Category Archives: News

General news articles from the ESB.

PhD Position in Experimental Micro- and Nanobiomechanics

We invite applications for a of a PhD position (University Assistant) in experimental micro- and nanobiomechanics. The position is set within a vibrant research group with a main focus on mechanics of individual collagen fibrils and micromechanics of collagen-rich tissues. The research project to be addressed is two-fold:

1) Further development of experimental testing devices for micro- and nanomechanical characterization of individual collagen fibrils and microscopic tissue samples. This is based on a unique mechanical testing device for nanoscale fibres.

2) Conducting scientific research on the mechanics of individual collagen-fibrils as well as micro-mechanics of tissue sections as a function of age, pathology or chemical modification. We have a number of ongoing research projects in this context such that this part will be shaped according to the interests of the applicant.

Further information and link to apply for this position (deadline March 4th 2021):

For informal discussion please contact Philipp Thurner (

Postdoc position on multiscale soft tissue mechanics using SAXS and Tomography

The institute of Bioengineering at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to couple synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and phase-contrast micro-tomography (pCT) to enable 3D imaging of fibrillar collagenous tissue in organs like joints and intervertebral discs. The bioengineering challenge is to determine the correlated 3D deformation and structural changes at the molecular-, fibrillar-, and cell-matrix length-scales under physiological load in intact tissue, and how these alter in ageing, injury and disease.

The position will be based on the Harwell Campus at Diamond Light Source (DLS), and is part of an international EPSRC-funded project (Tomo-SAXS) between QMUL, DLS, University College London, University of Manchester, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

More information can be found at: Postdoctoral Research Assistant – QMUL24137,

PhD position in multimodal and multiscale biomechanics of the bone-implant interface

The Multi-Scale Modelisation and Simulation laboratory (MSME, East-Paris University, France) proposes a PhD position in multimodal and multiscale biomechanics of the bone-implant interface. The aim is to setup a coupled experimental and in silico approach to determine how nanostructure and composition of the interfacial bone tissue evolve and drive the resulting mechanical strength of the interface.

More information:

If you are interested and wish to discuss more, please contact Sophie Le Cann ( and Elsa Vennat ( To apply, please send a CV, motivation letter and past grades; applications will be reviewed as received, for a start of the thesis in sept-oct 2021.

Four PhD Positions at ETH Zurich: MSCA ITN “BioTrib”

Four collaborative PhD positions are available at the Institute for Biomechanics (Department of Health Sciences and Technology). The Institute for Biomechanics is a multidisciplinary research unit dedicated to the biomechanical investigation of the human body. We investigate the mechanics and material properties of the musculoskeletal system, as well as movement control, from a macroscopic (body/organ) scale to a microscopic (cell) scale.

Project background

The available position is funded under the EU MSCA Innovative Training Network program “BioTrib”. The overall aims of the research program are to develop advances in the performance of natural and artificial joints. The program’s focus is on biotribology, which includes friction, lubrication and wear in these interventions. The researchers will gain the necessary interdisciplinary skills demanded by industry to deliver timely and cost-effective solutions to some of the most intractable European healthcare problems in arthritis.

Job description

The focus of each research sub-project is outlined in the job advertisement on the central ETH Zurich website listed below:

PhD Position: Design of a Self-Lubricating Prosthesis

PhD Position: Boundary Lubrication of Fibrous Scaffolds

PhD Position: Tribological Characteristics of Nanofibrous Electrospun Materials

PhD Position: Elucidation of Friction-Induced Failure Mechanisms in Fibrous Collagenous Tissues

Your profile

You are required to have a master’s degree in a relevant field. Specific requirements for each position are given in the individual job advertisements linked above.

Eligibility is set by the regulations of the MSCA ITN framework. Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Therefore, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. The first positions are available from August 2021.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Covering letter with statement of motivation
  • CV
  • Copy of bachelor and master transcripts
  • Copy of MSc thesis

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online ETH Zurich application portal linked above. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Application deadline is 28.02.2021.

Further information about the Institute for Biomechanics can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Stephen Ferguson, email (no applications).

PhD Student Position in Biomedical Development @ AO Research Davos

The AO is a medically guided, not-for-profit organization led by an international group of surgeons specialized in the treatment of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Founded in 1958 by 13 visionary surgeons, the AO fosters one of the most extensive networks of over 215,000 surgeons, operating room personnel, and scientists in over 100 countries.

The mission of the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) is excellence in applied Preclinical Research and Development within trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and translation of this knowledge to achieve more effective patient care worldwide. The ARI contributes high quality applied Preclinical Research and Development (exploratory and translational) focused towards clinical applications/solutions as well as investigates and improves the performance of surgical procedures, devices and substances. It fosters a close relationship with the AO medical community, academic societies, and universities and provides a research environment and support for AO clinicians.

PhD Student Biomechanics and Modeling Focus Area

Peri-implantitis remains an unsolved issue, affecting close to half of all dental implants, with heavy smokers, patients with systemic health conditions (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes) and the immunosuppressed to be more vulnerable to the disease. The currently used dental implants are of low functionality and prone to bacterial colonization and to the formation of bacterial biofilm. The international and interdisciplinary consortium of the Horizon 2020 funded I-SMarD project aims to address this issue by developing advanced multifunctional dental implants that prevent bacterial colonization, promote tissue in-growth and integration via custom 3D printed structure, and allow non-invasive monitoring of the healing process using special coatings. The novel implants are expected to reduce the required time and cost of rehabilitation period for patients benefit while improving diagnosis.

Within this context, we are looking for an outstanding PhD student to join our team. The PhD candidate’s activities will be focused on the structural design and mechanical behavior of the implant using a combined biomechanical testing and computer simulation approach. The successful candidate will be hired at ARI and enrolled at in the PhD program of a partner university in Europe.

Your profile

  • MSc degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical or civil engineering, technical physics, material sciences or related disciplines
  • Previous experience with mechanical testing and finite element simulations would be an advantage
  • Excellent communication (English) skills for an effective collaboration with all involved parties.
  • High motivation, strong interest in research, durability to cope with challenges
  • Ability to solve complex tasks in a highly independent manner
  • Eligibility to apply and obtain a Visa for temporary residence is Switzerland
  • Familiarity with a cross-cultural/interdisciplinary environment is an advantage

We offer

  • An interesting and varied job in an exciting and innovative organization
  • Working in a highly committed international team
  • Modern infrastructure
  • Employment conditions which match the requirements and offer a high degree of flexibility re working hours and location

If you meet the requirements of this challenging opportunity, please submit your complete online application (motivation letter, CV, recent photograph, certificates, reference letters, etc.) through our online application system. Applications received via other channels will not be considered in the process.

For more information please contact Dr. Peter Varga

The online application link can be found here.

2 PhD positions to advance integrated computational simulations of intervertebral disc degeneration

Lower back pain (LBP) is the largest cause of morbidity worldwide, yet there remains controversy as to the specific cause leading to poor treatment options and prognosis. Intervertebral disc degeneration (LDD) is reported to account for 50% of LBP in young adults, but the interplay of factors such as genetics, environmental, cellular responses, social and psychological is poorly understood. Unfortunately, the integration of such data into a holistic and rational map of degenerative processes and risk factors has not been achieved, requiring the creation of professional cross-competencies, which current training programmes in biomedicine, biomedical engineering and translational medicine fail to address, individually.

Disc4All aims to tackle this issue through collaborative expertise of clinicians; computational physicists and biologists; geneticists; computer scientists; cell and molecular biologists; microbiologists; bioinformaticians; and industrial partners. It provides interdisciplinary training in data curation and integration; experimental and theoretical/computational modelling; computer algorithm development; tool generation; and model and simulation platforms to transparently integrate primary data for enhanced clinical interpretations through models and simulations. Complementary training is offered in dissemination; project management; responsible research and innovation; ethics; regulation; policy; business strategy; public and patient engagement. Disc4All will train a new generation of internationally mobile professionals with unique skill sets for the development of thriving careers in translational research applied to multifactorial disorders.

Position 1:

Topic: Multiscale modelling of IVD cell activity & potential tissue turnover

Description: The successful candidate will work on the multiscale modelling of the mechanisms of intervertebral disc regulation. Specifically, the work will target the modelling and simulation of bottomup processes of tissue regulation, through which the dynamics of cell activity contributes to disc tissue turnover in specific regions of interest, in response to multifactorial cell stimulations. Different types of intervertebral disc network models will be used and combined to successively incorporate cell culture experimental data, proteomics measurements and eventually gene variant effects. Interplays of biochemical, mechanical and nutritional cell stimulation will be modelled in representative volume elements through agent-based modelling. Eventually, collective cell activity will be linked with heterogeneous cell environments predictable through finite element simulations of disc tissue and organ multiphysics.

Supervision: Jérôme Noailly (UPF)

More information:

Position 2:

Topic: Bottom-up simulations of spatio-temporal degenerative events in the IVD & biological LDD stratification

Description: The successful candidate will work on the systematization of multiscale modelling of the intervertebral disc regulation for improved LDD stratification. Existing regulatory network and multiphysics models, at the molecular/cell and tissue/organ scales will be locally integrated in relevant regions of interest of the IVD. Such integration will be coupled with different disc model morphologies and molecular signature inputs, from the Twins UK and Northern Finland Birth cohorts. A smart atlas of simulated data will be generated, to eventually enable efficient calculations through metamodeling. Metamodeling will further allow the mining of simulated and real word data altogether, to establish different fingerprints of LDD and the spatio-temporal evolution thereof, characterised by specific hierarchies of risk factors and exploitable clinically.

Supervision: Jérôme Noailly (UPF)

More information:

3 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researchers (PhD positions) in Medical Engineering

Do you want to be part of a globally leading research network comprising institutions across Europe? Would you like to learn new skills in medical engineering with a focus on implant design and biotribology? Could you be a future research leader in providing solutions to some of Europe’s most pressing healthcare problems? Do you want to further your career and attain a PhD at one of the UK’s leading research intensive universities? To complete one of these exciting projects you will be based in the Institute of Functional Surfaces and have access to world leading equipment including advanced simulators and other devices for both the tribological / corrosion testing of implants and the characterisation of the surfaces both coated and uncoated.  You will join a recently funded European Training Network (ETN) BioTrib (project ID 956004, call H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020). BioTrib offers high-level doctoral training to a total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) of which 3 will be employed at the University of Leeds. The project lead is Prof Richard M Hall at the University of Leeds.  This projects will be supervised by Prof Richard M Hall and Dr Michael Bryant.

Important eligibility rules for this position:

There are no restrictions on the nationality, but applicants must, at the time of recruitment,

(1) have not yet been awarded a doctorate degree and be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date that you obtained the degree which would entitle you to embark on a PhD.

(2) At the time of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment under the BioTrib project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher living allowance is fixed at €62,057 per annum including the mobility allowance. This figure is before employer’s and employee’s deductions for national insurance and taxes per year, which will be paid in Sterling using an appropriate conversion rate.

Further details on each of these posts please refer to the applications website for the background, job description and person specification.

To explore the posts further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Prof Richard M Hall, School of Mechanical Engineering


PhD position on computational modeling of mechanically-driven sprouting angiogenesis @Charité

Background and scope of the work

Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels, constitutes a fundamental physiological process during the regeneration of many tissues, including bone. In a DFG-funded collaborative project, we are using a combined experimental/computational approach to investigate how mechanical forces mediate angiogenesis during bone repair. As part of this project, a PhD position is available to investigate the role of mechanical strains on the growth of new blood vessels using mechano-biological computational models.  


You will develop computer models of sprouting angiogenesis taking into account the role played by chemical and mechanical signals in vessel patterning. You will work in close collaboration with project partners working in in vitro and in vivo models to inform and validate the computer models.

Your profile

  • Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Computational Biomechanics, Computational Biology or a related discipline
  • Strong programming skills
  • Knowledge of finite element analysis
  • High motivation, curiosity and commitment to scientific excellence
  • Team player skills and enthusiasm to work in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment
  • Excellent command in written and spoken English
  • Independent and responsible attitude, collaborative spirit

What we provide

This position is available for a period of three years with the possibility to be extended if new funding is available. You will work in a friendly team and in a unique research environment. As a PhD student, you will be associated to the Berlin-Brandenburg School of Regenerative Therapies ( and benefit from the interaction with international scientists.

Starting date: as soon as possible.


If you are interested, please send your CV, motivation letter and two references to: Prof. Sara Checa (

Virtual Scientific Meeting of the Austrian Chapter of ESB November 30th

A virtual Scientific Meeting of the Austrian Chapter of ESB will take place on Monday, November 30, 2020, 09:30-16:30. 

Please see the agenda for download. 

Please pre-register yourself for the Zoom webinar – see below. After registering, you will automatically receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Please feel free to forward the announcement to any interested colleague.

Practical guidelines: 
* Delegates joining the meeting using the provided link, will have the default capabilities of an „Attendee“, meaning they can observe the meeting content but cannot use their microphone, video or share their screen.

* Delegates are encouraged to submit their questions on-line on the Zoom Q&A at any time during the presentation. After each presentation, the chair will summarize the questions and ask them on behalf of the attendees.

* Attendees are requested to login at the meeting with their full name allowing the organizers to keep track of the participants.


You are invited to a Zoom webinar. 
When: Nov 30, 2020 09:30 AM Vienna 
Topic: Scientific meeting of Austrian Chapter of ESB

Register in advance for this webinar: