applications to human pathology and therapy

This project is meant to develop a better solution for the repair and regeneration of lesions of tendon and ligaments, so as to overcome the critical limitations of the current commercial devices and surgical techniques.  This will allow, in a perspective, to deliver better treatments both to young patients (typically affected by traumatic lesions) and elderly ones (presenting degenerative lesions).

While in the duration of this PhD project it is not realistic to start a clinical trial on humans, it will definitely open the way to a dedicated animal trial.

The research team

This candidate will have an engineering background.  While this will facilitate him/her in grasping the technical part of the project, some time and effort must be dedicated at the beginning to improve his/her understanding of the clinical problem.  This project is rooted between three groups:

  • The group of Prof. Focarete (Chemistry Department) will provide the training and expertise on electrospinning, polymers, and treatment and modification of polymers.
  • The group of Prof. Cristofolini (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of biomechanics and material characterization.
  • The group of Dr Traina will provide training and supervision on the surgical procedures for tendon and ligament repair, on complications, and will supervise the design of the implantation technique.

Prof Focarete and Prof Cristofolini have been collaborating in the recent years for the development of the first prototype of this implantable scaffold.  The success of collaboration is documented by a number of joint publications.  Also: Prof. Traina and prof. Cristofolini have been intensively collaborating for years on research projects at the intersection between orthopaedic clinical application and biomechanics research.  A strong integration of the two research groups has been achieved by involving the clinical staff in lab activity, and the lab staff in clinical research.  This PhD candidate will enjoy this extremely stimulating interdisciplinary environment, and will share his/her research time between clinics (in tight collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) and biomechanics lab.

The Polymer Science and Biomaterials group at the Chemistry Department “Ciamician”, UNIBO has recognized expertise on structure-polymer correlation of natural and synthetic polymeric biomaterials. The group has strong knowledge of material design, material processing through conventional and advanced innovative technologies and nanotechnologies, material characterization and study of biodegradability. The group has demonstrated the capability to develop polymeric systems for drug delivery and as tissue models for tissue engineering.  In collaboration with the Biomechanics lab of prof. Cristofolini the group has acquired knowledge to develop scaffolds with optimized biomechanical properties by playing on the choice of the more appropriate material and on the selection of the best morphological properties of the scaffolds.

The Biomechanics group is directed by prof Luca Cristofolini and prof Marco Viceconti and is part of the Department of Industrial Engineering.  The group has been active for almost 30 years in the area of musculoskeletal biomechanics.  The environment is informal and friendly, and collaborations are encouraged between team members, and between juniors and seniors.  The biomechanics group is formed by Italian and International young scientists, and has strong ties with the clinics (e.g. Rizzoli Orthopaedic Hospital), with international partners (as part of collaborative projects), and with the industry (e.g. orthopaedic manufacturers, software developers).  The focus of the group directed by prof. Cristofolini is on the multi-scale biomechanical characterization of skeletal structures and orthopaedic devices, and on the integration of in vitro tests and numerical modeling.  Their main activities focus on preclinical testing of orthopaedic implantable devices, and validation of innovative surgical techniques.  Their group, in collaboration with the Electrospinning group, recently developed and characterized innovative regenerative scaffolds.  Furthermore, this group is acknowledged internationally for the applications of DIC to biomechanics. 

The Dept. of Orthopaedic-Traumatology and Prosthetic surgery and revisions of hip and knee implants of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is nationally recognized for the treatment of severe orthopaedic conditions including joints tendon and ligament reconstructions (mainly in the lower limb).  Its activity is mainly focused on surgical treatment of complex cases, analysis and data collection of multiple type of joint replacement surgery through different surgical approach and procedures.  Comparison between different procedures and cases are routinely performed in order to continuously improve the patient’s provision of care.

Specific skills useful for this PhD project

Desirable specific expertise preferentially required: good laboratory practice; mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis; chemistry; physicochemical characterization; handling and testing of biological tissue; orthopaedic biomechanics; mechanical properties of living tissues; statistics and design of the experiment.


PhD PROJECT #2:

Patient-Specific Spinal Surgery for Severe Scoliosis (PS5)

Summary

Scoliosis can be extremely threatening: pain, disability, compression of internal organs, breathing problems are just some of the consequences. In the most severe cases, corrective spinal surgery is the only viable option.  In young and growing patients, adjustable devices must be used, that are mobilized over the months to correct the spine and follow the patient’s growth.  One main challenge for the clinical specialist is to choose the optimal treatment for each patient, for example how to plan the right amount of adjustment over time, so as to achieve the desired correction while avoiding complications and adverse effects.  Currently, surgeons are guided only by intuition and experience.  The aim of this PhD project is to develop and validate a modelling technology capable of generating patient-specific predictive models of the spine biomechanics that can be used as a treatment planning tools, by simulating different treatment options and predict the occurrence of adverse effects including spinal cord compression, facets impingement, excessive strain of the intervertebral discs, excessive stretch of the muscles.

Objectives of this project

The project aims to develop a treatment simulation environment to optimise the treatment of scoliosis patients.  The research will articulate in the following phases:

  • Collection of dedicated biomechanical information (stiffness of discs and ligaments, range of motion) through ex vivo testing of spine specimens.
  • Development of the protocol to build patient-specific computer models of the spine biomechanics from medical imaging data (CT, MRI and X-ray).
  • Use of the ex vivo experimental data to quantify the model predictive accuracy.
  • Develop a treatment simulation environment, where the most common interventions are properly simulated, and adverse effects (if any) predicted.
  • Use retrospective clinical data to establish the clinical accuracy of treatment simulation environment when compared with the actual outcome of a specific treatment in a given patient.
  • Through these activities, the PhD student will gain skills in the area of biomechanics, in silico modelling, and orthopaedics (spine)that will make him/her employable in the academia, but also in device manufacturers and developer of medical software.

Rationale and scientific background

Congenital and idiopathic scoliosis can be extremely threatening when causing severe deformity.  Pain, disability, compression of internal organs, breathing and cardiac problems are just some of the consequences.  Corrective surgery is the only option in extreme cases: this consists in the implantation of screws (or hooks) and rods that restore alignment in the frontal and sagittal planes.  The surgeon must find a compromise between extreme correction (ideally restoring “perfect” anatomy) and avoiding damage due to compression or stretching of the spinal cord or nerves.  In young patients, an additional challenge derives from the changes over time due to growth.  In these cases, the surgeon can use Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods that must be mobilized at time intervals to induce progressive correction and allow natural lengthening.  Currently, no evidence-based tool is available to help the surgeon plan the optimal compromise.  Surgeons can only follow their experience and, to some extent, a trial-and-correct approach [1].  This clearly exposes the patient to the risk of unnecessary pain, organ damage, and sub-optimal correction.

References:

  1. A Gonzalez Alvarez, KD. Dearn, BM. Lawless, C Lavecchia, , T Greggi, DET Shepherd   Design and mechanical evaluation of a novel dynamic growing rod to improve the surgical treatment of Early Onset Scoliosis.  Material and Design 2018;155:334-45

Research project

The focus of the activities will be on developing a numerical model of the growing spine while undergoing correction.  This PhD candidate will spend 60-70% of his/her time in the biomechanical laboratory developing in vitro tests (supervisor L. Cristofolini) and numerical models (supervisor M. Viceconti), 30-40% of the time in the clinical settlement (Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) collecting and analysing retrospective patient cases.  Furthermore, an international secondment of 4-5 months at a foreign clinical institution (for example, the Buda National Center for Spinal Disorders led by Prof Peter Paul Varga, in Budapest), preliminary step to develop a full scale multicentric clinical trial for the new technology after the end of the PhD project.

WP1 – BASIC CLINICAL TRAINING.  Building the understanding of spinal deformity, surgical corrections, short-and long-term outcomes and complications. This WP will be particularly intense during the 1st year, to acquire new clinical understanding.  However, during the entire duration of development and validation activities will be closely connected to the clinical environment.

WP2 – COLLECTION OF EX VIVO DATA.  Within this WP the candidate will collect a set of biomechanical data from cadaveric spines from young donors.  This will serve to initialize the models and identify the relevant parameters (WP3 and 3)

WP3 – PROTOCOL FOR PATIENT-SPECIFIC MODELLING.  This will include the Development of the modelling protocol on retrospective data and the Development of ad hoc imaging protocols.

WP4 – EX VIVO VALIDATION OF PREDICTIVE MODELS.  The candidate will use the experimental data collected in WP2, and the modelling protocol developed in WP3, to develop predictive models of the ex vivo experiments form CT data of the specimens and validate the modelling protocol by comparing the model predictions to the experimental measurements.

WP5 – DEVELOP TREATMENT SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT.  Once the model is fully validated ex vivo, the candidate will develop the simulation of the various interventions available. 

Innovation potential

There is an acute unmet need for proper planning tools in the treatment of sever scoliosis. While the biomechanics of the scoliotic spine is complex, in the last 20 years a massive amount of experimental and modelling work has been done, which can be capitalised here. We thus believe there is a significant innovation potential in this project.  If reasonable predictive accuracies are achieved, after the end of the project we will explore the possibility to hand over the technology to a company, or to establish an exploitation team without our group.  In both cases, a multicentric clinical trial will be required to demonstrate the efficacy of this new technology when compared to the current standard of care.

Meanwhile we will work to establish a planning service for Dr Greggi clinic, and for any other spine surgeon at the Rizzoli Institute, who is interested in using this technology to plan their interventions.

Expected results and applications to human pathology and therapy

In this case, the clinical impact is self-explanatory: if the technology works as expected, and provide sufficient accuracy to be clinically informative, this could radically change the standard of care for the handling of sever scoliosis cases.

The research team

This candidate will have an engineering background.  While this will facilitate him/her in grasping the technical part of the project, some time and effort must be dedicated at the beginning to improve his/her understanding of the clinical problem.  This project is rooted between different and complementary expertise:

  • The group of Prof. Cristofolini (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of biomechanics and material characterization.
  • The group of Prof. Viceconti (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of computational biomechanics and patient-specific modelling.
  • The group of Dr. Greggi will provide training and supervision on the surgical procedures for the spine and on complications, and will supervise the design of the modelling strategy, and the retrospective validation.

This PhD candidate will enjoy this extremely stimulating interdisciplinary environment and will share his/her research time between clinics (in tight collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) and biomechanics lab.

The Biomechanics group is directed by prof Luca Cristofolini and prof Marco Viceconti and is part of the Department of Industrial Engineering.  The group has been active for almost 30 years in the area of musculoskeletal biomechanics.  The environment is informal and friendly, and collaborations are encouraged between team members, and between juniors and seniors.  The biomechanics group is formed by Italian and International young scientists, and has strong ties with the clinics (e.g. Rizzoli Orthopaedic Hospital), with international partners (as part of collaborative projects), and with the industry (e.g. orthopaedic manufacturers, software developers).  The focus of the group directed by prof. Cristofolini is on the multi-scale biomechanical characterization of skeletal structures and orthopaedic devices, and on the integration of in vitro tests and numerical modeling.  Their main activities focus on preclinical testing of orthopaedic implantable devices, and validation of innovative surgical techniques.  Furthermore, this group is acknowledged internationally for the applications of DIC to biomechanics. 

The Rachis Deformity Surgery of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is nationally recognized for the treatment of severe deformity in adult and young patients.  The group directed by dr Greggi is constantly developing new surgical protocols to improve treatment of young and growing patients. Comparison between different procedures and cases are routinely performed in order to continuously improve the patient’s provision of care.

Specific skills useful for this PhD project

Desirable specific expertise preferentially required: good laboratory practice; mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis; handling and testing of biological tissue; orthopaedic biomechanics; mechanical properties of living tissues; statistics and design of the experiment; medical imaging.


PhD PROJECT #3:

Innovative technique to repair osteoporotic fractures with bone substitutes

Summary

The second most common site for traumatic fracture in the elderly is the upper limb (proximal humerus and distal radius).  Reconstruction of these fractures is currently performed with plates and screws.  In both cases, healing failures (mainly pseudo-arthrosis) derive from lack of stabilization of the bone fragments, which is particularly frequent in case of poor bone quality and osteoporotic defects.  As the current technique is dissatisfactory (adding more screws would not solve the problem) we will explore a different approach.  A bone substitute will be used in combination or in replacement of plates and screws.  This PhD project consists of three main actions: (i) biomechanical testing of different reconstruction techniques to identify the optimal ones; (ii) definition of surgical guidelines based on ex vivo fluoroscopic imaging (similar to the foreseen surgical protocol), in relation to biomechanical performance; (iii) definition and following of clinical trial on selected fracture cases. 

This project originated from the clinical problem encountered by orthopaedic surgeons, will require significant input from the technical area, and will rely on collaboration with a biomedical company.

Objectives of this project

This PhD project addresses a clinical objective: developing and validating an alternative technique for the treatment of osteoporotic fractures of the upper limb.  This project will start from preclinical in vitro testing, and will finally reach the first stages of clinical trial.  The following specific aims will be targeted:

  • Adapting the surgical technique through in vitro tests and biomechanical simulations.  This will allow to define the biomechanical criteria for the use of the bone substitute, and will confirm which of the traditional osteosynthesis components can be avoided.
  • Definition of the surgical guidelines to indicate the surgeon the optimal amount of bone substitute to be delivered in each patient under safe conditions.  This part will integrate imaging techniques with biomechanical testing, so as to confirm the conditions to be achieved during surgery to grant optimal strength of the reconstruction.
  • Testing the concept through a first clinical trial so as to provide clinical evidence about the safety and efficacy of this technique.

Rationale and scientific background

Proximal humeral and distal radial fractures account for about 25% of all fractures in the elderly and affecting approximately 142 out of 10,000 persons per year [1].  Locking plate fixation is considered the optimal treatment for these fractures, when possible.  Incidence of complications increases according to patient’s age, number of fragments, fracture pattern and dislocation [2].  Intra-operative risks of this technique include articular cartilage damage while drilling or inserting the screws [3].  This risk is increased as the surgeon may need to use multiple screws to stabilize the different fragments, since in osteoporotic setting the screws must be long enough to achieve fixation in the subchondral bone.  The most common post-operative failure mechanism of plated proximal humeral fractures is a secondary loss of reduction [3].  Low bone mineral density (BMD) is the primary cause of this complication.  In fact, one of the most common mechanisms of failure is a sliding of the fragment: osteoporotic bone has a weak mechanical structure, and repetitive loading damages the cancellous bone because of the high stress at the tips and threads of the screws.

In these fractures it is important to obtain immediate post-operative fixation strength, to early mobilize the shoulder and prevent post-operative stiffness.  To reduce the incidence of mechanical failure, several augmentation techniques have been developed.  While augmentation provides some improvements, it also has different specific drawbacks [3].  Recently some innovative products have been released, with the aim of conjugating the positive aspects of the different augmenting materials.  In particular the biomaterial used for this study is a combination of beta-TCP (beta-tricalcium phosphate) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), aiming to provide good initial mechanical property, and bone ingrowth with partial substitution over time [4].

Therefore, to improve the reconstruction technique for such fractures, alternative techniques are being sought.  Rather than increasing the number of screws, the focus is shifting towards bone substitutes as means of initial fixation, and to promote bone healing [5].  The trauma surgeons in Rizzoli area are among the pioneers in this field.

References

[1]   WHO, 2007. Assessment of fracture risk and its application for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Report of WHO study group, World Health Organization, Geneva.

[2]   Gavaskar AS, Karthik B, Tummala N Second generation locked plating for complex proximal humerus fractures in very elderly patients. Injury 2016; 47(11): 2534–38

[3]   Thanasas C, Kontakis G, Angoules A. Treatment of proximal humerus fractures with locking plates: systematic review. J. shoulder Elb. Surg. 2009;18(6):837–44.

[4]   Dall’Oca C, Maluta T, Micheloni GM, et al. The biocompatibility of bone cements: progress in methodological approach. Eur. J. Histochem. 2017;61(2):2673.

[5]   Kammerlander C, Neuerburg C, Verlaan J-J, et al. The use of augmentation techniques in osteoporotic fracture fixation. Injury. 2016;47:S36–S43.

Research project

This project aims at bringing towards the clinical trial a treatment solution that currently has been exploratively tested in vitro.  This PhD project will start with training of the candidate (which must have a technical background) on the clinical problem (WP1).  The candidate will then spend 60-70% of his/her time in the biomechanical laboratory of prof. Cristofolini developing and testing the treatments solutions (WP2 and 3).  Finally, he/she will spend the remaining time in the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, analysing the results from the clinical trial. 

WP1 – CLINICAL TRAINING.  The candidate first will need to get familiar with the types of fracture, treatment options, and failure scenarios.  This activity will be particularly intense during the 1st year, to acquire new clinical understanding.  However, during the entire duration of development and validation activities will be closely connected to the clinical environment.

WP2 – BIOMECHANICAL OPTIMIZATION OF REPAIR TECHNIQUE.  This part of the project will explore different treatment options aiming to reduce/avoid the use of screws and plates in osteoporotic fractures of the upper limb, and to assess the biomechanical influence of using a bone substitute.  The core of this WP is a series of biomechanical in vitro tests on cadaveric bone specimens.

WP3 – DEFINITION OF SURGICAL GUIDELINES.  While WP2 concentrates on biomechanical optimization, this WP aims to identify the optimal indications for actual clinical implementation.  The optimal types of reconstruction for the humerus and radius (not necessarily the same) will be addressed.  Reconstructions will again be performed on cadaveric specimens, but using instrumentation and imaging as in real surgery, to define the ideal protocol.

WP4 – CLINICAL TRIAL.  The best solutions (from WP2) will be applied to fracture patients following the guidelines (from WP3).  Preliminary approval by the ethical committee and the relevant authorities has already been submitted for an initial clinical trial.

Innovation potential

This PhD student, in collaboration with the orthopaedic surgeons involved and the biomechanical group, will develop and assess a new solution for treating osteoporotic fractures.  The combined use of an osteoconductive injectable bone substitute and classic screws, and the use of such bone substitute are a new concept for the treatment of this type of fractures.  This project will therefore lead to technological innovation in the delivery and use of such cement (possibly requiring further development of the bone substitute itself, in collaboration with the Manufacturer).

Expected results and applications to human pathology and therapy

This project will develop and validate better treatments for osteoporotic fractures of the upper limb, that are currently difficult to treat, and have unacceptably high failure rate.  It is expected that the innovative solutions proposed will improve fracture treatment in different ways:

  • Lower incidence of articular damage due to intra-op cartilage drill-in
  • Lower incidence of short- and mid-term failures (pseudarthrosis, malunions)
  • Better bone healing thanks to the osteoconductive bone substitute.

The research team

This candidate will have a technical background.  While this will facilitate him/her in grasping the technical part of the project, some time and effort must be dedicated at the beginning to improve his/her understanding of the clinical problem. 

This project between a technical and a clinical environment:

  • The group of Prof. Cristofolini (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of biomechanics and material characterization.
  • Rizzoli Institute (dr Guerra and prof. Faldini) will provide training and supervision on the most frequent bone fractures, on the current techniques for osteosynthesis, and on the need for improvement; dr Guerra will contribute to the design of the reconstruction techniques, and on laying down the specifications for biomechanical testing.

Prof. Cristofolini has been intensively collaborating for years on research projects at the intersection between orthopaedic clinical application and biomechanics research together with dr Guerra and with prof Faldini.  A strong integration of the two research groups has been achieved by involving the clinical staff in lab activity, and the lab staff in clinical research.  The success of collaboration is documented by a number of joint publications.  This PhD candidate will enjoy this extremely stimulating interdisciplinary environment, and will share his/her research time between clinics (in tight collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) and biomechanics lab.

The Biomechanics group is directed by prof Luca Cristofolini and prof Marco Viceconti and is part of the Department of Industrial Engineering.  The group has been active for almost 30 years in the area of musculoskeletal biomechanics.  The environment is informal and friendly, and collaborations are encouraged between team members, and between juniors and seniors.  The biomechanics group is formed by Italian and International young scientists, and has strong ties with the clinics (e.g. Rizzoli Orthopaedic Hospital), with international partners (as part of collaborative projects), and with the industry (e.g. orthopaedic manufacturers, software developers).  The focus of the group directed by prof. Cristofolini is on the multi-scale biomechanical characterization of skeletal structures and orthopaedic devices, and on the integration of in vitro tests and numerical modeling.  Their main activities focus on preclinical testing of orthopaedic implantable devices, and validation of innovative surgical techniques.  Furthermore, this group is acknowledged internationally for the applications of DIC to biomechanics. 

The Dept. of Shoulder and Elbow surgery of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute continuously performs teaching and research activity. It participates to several national and international clinical studies, for example for the ultrasound guided treatment of calcific tendinopathy, the development of new materials for osteosynthesis of shoulder and elbow fractures. Several patents have been ideated and registered, such as a titanium mini-plate for surgical repair of the rotator cuff, a special postoperative brace for the shoulder, a self-threading titanium screw for a plastic plate.  The Unit has a constant partnership with scientific laboratories to improve arthroscopic suture techniques in rotator cuff repair, for shoulder prosthesis design improvement, and in the field of regenerative medicine for poor quality or massive tears of rotator cuff tendons, for the study and treatment of osteoporosis.

The I Clinic of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is nationally recognized for the treatment of severe orthopaedic conditions including joints diseases which require both primary and revision surgery.  Its activity is mainly focused on surgical treatment of complex cases, analysis and data collection of multiple type of joint replacement surgery through different surgical approach and procedures. Comparison between different procedures and cases are routinely performed in order to continuously improve the patient’s provision of care.

Specific skills useful for this PhD project

Desirable specific expertise preferentially required: good laboratory practice; mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis; handling and testing of biological tissue; orthopaedic biomechanics; mechanical properties of living tissues; statistics and design of the experiment.

Lecturer in Biomechanics at the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine (University of Sheffield)

Closing date 24/04/2019

Employer: The University of Sheffield (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Location: Sheffield

Description

Salary: £40,792 – £48,677 per annum. Potential to progress to £54,765 per annum through sustained exceptional contribution.  Grade 8

Mechanical Engineering has been a major discipline in the University of Sheffield since its foundation in 1905 and is a thriving department within the University’s Faculty of Engineering. We are one of the UK’s leading departments of Mechanical Engineering, and are home to over 1000 students (Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research) and 58 academic staff.

The Department is seeking to appoint a Lecturer to work within the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine (Insigneo), an initiative between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sheffield, and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. You will also be a member of staff in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The successful applicant will need to hold a good first degree and PhD in a topic relevant to biomechanics (or equivalent experience) and have research experience and plans that are complementary to the research themes of Insigneo, details of which can be found on the Insigneo website: https://insigneo.org/

In addition, you will need to demonstrate how you plan to conduct a high quality programme of research, including attracting external funding from a range of sources, publishing working in high quality peer-reviewed journals, attending conferences and building an international profile.

Furthermore, you will also be required to carry out teaching duties including designing, delivering, assessing and reviewing teaching programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Initially, you will be allocated a lighter than average teaching load (typically just one 10 credit course), and little or no administrative duties to allow you to focus on establishing your research career. We will also provide a generous support package to ensure rapid progress in your research activity.

This is an excellent research opportunity to become part of the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine and contribute to its cutting-edge research in the development of biomechanics methods for neuro-musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, or urinary pathologies.

Insigneo is the largest European research institute dedicated to Computational Medicine, with the aims to realise the scientific ambition behind the Virtual Physiological Human, producing a transformational impact on healthcare. Insigneo performs cutting edge research in areas of fundamental and applied biomedical modelling, imaging, and informatics.

How to apply?

To apply visit our job pages (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/jobs) and search for vacancy number: UOS022094.

Contact details

For informal enquiries about this job, the recruiting department, and the Insigneo institute contact: Professor Claudia Mazzà c.mazza@sheffield.ac.uk or on +44 (0)114 222 6073. For administration queries and details on the application process, contact the lead recruiter: Julie Fryer on j.e.fryer@sheffield.ac.uk or on +44 (0)114 222 7712.

More Details:

https://insigneo.org/our-vacancies/lecturer-in-biomechanics/

Senior Research Associate University of Portsmouth – Faculty of Science

Employment type: Fixed-term contract for 6 months

Interview date: 28 March 2019

We are seeking to appoint a Senior Research Associate (SRA) to contribute to the project “3D printing of complex scaffolds for the repair of osteochondral defects” developed in collaboration between the Biomaterials and Drug Delivery group (http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-pharmacy-and-biomedical-sciences/research/biomaterials-and-drug-delivery/) and the Zeiss Global Centre (http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-engineering/zeiss-global-centre/) at the University of Portsmouth.

Osteochondral lesions are painful, and predispose to osteoarthritis (OA), which is unquestionably one of the most important chronic health issues in humans, affecting an estimated 8.5 million people in the UK only. Due to the absence of vascularisation in cartilage, its regenerative capacity is limited, and treatment is required for repair. Severe limitations of current treatments, such as microfracture and autografts, have inspired research into more effective tissue engineering strategies, involving the implantation of stem cells able to repair the tissue. The implanted stem cells must be able to differentiate both into cartilage and bone cells. The differentiation of the cells can be controlled by changes in the modulus of the implant; however, there are no current scaffold materials that allow this concurrent double differentiation. We therefore propose to use our state of the art 3D bioprinter (Cellink) – able to co-print multiple materials and cells – to develop complex structures of biocompatible polymers of selected stiffness and porosity, to study how architectural and mechanical properties of the scaffold guide cells differentiation into the two types of cells desired.

The successful candidate will have a PhD degree or equivalent with experience in tissue culture in particular with stem cells, knowledge of some of the following areas is desirable: bioengineering, mechanobiology, x-ray/confocal microscopy, mechanical testing, 3D printing and biomaterial formulation. The SRA will work in a dynamic environment and benefit from the existing collaborative research between Dr Marta Roldo (expert in the synthesis, formulation and characterisation of biocompatible materials), Dr Petko Petkov (expert in mechanical and design engineering required to adapt the 3D printing process to the higher complexity of bio 3D printing) and Dr Gianluca Tozzi (X-ray computed tomography and correlative imaging).

The post is based at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, University of Portsmouth, with the appointment effective as soon as possible or no later than 1st April 2019. For informal enquiries please contact Dr Marta Roldo at marta.roldo@port.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)23 9284 3586.

Location:Portsmouth
Salary:£30,395 to £34,189 per annum
Hours:Full Time
Contract Type:Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On:18th February 2019
Closes:9th March 2019
Job Ref:ZZ005155

webpage for applications:

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BQH756/senior-research-associate

Simpleware ScanIP comes with FDA 510(k) clearance

Synopsys are pleased to announce the release of the Simpleware ScanIP Medical edition. This exciting new version of Simpleware ScanIP comes with FDA 510(k) clearance, and CE and ISO 13485:2016 certification as a medical device.

Learn more about Simpleware ScanIP Medical – with link http://bit.ly/2MSsmKC

Learn more about the clinical applications of Simpleware software – with link http://bit.ly/2GEsD2A

Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Modelling for Tendon Tissue Engineering

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Botnar Research Centre, Windmill Road, Oxford

Grade 7: £32,236 – £39,609 p.a.

Applications are invited for the position of a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Modelling for Tendon Tissue Engineering to join an interdisciplinary team of researchers collaborating on a project led by Dr Mouthuy at the Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), Oxford.

This post will be included in the activities of the Carr group as well as Professor Jerusalem’s group at the Department of Engineering Science, Oxford and Professor Waters’ group at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford and as such the postholder will be required to work across these locations.

As a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Modelling for Tendon Tissue Engineering you will participate in the activities of the research team in the Humanoid Bioreactor project, sharing skills and knowledge and publishing your findings in peer-reviewed journals.

You will analyse, contextualise and interpret data, write and maintain programs and protocols for data analysis as well as train and supervise graduate and undergraduate students as appropriate.

You will hold a PhD/DPhil (or near completion) in a discipline of direct relevance to computational mechanics and/or tissue engineering.
You will be competent with programming languages such as C/C++ and Matlab as well as numerical simulations, model calibration and validation.
You will have an experience in implementing mathematical descriptions of physical biological processes and you will be highly self-motivated and committed to pursuing interdisciplinary research.
Experience with handling clinical imaging data such as CT, MRI or ultrasound scans, strong competences in the use of CAD software to design materials and an ability to conduct experiments with cells and biomaterials are desirable.

This is a full-time fixed-term appointment for 3 years.
You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.
The closing date for this position is 12.00 noon on Monday 18 March 2019.

More details and applications:

https://www.recruit.ox.ac.uk/pls/hrisliverecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.display_form?p_company=10&p_internal_external=E&p_display_in_irish=N&p_process_type=&p_applicant_no=&p_form_profile_detail=&p_display_apply_ind=Y&p_refresh_search=Y&p_recruitment_id=139124

Synopsys are looking for Early Stage Researchers

Synopsys are looking for Early Stage Researchers for an outstanding opportunity to be part of a H2020-funded EU project RAINBOW on biomechanics and simulation. Based in the Synopsys offices in Exeter, UK, with placements in Cardiff University and the University of Luxembourg, the positions are generously funded and provide great experience in an industrial environment.

RAINBOW vacancy:

Luxembourg – http://bit.ly/2ML2cto

Cardiff – http://bit.ly/2G5B9Z8

PhD in “Biomechanics and biomedical engineering in reconstructive surgery of feet”


Cranfield University and Aston University Birmingham

Applications are invited for a three year EPSRC Doctoral training Partnership Postgraduate studentship, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to be undertaken within the Biomedical Engineering Research Unit at Aston University and the Forensics Biomechanics Laboratory in Cranfield University.

Musculoskeletal issues in the feet of growing children result in pain and gait problems during skeletal maturity in adolescence. Many of these cases require surgery to relieve pain and prevent disability in adult life such as joint arthritis. This project aims to investigate the key parameters impacting surgical outcomes with the aim of improving surgical planning and prognosis. This project will include gait analysis, parametric analysis of patient data and mechanical testing; therefore the candidate will be consulting with collaborators in orthopaedic surgery, biomechanics and mechanical engineers. The candidate will gain a unique opportunity to carry out clinical-led research in an exciting interdisciplinary project. The candidate would also benefit from the use of modern facilities at Aston and Cranfield. This includes a gait analysis lab, biomedical testing lab and tissue biomechanics lab. The candidate will spend the majority of time at Aston University with part of the time at Cranfield University’s Defence & Security School, Shrivenham.

At a glance

  • Application phase will stay open until the post is filled.
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date after 04 Feb 2019
  • Duration of award 3 years
  • Eligibility EU, UK
  • Reference number PHD CFI03

Supervisor

Professor Peter Zioupos (Cranfield University)

Dr Sarah Junaid (Aston University)

Clinical supervisor: Mr Basil Budair

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a Masters at merit level (or MEng) in an appropriate subject and a First class or upper second (2:1) class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Mechanical engineering, Biomedical Engineering or Biomechanics. The candidate will have an excellent academic track record and preferably have one or more of the following skills or knowledge/experience of: biomechanics, gait analysis, inverse dynamics, statistical data analysis, finite element modelling.

Person specification and full details at: www.cranfield.ac.uk/research/phd/cds-a-statistical-parametric-tool-for-flatfoot-surgery

Funding

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees rate plus a maintenance allowance of £ 14,777/year for 3 years.  

*Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, which is currently a difference of £14,240 per annum.  As part of the application you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or, secured this additional funding elsewhere, if you are from outside of the EU.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This Network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration and create smaller communities of practice.  It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form.

Please quote the following title and reference number: PhD in “Biomechanics and biomedical engineering in reconstructive surgery of feet” with the reference number PHDCFI03.

In addition to the application form, please attach a covering or motivational letter as well as a CV.

For further information contact us today:

CDS Admissions office
T: 44 (0) 1793 785400
E: cdsadmissionsoffice@cranfield.ac.uk

https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/phd-in-biomechanics-and-biomedical-engineering-in-reconstructive-foot-and-ankle-surgery/?p101135

PhD studentship in “Strain Measurement in Osteoarthritic Cartilage (SMOC)”

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in October 2019. 

The PhD will be based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and will be supervised by Professor Gordon Blunn and Dr Gianluca Tozzi. 

The work on this project will investigate: 
– the strain distribution in normal human articular cartilage obtained from bone cancer specimens
– the strain distribution in human OA samples taken from the tibial plateau during total knee replacement 
– the strain distribution in specimens taken at different time points (longitudinal study) from animal models that develop OA 

Project description 


Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 250 million people worldwide, impacts more than half of the population over the age of 65 and is predicted to increase 7-fold by 2030. Our understanding of the aetiology and 
pathogenesis of OA remains incomplete despite numerous research studies over several decades and treatments have been largely unsuccessful. 

Early OA is associated with early changes in the architecture and volume of subchondral bone, which has led many in the field to think of OA as a disease of the ‘whole joint.’ The focus on bone changes as the initial effector of the osteoarthritic process is influenced by studies proposing how pathogenesis of OA can be attributed to a primary alteration in surrounding bone, which leads to increased strains in the the overlying articular cartilage. This adversely affects chondrocyte function and cartilage matrix loss. This hypothesis is supported by numerous studies which have demonstrated that changes in bone occur very early in the development of OA. However, cartilage and bone both have the capacity to respond to adverse biomechanical signals and, therefore, it is more likely that both tissues undergo structural and functional alterations during the initiation and evolution of OA. The extent, the interrelated effect on bone and cartilage and the precise timing of these changes remains unknown. 

The strain in the subchondral bone and in the cartilage will be investigated using high-resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography (XCT), using both adsorption and phase-contrast imaging. Specimens will be subjected to in situ mechanical loading and imaged at increasing incremental loads. The degree of strain will be determined using digital volume correlation (DVC) and its distribution related to the degree of damage using histology and immunohistochemistry, which will detect the breakdown of the cartilage matrix. 

The University of Portsmouth is uniquely positioned to answer this research question with its state-of-the-art imaging facilities available at the Zeiss Global Centre as well as world-leading experience in digital volume correlation in musculoskeletal research. The project will develop and train a PGR student in the large research area of osteoarthritis, but at the same time will utilise new techniques to address the research question. The student will utilise and develop skills, which could be applied to other aspects of biomedical engineering giving them a number of potential career opportunities after completing the PhD. 

General admissions criteria 


You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum second class 
or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in a relevant subject area . In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0. 

How to Apply 

We’d encourage you to contact Professor Gordon Blunn (gordon.blunn@port.ac.uk) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code. 

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Biomedical, Biomolecular and Pharmacy’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code PHBM4820219 when applying. 

Funding Notes

The bursary is available to UK and EU students only and covers tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant in line with the RCUK rate (£14,777 for 2018/19) for three years.

Two PhD studentships at the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research University of Bern, Switzerland

PhD Student in Computational Biomechanics

for a period of three years starting in the spring 2019.

The outstanding candidate will be integrated in a research group in biomechanics combining experimental and computational methods to test original scientific hypotheses and develop new diagnostic methods or medical devices. She/he will work on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation that will develop a new diagnostic tool for osteoporosis.

The project is initiated in cooperation with the Service for Bone Diseases of the University of Geneva (HUG) as well as the Polyclinic for Osteoporosis of the University Hospital in Bern. The candidate will advise undergraduate students in her/his domain of expertise and may be involved in teaching of biomedical engineering.

The University of Bern aims at increasing the proportion of women in its scientific personnel and explicitly encourages qualified women to apply for this position. The salaries correspond to the ones published by the Swiss National Science Foundation (www.snf.ch) and the academic track is managed by the Graduate School in Cellular and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Bern (www.gcb.unibe.ch).

Please, send your application, including a letter of motivation, complete CV and records before February 28th 2019 to

Prof. Philippe Zysset, Institute for Surgical Technologies & Biomechanics, University of Bern, Stauffacherstrasse 78, CH-3014 Bern

www.istb.unibe.ch

philippe.zysset@istb.unibe.ch


PhD Student in Medical Image Processing

for a period of three years starting in the spring 2019.

The outstanding candidate will be integrated in a research group in biomechanics combining experimental and computational methods to test original scientific hypotheses and develop new diagnostic methods or medical devices. She/he will work on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation that will develop a new diagnostic tool for osteoporosis.

The project is initiated in cooperation with the Service for Bone Diseases of the University of Geneva (HUG) as well as the Polyclinic for Osteoporosis of the University Hospital in Bern. The candidate will advise undergraduate students in her/his domain of expertise and may be involved in teaching of biomedical engineering.

The candidate must hold a Master’s Degree in biomedical engineering or related field. A solid background in mathematics and image processing is essential, practice in statistical shape modeling, broad programming skills are necessary and project related experience in biomechanics is advantageous. Strong writing skills in English are indispensable, while knowledge of French or German is desired.

The University of Bern aims at increasing the proportion of women in its scientific personnel and explicitly encourages qualified women to apply for this position. The salaries correspond to the ones published by the Swiss National Science Foundation (www.snf.ch) and the academic track is managed by the Graduate School in Cellular and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Bern (www.gcb.unibe.ch).

Please, send your application, including a letter of motivation, complete CV and records before February 28th 2019 to

Prof. Philippe Zysset, Institute of Surgical Technologies & Biomechanics, University of Bern, Stauffacherstrasse 78, CH-3014 Bern

www.istb.unibe.ch

philippe.zysset@istb.unibe.ch