Category Archives: PhD/Master student positions

PhD Positions in 3D Bioprinting and Multiscale Modeling of Personalized Bone Organoids @ETHZ

The Laboratory for Bone Biomechanics headed by Prof. Ralph Müller at the Department of Health Sciences & Technology, Institute for Biomechanics at ETH Zurich is offering
PhD Positions in 3D Bioprinting and Multiscale Modeling of Personalized Bone Organoids
The aim of the research is to develop a human-based 3D bioprinted bone organoid model that mimics tissue remodeling of healthy or osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) individuals and to investigate OI pathomechanisms. One of the major challenges in OI patients today is to diminish the risk of bone fractures. OI is a genetically heterogeneous inherited disorder of bone matrix formation and remodeling, characterized by pain and recurrent fractures, impairment in ambulation, short stature and multiple skeletal complications. Currently, there are no pharmacological interventions available that effectively treat or prevent fractures or limb deformities. Animal and in vitro experimental models used as test beds for new pharmacological/implants interventions do not allow a deep understanding of pathomechanisms behind the disease. To facilitate a better approximation to the in vivo situation in humans, in this project, we aim at the development of personalized 3D-bioprinted bone organoids for genetically distinct forms of osteogenesis imperfecta to investigate i) the pathophysiology and the biomechanics of OI bone and ii) the bone fracture repair process in order to find novel treatments for personalized bone repair in OI patients. In addition, computational models can assist in the elucidation of the effects of pharmacological treatments and studying the biological complexity quantitatively while reducing simultaneously time and costs compared to animal studies. The positions will be based at ETH Zurich in close collaboration with the University’s Children Hospital in Zurich. The overall goal of the project is to improve the clinical care for patients affected by osteogenesis imperfecta and provide individualized, evidence-based therapy, rehabilitation, and surgical interventions.
For this highly interdisciplinary project, we currently offer two PhD positions enrolled in the graduate program at ETH Zurich. The successful candidate for the experimental part of the project will hold a master’s degree in Biology, Health Sciences and Technology, Life Sciences or similar field. The candidate should have a strong background in cell and molecular biology. Knowledge in 3D-bioprinting and tissue engineering is advantageous but not required. The successful candidate for the computational part of the project will hold a master’s degree in Computational Sciences, Interdisciplinary Sciences, Electrical, Chemical or Mechanical Engineering or similar field and has preferentially a background in imaging, image processing and computational modeling. Knowledge in computer programing (preferentially Python) is advantageous but not required. It is essential that candidates are willing and motivated to work at the interface between biological, engineering and clinical research. Additionally, excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) are required. Knowledge of German is advantageous for the clinical interactions but not absolutely required.

We are looking forward to receiving your online application including a motivation letter, CV, full university transcripts and names and contact details of two references. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.For further information please contact Dr. Marina Rubert at marina.rubert@hest.ethz.ch (no application documents) or visit our group website www.bone.ethz.ch.

Apply now

Six Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher Positions (UK, IT, HU, FR, DE)

Six Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher Positions

SPINNER (SPINe: Numerical and Experimental Repair strategies) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks (ITN) European Industrial Doctorate (EID) aimed at improving treatments for spine disorders.

SPINNER is recruiting a group of six Bioengineering early stage researchers (ESRs) to be in a position to design the next generation of repair materials and techniques for spine surgery. The project brings together partners from the biomaterials, implantable devices, and computational modelling industries with orthopaedic clinicians and academic experts in cell, tissue and organ scale biomaterials and medical device testing. All projects will be fully grounded in practical industrial and clinical requirements, where the number of patients requiring complex spine surgery is rapidly expanding, and the biomedical engineering industry needs suitably trained, innovators to produce economic solutions to support healthy ageing for the people of Europe.

SPINNER is an academic/ clinical/ industrial partnership and the ESRs will be expected to interact with several partners during their three years of research. The partners are:

For more information, please visit www.spinner-eid.eu.
The ESRs will be recruited for 36 months and be enrolled onto a PhD programme at one of the academic partner institutions. They will expect to spend at least 18 months at a non-academic partner institution.

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Projects

ESR1: Osteoinductive injectable/ mouldable bone graft substitute for spine repair

Start Date: 01-September-2018
Host institution: University of Sheffield, UK
This ESR will join Insigneo the institute for in silico medicine and will be affiliated with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Industrial Secondment: Finceramica, Italy

Objectives: Development of multisubstituted hydroxyapatite (SrMgHA) to manufacture orthopaedic cements and putties for enhanced bone regeneration in spinal fusion.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining an Undergraduate degree in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry or a related discipline. Basic knowledge of biomaterials, regenerative medicine, processing of ceramic nanoparticles, chemical/physical characterisation of biomaterials, statistical methods and experience of cell culture is desirable. Chemical laboratory experience is required. The ESR should show highly collaborative attitude, excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Acquired skills: This ESR will specialise in hydroxyapatite based regenerative materials. The project will enable the ESR to develop research and technical skills on physico/chemical characterisation of biomaterials (for example, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), morphological evaluation by SEM, ICP spectrometry, enzymatic degradation test, mechanical testing), materials characterisation techniques (for example, mechanical testing and elemental analysis), basic knowledge on in vitro biological testing to assess the capability of the material to drive bone regeneration, and basic knowledge about organ-level biomechanical testing.

Employability: the profile of this ESR will make him/her employable at medical device companies active in the development and production of synthetic bone graft for bone regeneration in orthopaedic, dental or maxillofacial surgery.

Informal enquiries: Gwen Reilly (g.reilly@sheffield.ac.uk) or Elisa Figallo (efigallo@finceramica.it).

Applications for this position will also need to complete the University of Sheffield’s application procedure, which can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y85xyj7r.

ESR2: Development of osteoinductive coatings for spinal implants (fusion cages)

Start Date: 01-September-2018
Host institution: University of Sheffield, UK
This ESR will join Insigneo the institute for in silico medicine and will be affiliated with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Industrial Secondment: Finceramica, Italy

Objectives: To develop an osteoinductive coating for cages used in spinal fusion, through exploring the antibacterial properties of multisubstituted apatite.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining an Undergraduate degree in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry or a related discipline. Basic knowledge of ceramic biomaterials and processing, methodologies for chemical/physical characterisation of biomaterials, statistical methods and experience of cell culture is desirable. Chemical laboratory experience is required. The ESR should show highly collaborative attitude, excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Acquired skills: this ESR will specialise in hydroxyapatite based regenerative materials and devices for orthopaedic application. The ESR will have the opportunity to develop research and technical skills in biological (cell viability) and physico/chemical characterisation of biomaterials (for example, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), morphological evaluation by SEM, ICP spectrometry, enzymatic degradation test, mechanical testing), materials characterisation techniques (for example, mechanical testing and elemental analysis) and basic knowledge of in vitro biological testing. Training will include assessment of mechanical competence at different scales, also in relation to revision of joint replacement. The ESR will acquire project management, communication and analytical skills by working in close collaboration with different steps in product development (production, quality assurance/regulatory, marketing) as described by design control principles.

Employability: the profile of this ESR will make him/her employable at medical device companies developing or commercialising class III products for tissue regeneration particularly in the orthopaedic field.

Informal enquiries: Fred Claeyssens (f.claeyssens@sheffield.ac.uk) or Elisa Figallo (efigallo@finceramica.it).

Applications for this position will also need to complete the University of Sheffield’s application procedure, which can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y85xyj7r.

ESR3: Integration of clinical experience and in vitro biomechanical testing to improve spinal augmentation

Start Date: 01-November-2018
Host institution: University of Bologna, Italy
This ESR will join the PhD program Health and Technology, an interdisciplinary collaboration bridging the medical and the engineering departments of the University of Bologna, and will be affiliated with the Department of Industrial Engineering.
Industrial Secondment: National Center for Spinal Disorders, Hungary

Objectives: To develop understanding of the failure mechanism of augmented spine segments, focusing both on the vertebrae subjected to vertebroplasty, and adjacent ones.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining (by 31 July 2018) a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, Materials Science, or a related discipline.  Only applicants with a University degree that would allow them to join a PhD program in Italy or in UK can apply, i.e. a University Degree of 3+1 or 3+2 years, or a similar combined degree consisting of a Bachelor followed by a Master corresponding to a total of 4 or more years of legal duration, or a single degree of 4 of more years can apply for admission. Knowledge of biomechanics, orthopaedics and mechanics of materials and structures is essential.  Additionally, experience in mechanical testing, biomaterials, and with clinical environments desirable.

Acquired skills: This ESR will specialise on the problems related to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty and vertebral augmentation. During the first phase, the ESR will become familiar with the clinical environment, and learn the clinical problems related to vertebroplasty. This will include patients with osteoporotic fractures and metastatic lesions. During the second phase, the ESR will learn (in synergy with ESR3) how to develop dedicated biomechanical testing with a focus on vertebroplastic technique.

Employability: The expertise that this ESR will gain will make him/her employable in industries developing regenerative materials, and in test labs.

Informal enquiries: Luca Cristofolini (luca.cristofolini@unibo.it) or Áron Lazáry (aron.lazary@bhc.hu).

ESR4: Sagittal stability: movement analysis before and patient motion after spinal treatments

Start Date: 01-November-2018
Host institution: University of Bologna, Italy
This ESR will join the PhD program Health and Technology, an interdisciplinary collaboration bridging the medical and the engineering departments of the University of Bologna, and will be affiliated with the Department of Industrial Engineering.
Industrial Secondment: National Center for Spinal Disorders, Hungary
Objectives: To develop a comprehensive approach to spinal balance and more in general to spine biomechanics.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining  (by 31 July 2018) a degree in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related discipline. Only applicants with a University degree that would allow them to join a PhD program in Italy or in UK can apply, i.e. a University Degree of 3+1 or 3+2 years, or a similar combined degree consisting of a Bachelor followed by a Master corresponding to a total of 4 or more years of legal duration, or a single degree of 4 of more years can apply for admission.  Knowledge of biomechanics, orthopaedics and imaging is essential.  Additionally, experience in mechanical testing, numerical modelling, and with clinical environments desirable. anical testing, numerical modelling, and with clinical environments desirable.

Acquired skills: This ESR will gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues related to spinal balance. He/she will get familiar with in vivo methods to assess patients before and after spinal corrections (including imaging and movement analysis), modelling methods to investigate sagittal balance, and in vitro biomechanical tests (in synergy with ESR 3). In the last phase, he/she will familiarise with mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis.

Employability: The profile of this ESR will make him employable by companies manufacturing spine correction devices, but also in clinical centres for movement analysis.

Informal enquiries: Luca Cristofolini (luca.cristofolini@unibo.it) or Áron Lazáry (aron.lazary@bhc.hu).

ESR5: Modelling spinal surgical procedures

Start Date: 01-September-2018
Host Institution: Ansys, France
Academic Institution: University of Sheffield, UK
Objectives: Development of a personalised finite element model of the lumbar spine to simulate spinal repair systems.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining an Undergraduate degree in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline. Knowledge of finite element modelling and scripting is essential. Knowledge of medical images and image processing is desirable.

Acquired skills: This ESR will specialise in in silico modelling of the spine. The project will give the ESR the opportunity to acquire high skills in computational modelling, in particular in the modelling of the many different tissues that compose the spine. The ESR will acquire knowledge of the multi-scale anatomy and biomechanics of the spine, and the different orthopaedic interventions available (interspinous implant concepts). In addition, the ESR will get a very complete experience in in vitro testing, and integration of experimental and numerical methods.

Employability: This program will enable the trainee to be employable in any orthopaedic company that requires a good understanding of the biomechanics and the effect of medical devices on the body. In addition, the extensive experience in computational modelling will enable the trainee to work in companies requiring expertise in finite element modelling.

Informal enquiries: Michel Rochette (michel.rochette@ansys.com) or Enrico Dall’Ara (e.dallara@sheffield.ac.uk).

ESR6: Statistical shape modelling and reduced order modelling techniques for patient-specific models

Start Date: 01-September-2018
Host Institution: ADAGOS, France
Academic Institution: University of Sheffield, UK

Objectives: The goal is to design a procedure that creates a patient specific in silico model of the spine. This model shall evolve and adapt depending on the real time action of the clinician during the clinical procedure. At each surgical step, the in silico model will test several scenarios and propose to the clinician the best placement of implants. Each possible scenario of implants configuration and order of their placement can be modelled by finite elements model. When the operation is oriented on an individual patient and not on average spinal column, the approach based on resolution of a complete model becomes too computationally expensive, because multiple configurations have to be tested in order to find the optimal one. As a consequence, this approach cannot be efficiently introduced into medical practice. Recently, the AI solutions have proven to be of great interest for medical applications. The main goal of the future ESR will be the introduction of the reduced order model based on machine learning techniques. Both the real medical data and the results of the finite elements analysis will be used for training of this model.

Required Skills: This ESR should have or be close to obtaining a minimum undergraduate Honours degree (UK 2:1 or better) or MSc (Merit or Distinction) in Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, Signal Processing, or a related discipline. Knowledge of modelling and simulation is essential. Knowledge of deep learning, artificial intelligent and image processing is desirable.

Acquired skills: The ESR will obtain very strong fundamentals on the deep learning techniques and their applications in biomedical studies, GPU computing.

Employability: The ESR will receive a strong background in deep learning applied to biomechanics and therefore companies requiring modelling expertise in the orthopaedic sector or in the biomedical engineering field, or any other engineering field will be interested in such profile.

Informal enquiries: Kateryna Bashtova (kateryna.bashtova@adagos.com) or Lingzhong Guo (l.guo@sheffield.ac.uk).

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria apply for these positions:

  • Mobility: To be eligible for a position, you must not have resided in the same country as the host institution for more than 12 months over the three years leading up to the start date of the position, excluding holidays and (refugee status) asylum application.
  • Early Stage Researcher: An Early Stage Researcher (ESR) shall at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

For general informal enquires about the SPINNER project and the six positions please contact: Gwen Reilly (g.reilly@sheffield.ac.uk) or Luca Cristofolini (luca.cristofolini@unibo.it).

Language Requirements

ESR1, ESR2, ESR5 and ESR6 will need to fulfil the Universities of Sheffield’s English language requirements for PhD registration, which are International English Language Test System (IELTS) 6.5 Overall, with a minimum of 6 in each category. The only exception to this is where your previous degree was in a native English speaking country, no more than five years ago.

For more information please see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/info/englang.

ESR3 and ESR4 do not have an Italian language requirement, the working language of the laboratory is English. Reasonable English is required, which will be assessed at interview.

Benefits

The MSCA programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment [Living Allowance = 3,700 euro/year (correction factor to be applied per country) + Monthly mobility allowance = 600 to 850 euro depending on the family situation]. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences. The approximate gross salary stated above is subject to employers statutory deductions and the amount varies according to the living costs of the host country.

PhD fees will be covered by the project grant.

Overseas (non-EU) applicants

Overseas applicants are welcome, please indicate if you require the host institution to sponsor your work visa.

Application

Please complete the application form, and upload a one-page application letter and a three-page curriculum vitae as PDF files, where requested within the form. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 15th May 2018.

Applications for ESR1 and ESR2 will also have to complete the University of Sheffield’s application process, which can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y85xyj7r.

Please note it is only necessary to apply for ONE single ESR position, only one application per person will be considered during the shortlisting process. If you are interested in a second position, please state this in the form and in your application letter.

PhD position scaffold characterisation, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche (Alicante) SPAIN

University: Bioengineering Institute. Miguel Hernandez University, Elche (Alicante) SPAIN
Requirements for candidates:
a) Be in possession of a University Degree of Bachelor, Engineer, Architect, University Graduate with at least 300 ECTS credits or Master’s Degree, or equivalent in your country, by a non-Spanish institution, in the scientific field that corresponds to the project of research to which your contract will be linked, and having completed those studies after January 1, 2014.
b) Knowledge of Spanish or English, at the conversation level, suitable
for the development of the research work. (B1 English and/or Spanish certificate, depending on nationality)
Research project: Synthesis, characterization and biocompatibility of scaffolds made with third generation ceramic materials
Salary Monthly remuneration of 1,479.28€; and the 25.02% social security
fee, 370.12€ (12 payments). An additional provision of 1,600€ is included, destined to travel expenses and establishment in Elche-Alicante-Spain of the person hired.
Duration: The predoctoral contract will be formalized for one year; renewable up to 3 (Contract start date will be July 1, 2018).
More information: Piedad De Aza (piedad@umh.es) subject: Santiago Grisolia.

PhD position in Marseille, France: Ultrasound stimulation of bone regeneration

Supervisor: Cécile Baron
contact: cecile.baron@univ-amu.fr
Institut des Sciences du Mouvement UMR 7287 CNRS – AMU Web site : http://www.ism.univmed.fr/baron

Co-Supervisor: Carine Guivier-Curien
contact : carine.guivier@univ-amu.fr
Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre UMR 7342 CNRS – AMU Web site: https://www.irphe.fr/~guivier

Bone is a living material capable of regenerating to adapt itself to the mechanical stresses of its environment through

the process of bone (re)modelling. Unfortunately, despite its amazing healing capacity, 5 to 10% of fractures show

delayed or non-union fractures.

Who doesn’t know anyone who has suffered a bone fracture? The causes of a bone fracture can be very different in nature: trauma, stress (fatigue fracture), idiopathic or congenital bone diseases and disorders, bone metastases, therapeutic treatments such as prostheses implant, bone lengthening or tumor resection. Although the field of bone regeneration has made great advances in recent decades, coupling personalized diagnosis and optimal treatment of bone fracture remains a challenge due to the large number of variables to be taken into account. In-silico models can help to better understand this complexity and thus improve the understanding of bone regeneration processes.

Ultrasound in medical applications is best known for diagnostic devices such as B-mode imaging. The advantages of ultrasound imaging compared to conventional medical imaging modalities such as X-ray or MRI are numerous: non-invasive, non-destructive, non-irradiating, non-ionizing, low-cost and portable devices that can be used at the bedside. These characteristics take on a particular resonance in the case of pediatric care. But ultrasound can also be a therapeutic vector.

Ultrasound stimulation of bone regeneration (USBR), initially controversial, is now recognized by the scientific and medical communities. The first clinical observation of the effect of ultrasound on bone healing was reported in the 1950s (Corradi and Cozzolino, 1953). Since the 1980s, USBR has contributed to a number of scientific publications: cell culture (Fung 2014; Puts 2016), animal model (Duarte 1983, Pilla 1990, Azuma 2001), clinical study (Malizos 2006), which has aroused controversy and today has a consensus in its favour. In 1994, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of ultrasound stimulation in medical and paramedical fracture treatment protocols, and a device based on this principle is sold by Bioventus (Exogen®). However, the underlying multiphysical processes remain poorly understood (Padilla 2014).

In parallel with studies that focus on understanding biological processes in response to USBR (from cell to organ), there are many works on bone mechanotransduction. Mechanotransduction is the translation of a mechanical stimulus into a biological response. The mechanotransduction of bone associated with bone repair is complex, multi- scale and multi-physics. The impossibility of conducting in-vivo experiments reinforces the need to develop

theoretical and numerical models such as the one described in this project.

The project proposes to create a bridge between these two communities, that of mechanics and that of biologists and

clinicians by developing a finite element (FE) numerical model under Comsol Multiphysics simulating the ultrasound stimulation of a human bone in a configuration close to the in-vivo configuration. Bone is a multi- component, multi-scale tissue and interaction with ultrasound requires a “tissue to cell” model.

The thesis work is divided into 2 issues:

  1. – Morphometric and physical characterization of double cortical porosity – The bone is considered here as a medium with 2 porosity levels: vascular (Ø~100 µm) and lacuno-canalicular (Ø~100nm – 10 µm). One of the key parameters of Biot modeling is the permeability of the poroelastic medium. To date, the experimental measurement of the permeability of the lacuno-canalicular network (LCN) is inaccessible. Therefore, LCN permeability is estimated by theoretical or experimental approaches coupled with numerical/analytical models and ranges from 10- 17 to 10-25 m2 (Cardoso 2013).

Recent advances in X-ray imaging provide a better estimate of LCN morphometry in 3D giving access to a realistic estimate of the flow. Thanks to these investigation ways, the aim is to assess LCN permeability of the cortical bone which will feed the digital model.

  1. – Estimation of the mechanical effects induced by ultrasound (US) on bone cells – This part of the study concerns 2 scales and several physics using an FE model (Comsol Multiphysics). Ultrasound stimulation is generated at the bone tissue level considered as a poroelastic medium and the study target is the biological response pilot bone cell, at the microscopic scale.

A better understanding of the US stimulation mechanisms on bone remodeling makes it possible to envisage various applications: aid in the treatment of fractures, optimization of callotasis treatment (bone elongation), treatment of bone metastases, aid in peri-prosthetic healing, etc.

References

Azuma Y. et al. 2001, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 16 : 671–680.

Cardoso, L. et al., 2013. Journal of Biomechanics, Special Issue: Biofluid Mechanics, 46: 253–65. Corradi, C., Cozzolino, A., 1953. Archivio di Ortopedia 66 (1), 77–98.

Duarte, L. R., 1983. Archives of Orthopaedic and Traumatic Surgery 101: 153–59. Fung, C-H et al. 2014. Ultrasonics 54: 1358–65.

Malizos, K. et al. 2006.  Injury 37 (1, Supplement): S56–62. Padilla, F. et al., 2014.  Ultrasonics 54 (5): 1125–45.

Pilla, A.A. et al. 1990.  Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 4 : 246–253.

Puts, R., et al. 2016. IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control 63 (1): 91–100.

Candidate Profil

The candidate will have a solid background in fluid and solid mechanics and numerical modelling skills. Knowledge in biomechanics and/or acoustics will be a bonus. The proposed topic is an open and exciting one that requires tenacity and initiative.

Applications

Applications will be sent by e-mail to Cécile Baron (cecile.baron@univ-amu.fr) and Carine Guivier-Curien (carine.guivier@univ-amu.fr) and will include M2 transcripts, a CV, a letter of motivation and any letters of recommendation.

This thesis is proposed in the framework of the inter-ED AMU call for projects (https://college-doctoral.univ-amu.fr/fr/appel- a-projet-inter-ed). The results of the awarding of the 6 doctoral contracts will be notified at the beginning of June following the

hearings of the 12 pre-selected projects.

PhD position Laboratory for Bone Biomechanics, ETH Zurich

PhD Position in Time-lapsed Imaging and Multiscale Modeling of Human Bone Fracture Healing

The aim of the research is to perform time-lapsed high-resolution CT imaging and multiscale modeling of distal radius bone fractures in patients and to investigate the in vivo healing process employing image processing and analysis. Bone fractures are very common and in 5-10% of the cases do not heal or are delayed. Nevertheless, factors influencing the healing outcome are not yet well understood. The specific aims of this PhD project will therefore be (1) to develop image analysis and registration methods to determine in vivo bone resorption and formation sites during fracture healing at the human distal radius, (2) to assess local bone remodeling and comparing the results with clinical biomarker measurements including whole bone strength through multiscale modeling approaches, and (3) to evaluate how bone remodeling during fracture healing affects whole bone strength in healthy, aged and osteoporotic humans.

The position will be based at the Inselspital Bern and at ETH Zurich, where the candidate will be enrolled in the Doctorate Program. Furthermore, this PhD project is embedded in a larger effort funded by the National Science Foundations of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria through a DACH consortium grant consisting of Ulm University (D), the Medical University Innsbruck (A), and the Inselspital Bern and ETH Zurich (CH). The overall goal of the consortium is to investigate local bone remodeling and mechanoregulation of bone fracture healing in healthy, aged, and osteoporotic humans.

The successful candidate holds or will soon receive a master’s degree in Biomedical, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, and has preferentially a background in imaging and image processing. It is essential that the candidate is willing and motivated to work at the interface between engineering and clinical research. Additionally, excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) are required. Knowledge of German is advantageous for the clinical interactions but not absolutely required.

We look forward to receiving your online application includinga a motivation letter, CV, university transcripts and names and contact details of two references. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information about the group please visit our website www.bone.ethz.ch. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Patrik Christen by email patrik.christen[at]hest.ethz.ch (no applications).

Application

https://apply.refline.ch/845721/5964/index.html?cid=1&lang=en

PhD position in FE musculoskeletal modelling at LBMC in Bron, France

PhD Position: Contribution to the improvement of a FE neck model for robust and bio-fidelic simulations

 

Context

The LBMC develops 3D Finite Element (FE) models to study the behaviour of the human body for applications in crash injury risk assessment, ergonomics and clinical orthopaedics. In these last two contexts, LBMC’s ‘Biomechanics and Ergonomics’ and ‘Biomechanics and Orthopaedics’ research teams have been developing subject-specific musculoskeletal models that aim at representing a virtual subject together with its physiological or pathological state. The EC funded DEMU2NECK project resulted in the development of a detailed FE model of the human neck within this framework. Results from this work allowed to identify the potential benefits of modelling 3D muscular actions (as opposed to 1D lines of action as is currently the case) to better account for the complex biomechanical loading that takes place within the cervical spine during tasks of the daily life. This potential may especially concern our ability to better model subject-specific characteristics, including for example a possible degradation of the muscular functional capacity resulting from either pathology or ageing. Benefits may thus be expected within applications regarding the assistance to the design of medical devices such as spinal implants and prostheses, by contributing to foster the development of ‘in-silico’ clinical trials, but also through the transfer towards applications related to ergonomics or virtual testing for the injury risk assessment of the vehicle occupant in poorly defined out-of-position scenarios (e.g. to better account for the driver’s postural behaviour in a pre-crash phase in the case of future autonomous vehicles).

Objectives

In order to support the development of such applications and ultimately of their use within virtual biomechanical or clinical trials, it is necessary to pursue the work already initiated to ensure the robustness of the active muscle model. This work targets both the numerical verification and the model validation as part of a VV&UQ (Verification Validation and Uncertainty Quantification) framework that is currently developed at LBMC trough a formalised multi-team research effort on the topic. This effort is also supported by Ifsttar through the funding of a MSc student industry placement at LBMC.

The PhD Thesis work will thus focus on the following objectives:

– Improve the robustness of the FE neck muscle model. Accounting for the active part of the muscle in a FE model remains a novel and challenging task, and this objective forms the core of the expected exploratory research and dissemination work. It may target several aspects:

  • The evaluation and improvement of the mechanical formulation and implementation of the active muscle model currently implemented in the LSDyna FE code (i.e. a coupled passive 3D matrix/1D active Hill-type elements),
  • The evaluation and estimation of task-related patterns of activation/muscle force distributions through a parallel FE/rigid-body co-simulation calculation loop,
  • The contribution to the gathering of dynamic in-vivo muscle validation data to help better validate the above predicted muscle force distributions. –

– Further pursue the integration of the subject-specific geometric personalizing approaches that have already been developed at LBMC, for use with medical imaging,

– Further improve the validation and bio-fidelity of the model, and apply it to the study of case-studies of pathologies (such as degenerative muscular pathology or cervical dystonia) and to the comparative predictive evaluation of a range of technical or surgical designs used in cervical arthrodesis or arthroplasty.

Keywords

Modelling, Finite-Element, VV&UQ, Musculoskeletal, Spine, Cervical spine, Muscle, Simulation.

Examples of previous work on the topic

Howley, S. Développement et approche de personnalisation d’un modèle numérique musculaire déformable du cou, Thèse de Doctorat, Université de Lyon, 2014.

Fréchède, B, Kamdem Joutsa, F, Dumas, R. 2016. Multi-objective optimisation to assess muscle forces in a musculoskeletal model of the cervical spine. 22nd Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics ESB2016, July 10-13 2016, Lyon, France

Supervision, team and equipment

The student will be hosted within the ‘Biomechanics and Orthopaedics’ team. He/she will be jointly supervised by two researchers holding complementary expertise in FE and rigid-body dynamics modelling, as well as having positive experience of several co-supervisions on the topic. Equipment includes access to both HyperWorks/Radioss and LSDyna licenses, as well as to Lyon 1 University Department of Mechanics’ P2CHPD calculation cluster.

PhD candidate selection criteria

He/she will hold a MSc (or equivalent) in Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering with excellent results. He/she will also present some relevant prior experience with FE and/or rigid-body modelling as well as some good practical knowledge and strong interest in coding (Matlab, Scilab, Python). A background in biomechanics will be a strong plus for the application.

Application Applications should be made through the following website, where further information is also provided:

https://www.abg.asso.fr/fr/candidatOffres/show/id_offre/75559

Open Position: Biomechanics and Proteomics at TU Wien

Open Position for a University Assistant in Biomechanics and Proteomics

 

Description:                            The Institute of Lightweight Design and Structural Biomechanics (ILSB) of TU Wien invites applications for the position of a University Assistant in the area of biomechanics and protein analysis. The mechanics of biological tissue are closely related to their hierarchical structure and composition. For example the absence of certain noncollagenous proteins in bone has been shown to be deleterious for fracture toughness. Similarly, the presence of sugar-mediated cross-links in collagen within bone as well as in musculoskeletal soft tissues such as tendons or ligaments is thought to alter their material properties. The candidate sought for this position will work at the cross-roads of tissue composition and mechanics, whereby the compositional aspects will be investigated via mass-spectrometry methods under supervision of Prof. M. Marchetti-Deschmann of the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics of TU Wien. A special focus will be on the compositional aspects of the enthesis (the tendon-to-bone-junction) as well as on tendon and isolated individual collagen fibrils. Mechanical tests will be conducted mostly with via atomic force microscopy in the Interfacultary Laboratory for Nano- and Micromechanics of Biological and Biomimetical Materials, employing where the ILSB is a major stakeholder. In addition to conducting research towards a PhD degree the post will also entail participation in administrative tasks and teaching activities at the ILSB.

Qualifications:                      We are looking for an individual with a completed MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Physics or a related discipline. Skills and knowledge in biomechanics, biochemistry, chemical analysis will be advantageous. Further, German language skills (native speaker or level B2 according to CEFR) are required.

Further information:              For informal discussions contact Professor Philipp Thurner, pthurner@ilsb.tuwien.ac.at

How to apply:                          Send applications to rene.fuchs@tuwien.ac.at no later than March 9th 2018

PhD in Biomechanics at EMPA, Switzerland

 

Empa the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

Our Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures in Thun is looking for a

 

PhD Student in the field of Biomechanics

Your Tasks

You will work on a project funded by the Special Focus Area Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) of the ETH Domain. The research will contribute to understanding the effect of aging and disease on the composition and multiscale mechanical properties of bone and its impact on whole bone strength. You will be enrolled in a doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering at University of Bern and investigate properties of human bone biopsies in collaboration with clinical partners. During  the course of the  project, you will be involved in sample preparation, micromechanical experiments under physiological conditions, Raman spectroscopy, proteome analysis, as well as in-depth statistical data analysis.

The project is initiated in cooperation with Prof. Philippe Zysset of the Institute of Surgical Technology and Biomechanics of the University of Bern. Further project partners are situated at the Inselspital of the University of Bern as well as ETH Zürich.

Your Profile

You must hold a Master’s or an equivalent Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or Materials Science. A high motivation to work at the leading edge of biomedical research in an international, multidisciplinary team is essential. Good knowledge of English (oral and written) is very important and knowledge of German would be an advantage. Experience in biomedical research, nanomechanical testing, as well as programming (e.g. Python, Matlab) is desirable.

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Jakob Schwiedrzik  jakob.schwiedrzik@empa.ch or Dr. Johann Michler johann.michler@empa.ch  and  visit  our websites www.empa.ch/web/s206 and Empa-Video

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation,  CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two to three referees. Please upload  the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, Jolanda Müller, Human Resources, Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

PhD in mechanistic modelling of chondrocyte-mediated destruction of hyaline cartilage in relation with subchondral bone morphology and inflammation – UPF, Barcelona

PhD in mechanistic modelling of chondrocyte-mediated destruction of hyaline cartilage in relation with subchondral bone morphology and inflammation in osteoarthritis and intervertebral disc degeneration

 

CENTER

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Dept. of Information & Communication Technologies, DTIC-UPF

https://portal.upf.edu/es/web/etic/inicio

CENTER DESCRIPTION

The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra covers a broad range of research topics: Computation and Intelligent Systems; Multimedia Technologies; Networks and Communications; Computational Biology and Biomedical Systems; and the Center of Brain and Cognition (CBC). This broad spectrum of topics reflects the current interdisciplinary reality of cutting edge research in ICT. The DTIC is now running a Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program on data-driven knowledge extraction, boosting synergistic research initiatives across our different research areas.

The DTIC consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (e.g. the only computer science department from an Spanish university that has even been included in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking).

Its PhD program offers advanced training in this interdisciplinary field, becoming an innovative and unique program in Spain. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 140 PhD students and 40 supervisors. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain (e.g. is the top Spanish university according to 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking).

The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character, its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to live. The DTIC is sited in UPF’s Communication Campus, which was opened in 2009 and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district of Barcelona.

Indicators:  

  • Research incomes: 15.6 M€ / year
  • 67 FP7 projects participated and coordinated by 26 staff members (> 60% UPF EU funds) including 13 prestigious ERC Grants, the Human Brain Project
  • Leader in Spain with  > 5% of all the competitive funds obtained by Spanish Universities, Maria de Maeztu Strategic Program.
  • Consolidated scientific productivity ~200 articles/year, > 75% Q1 international journals
  • 50% scientific papers and articles with at least one international collaborator
ADDRESS

Roc Boronat, 138 – edifici Tànger, 08018 Barcelona, Barcelona

GROUP DISCIPLINES

Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering Panel

GROUP LEADER

Dr.Jerôme Noailly

jerome.noailly@upf.edu

https://www.upf.edu/web/bcn-medtech

POSITION DESCRIPTION
-Research Project / Research Group Description:

The proposed PhD will involve the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB) and the Machine Learning for Personalised Medicine areas of BCN MedTech. BCN MedTech focuses on biomedical integrative research, including mathematical and computational models, algorithms and systems for computer-aided diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It has 60 full time researchers working on computational simulations, image analyses, signal processing, machine learning, and biomedical electronics.

Early cartilage degradation in osteochondral systems is poorly understood. In early osteoarthritis (OA), new theories point out the involvement of subchondral bone structural and mechanical changes [1]. In the IVD, the hyaline cartilage adjacent to the subchondral bone shows the first signs of ageing [2], and numerical explorations by the BMMB team have pointed out that specific subchondral bone structures induce above-average fluid velocities in the adjacent cartilage [3]. Thanks to the coupling of continuum tissue models and cell biology models, the BMMB team has recently demonstrated that early degradation of the IVD osteochondral layer is likely to result in the propagation of degenerative changes in the organ [4].

Accordingly, this project will explore new common paradigms of early OA and IVD degeneration processes through mechanistic modelling of the relationships among tissue interstitial fluid flow, chondrocyte mechanostimulation, inflammation and cartilage extracellular matrix turnover. It will involve finite element poromechanical models, and agent-based models of chondrocyte biological activity in different physical and biochemical environments. Model assessment will be achieved through experimental data on articular cartilage biology and multiphysics in OA patients, though an ongoing collaborative project with the Hospital del Mar, and though collaborations with the Universites of Zaragoza and Liège. Simulation results will be analysed through interpretable machine learning techniques.

-Job position description:

The successful candidate will work in a highly international environment in interaction with biomechanicians, biologists and computer scientists. He/She will be in charge of developing an intracellular network model for the simulation of chondrocyte mechanosensitivity in different inflammatory and nutritional environments, based on generic systems biology Boolean models. He/She will also handle multiphysics poromechanical models of the cartilage tissue matrix available at UPF to simulate the mechanical environment of the chondrocytes, simulated as agents. Sensitivity analyses, model evaluation and result interpretation will involve state-of-the-art techniques for model uncertainty evaluation and parameter/result classifications through in-house interpretable machine learning theories. He/She will actively participate to internal research seminars and international conferences in fields related with biomedical engineering, biomechanics, systems biology and rheumatology.

Candidates are expected to have a bachelor and master degrees in biomedical engineering, physics, applied mathematics or any related fields. They should be able to work in a team environment and have good communication skills. Proficient English is mandatory. For any inquiry, please contact Dr Jerome Noailly: Jerome.noailly@upf.edu

References
[1] Li, G. et al, 2013. Arthritis Res. Ther. 15, 223. doi:10.1186/ar4405
[2] Benneker, L.M., et al, 2005. Eur. Spine J. 14, 27–35. doi:10.1007/s00586-004-0759-4
[3] Malandrino, A., et al, 2014. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 22, 1053–60. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2014.05.005
[4] Baumgartner L., et al, 2017. Altered cell activity in the intervertebral disc transition zone due to early cartilage endplate degeneration. 23rd Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics, 2-3 July 2017, Seville, Spain

Application (through “La Caixa” Foundation online system)

https://www.lacaixafellowships.org/index.aspx

Contact for inquiries and support: jerome.noailly@upf.edu

PhD position @ University of Portsmouth: 4D microCT evaluation and digital volume correlation of alloys for bone regeneration

4D microCT evaluation and digital volume correlation (DVC) of Mg-based alloys for bone regeneration

Project Description

Start date: 01 February 2018
Application deadline: 31 December 2017
Interview date: week commencing the 15th January 2018Applications are invited for a fully-funded, three-year PhD studentship at the University of Portsmouth, to commence at the beginning of February, 2018. This PhD is in collaboration with Botiss Biomaterials and the successful applicant will get the opportunity to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team that brings together expertise in biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration, X-ray computed tomography (XCT), in situ mechanical testing and digital volume correlation (DVC). The candidate will benefit from support in Biomechanical Imaging available at the Zeiss Global Centre (ZGC) in the School of Engineering. Professor Gordon Blunn (University of Portsmouth) and Dr Mike Barbeck (Botiss Biomaterials) complete the supervisory team.

Project
Mg-based biomaterlals are able to provide structural support in load-bearing regions and allow bone regeneration to take place over time. However, uncontrolled degradation rate in vivo could result in insufficient mechanical stability during regeneration. Recently, high-resolution microCT imaging combined with in situ mechanical testing (4D evaluation) and digital volume correlation (DVC) allowed a detailed assessment of local microdamage progression, as well as the quantification of 3D deformation in bone-biomaterial systems. However, to date the mechanical competence of Mg-bone integration in vivo is still unknown. The aim of this project is to investigate how the mechanical behaviour of Mg-based implants is influenced by dissolution time and osteoregeneratlon performance. The project will ultimately produce fundamental knowledge aiming at fully establishing Mg-based alloys in the clinical context, through the development of a new generation of products for orthopaedic applications.

Candidate specification
Applications from candidates with a background in biomechanics, biomaterials, X-ray tomography, mechanical testing or related subject areas are welcomed. The successful applicant will receive adequate training and support to develop the necessary skills for a successful completion of the programme. We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and committed candidate with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills.

Fees
The fully-funded, full-time three-year studentship provides a stipend that is in line with that offered by Research Councils UK of £14,553 per annum as well as a waiver of tuition fees. The successful candidate will also receive full access to the University’s Graduate School Development Programme, research training, and internal qualifications that enable applications for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Enquiries and application
Informal enquiries are encouraged and can be made to Dr Gianluca Tozzi on +44 (0)23 9284 2514 or via email at .

You can apply online by submitting your CV, two references and copies of any relevant qualifications. Please quote the project code – ENGN3861217- when prompted. In your application, please indicate your motivation for applying for the post and also outline how your experience and skill-set will contribute to the project. If English is not your first language, please provide evidence of IELTS (score of 6.5, with no component falling below 6.0).

Funding Notes

The fully-funded full-time studentship provides three years of support to cover tuition fees, and a stipend that is in line with that offered by Research Councils UK of £14,553 per annum.