ESB Education and Student Committee

ESB Webinar series

The next webinar on ITK-SNAP ( is coming up this fall!
We’ll keep you posted on the exact timing and topic.

Recordings of all webinars can be seen by subscribing to the ESB You Tube channel:

Extraordinary additional call for one ESB Mobility Award for early career researchers!

The ESB Mobility Grant aims to provide ESB members with financial assistance to carry out collaborative research in a foreign country as part of their PhD or postdoctoral research.

The application deadline is 30th November 2020.
The winner will be announced by the 30th January 2021.
The exchange period should take place within 18 months of receiving the award (from 1st February 2021 until 31h July 2022).

More information on the eligibility requirements, application, review and selection process can be found at:

Winners Mobility Award 2020

Congratulations to the winners of the Mobility Award 2020!!!!

Míriam Febrer Nafrá from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain to ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
Joeri Kok from Lund University, Sweden to Tel-Aviv University, Israël.
Maria Pastrama from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands to EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland.

More information can be found here:

This year we will have an extraordinary call for one additional Mobility Award, see here for more information:

Research stay at ETH Zürich – by ESB Mobility Award winner Amélie Sas

I moved to Zürich (Switzerland) at the end of January this year to spend 6 months at the Laboratory for Orthopaedic Research, ETH Zurich. Although the circumstances were not ideal with the COVID-19 situation, it was still a great experience, both from a professional and personal point of view. The goal of the research project was to characterize the material properties of PMMA augmented human femoral bone. I performed an in vitro experiment where I compared the mechanical properties of native trabecular bone, PMMA-bone composite and pure PMMA. The mechanical properties were obtained from compression tests and compared against morphological parameters extracted from microCT scans.

We were able to demonstrate that the mechanical properties of PMMA-bone composites are influenced by morphology, mainly by bone density and alignment with the main trabecular direction. The resulting material properties are useful for inclusion in clinical CT-based finite element models simulating femoroplasty of the proximal femur. The Laboratory for Orthopaedic Research was a great place for performing my experiment thanks to the expertise and facilities available in the lab. This made it possible for me to finish the project faster and more thoroughly than I would have been able when starting from scratch. Besides the scientific experience, it was also very interesting for me to get to know a different work environment, meet new people and discover Switzerland. I could escape from the COVID-19 concerns by retreating in the Swiss nature. I went for several hiking tours in the stunning Alps and swimmed in the numerous lakes of Switzerland. This amazing nature is something I will definitely miss back in Belgium!

Research stay at Eindhoven University of Technology – by Mobility Award winner Ehsan Soodmand

I traveled to Eindhoven in February 2020, and started my collaborative project at the Soft Tissue Biomechanics & Tissue Engineering Institute (STEM). In my PhD project, I investigate the effect of mechanical signals on cellular organization and soft tissue patterning. During my PhD (at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), I developed an in vitro system to look into cellular organization under controlled mechanical conditions. In addition, I developed a computer model to investigate mechanical interactions between the cells and the ECM and their influence for cellular organization. The aim of my research stay at Eindhoven University of Technology was to further develop my in silico model to incorporate an algorithm to simulate the deposition of collagen fibers to predict mechanically-driven collagen fiber (soft tissue) patterning. Together with Prof. Sandra Loerakker, we came up with the idea of introducing a content ratio for collagen fibers, which increases over time. This content ratio representing the amount of collagen fibers also contributes to the stiffness of the extra cellular matrix. In addition, collagen fibers reorientation can be simulated by introducing steric hindrance and contact guidance functions based on the collagen fiber content ratio. Incorporating these processes enables us to predict cell-mediated soft tissue patterning.  My stay in Eindhoven allowed me to get familiar with similar computer models that have been already developed at Prof. Loerakker lab. I had the chance to interact with postdocs and PhD students from her group who helped me to understand how these approaches could be implemented in my model and the details of the different algorithms.

During my stay at Eindhoven, I also had the chance to visit the cell culture laboratory. Discussions with the PhD students at STEM and exchanging ideas provided me with an insight about similar research projects in a wider spectrum of applications. Apart from the science, I was happy to find a football team at the university to enjoy my evenings and weekends. 

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