ESB special session at the 2018 VPH Conference: Mechanical cues in health and disease mechanisms

ESB special session at the 2018 VPH Conference: Mechanical cues in health and disease mechanisms


Following the increasing success of the four previous editions of the Virtual Physiological Human Conferences, the 5th edition, VPH FOR INSILICO MEDICINE –VPH2018, will take place on 5 – 7 September 2018 in Zaragoza, Spain. The VPH Conference gathers Scientists of international prestige in the field of the conference that have already confirmed their participation as Plenary Lecturers. These lectures will be complemented by Invited Sessions organized by recognized experts in targeted research areas.

In particular, the VPH Institute (VPHi) community and the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) combine efforts through the organization of a special session that targets the importance of mechanical cues in the living and disease mechanisms: simulation-based findings and new hypotheses. This session aims to be complementary to the rest of the conference tracks, as it will allow researchers presenting biomechanical, mechanobiology, biological models and combinations thereof as means for explorative research through computer simulations, regardless the nature of the modelling tools or targeted application.

The conference will also welcome Tina Morrison (Deputy Director, Division of Applied Mechanics and Chair of FDA’s Modeling and Simulation Working Group) who will lead a special Industry Session about coming possibilities for IN SILICO MEDICINE.

The respective efforts of the VPHi and ESB communities will be also reflected through two different workshops for students: “Patient-specific musculoskeletal models into FE computer models”, organized by CURABONE (ITN-EID Marie Curie action) and, “High performance computing for the VPH”, organized by CompBioMed. More info to be announced soon.

Submission of abstracts is open:

Authors are invited to submit a one-page abstract before February 28th, 2018.
Registration and submission of abstracts should be performed online. Detailed information is available here. You can contact here for any question.


We hope to see you in Zaragoza in September 2018 and we look forward to receiving your contribution for the ESB Special Session.


María Ángeles Pérez Ansón and Jérôme Noailly, Chairs of the ESB Special Session at VPH2018

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Skeletal Ageing and Biomechanics at Insigneo

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Skeletal Ageing and Biomechanics at Insigneo

Job Title:
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Skeletal Ageing and Biomechanics

A position has become available for a highly motivated postdoctoral research scientist to be involved with studies to determine the effects of geroprotectors on bone and joint ageing.
You will use ex vivo X-ray microCT and histomorphometry combined with new computational approaches for an in depth structural analysis of bone, bone strength, cartilage degradation and subchondral bone changes.
The post is funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and will be based at the Insigneo Institute for In silico Medicine and the MRC Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) in Sheffield.
You should hold a PhD in Engineering, Physics or related disciplines, be familiar with experimental, imaging, image processing and computational modelling techniques for assessment of bone properties. A willingness to learn histological techniques is also essential.
The post is fixed term until the end of December 2019, reporting to Dr Enrico Dall’Ara and Prof. Bellantuono

Start position: As soon as possible
Duration: until the end of December 2019
Closing application: 25th January 2018
Link Application (use in Keywords: “UOS018139):…ign=jobs-link#

Salary: Grade 7; £30,175 to £38,183 per annum


Postdoc position at TU/e – Mechanical Optimization of Scoliosis Treatment

Postdoc Mechanical Optimization of Scoliosis Treatment

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has the following vacancy: Postdoctoral researcher – Mechanical Optimization of Scoliosis Treatment


Job description

About TU/e:

The TU/e is a University of Technology with a focus on Health, Energy and Mobility. Within the Health area, several departments cooperate on topics such as Chemical Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Computational Biology, and Biosensing, with close links to healthcare and industry. The TU/e is an open and inclusive university with short communication lines. The people are curious, collaborative, and strive for excellence. TU/e enables its academic staff to develop research and education at an internationally renowned level. Our lively campus community facilitates connections between staff and students, in an open, friendly, vibrant atmosphere that welcomes and inspires.

About BME:

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers a research driven BME Bachelor program and Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Engineering in its Graduate Program. Its research areas range from Molecular Bioengineering and Imaging, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering to Biomedical Imaging and Modelling. The department has more than 800 students and up to 200 tenured and non-tenured employees.

About the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group:

This group combines the disciplines of engineering and biology to increase our knowledge of the adaptive, developmental and physiological nature of musculoskeletal tissues. This knowledge is then applied to explore and develop regenerative treatment strategies, currently applied to bone, articular cartilage, intervertebral disc and tendons/ligaments. The group consists of multi-disciplinary scientists and engineers at all levels employing numerical and experimental as well as engineering, imaging, biological and chemical techniques.

About InSciTe:

This position is part of the Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe), a public-private institute for developing smart healing biomedical materials for high quality, affordable healthcare. With its physical nucleus at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, it enables entrepreneurship, expertise, experimentation and education in an open innovation network. In this project, the founding partners, MUMC+, TU/e and DSM will work together with other partners to achieve their aim of bringing a new treatment for scoliosis to first-in-man trials.

Job description

In earlier work, the partners developed a new strategy for the treatment of scoliosis (an abnormal curvature of the spine) in growing children. With this strategy, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibres are used in combination with metal rods to correct the spinal deformity. The number of levels to be treated, as well as the placement of fixation screw, however, are dependent on the severity of the deformation and other patient-specific factors. In order to optimize the design, a computer model is developed based on the finite element method. This model can represent the spine and the instrumentation and can be made to fit the patent by adjusting a limited number of parameters. The aim of the project is to develop this model into a pre-clinical and a patient-specific pre-operative tool to optimize the treatment. As these suggestions for optimization involve other parts of the project, there will be close interaction with the entire team.



Job requirements

We are accepting applications from enthusiastic candidates who are interested in a dynamic, stimulating and ambitious environment to perform their work. The candidate must have a PhD degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics or equivalent.

Candidates are expected to have good (bio)mechanical insight, extensive experience with (non-linear) finite element analyses (e.g. using MSC.Marc, Abaqus or Ansys), mechanical testing techniques, and interested in manufacturing and developing a product and establishing dedicated testing environments. The candidate will be able to effectively communicate scientific ideas, foster collaboration and have a capability for independent thinking. Moreover, the candidate should be able to work independently within a dynamic team and be skilled in written and spoken English.

Conditions of employment

We offer you:

  • An exciting job in a dynamic work environment
    • A full time appointment for 1 year by Eindhoven University of Technology ( After a good evaluation your contract can be extended with an additional year.
    • A gross monthly salary is in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (scale 10 ), depending on your experience.
  • The possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits, including end-of-year bonus (8,3% in December), an extra holiday allowance (8% in May), moving expenses and excellent sports facilities.



Information and application

Information and procedure

If you would like to apply, please send us your application by using the ‘apply now’ button on the TU/e website.

Your application should be addressed to dr. Bert van Rietbergen or prof.dr. Keita Ito, and must include:  a one-page personal motivation letter, a CV including the names and contact details of two recent references and a transcript of your masters studies. Only complete applications will be considered.

Screening of applicants will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.

Online application:

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 or Dr. Johann Michler  and  visit  our websites 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



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


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.


  • 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

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


Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering Panel


Dr.Jerôme Noailly

-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:

[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)

Contact for inquiries and support:

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.

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.

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.

ERC-Funded PhD Position in Computational Modelling of Bone Adaptation and Regeneration – 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 an
ERC-Funded PhD Position in Computational Modelling of Bone Adaptation and Regeneration
The aim of the research is to develop computational models of bone adaptation and regeneration incorporating data from the cellular to the organ scale. A range of computational models exist which propose a variety of mechanisms by which bone is adapting and regenerating at both tissue and the cell level. Simulations become especially useful when examining complex mechanically driven systems such as the bone remodeling process and therefore have been gaining momentum in the scientific community. Unfortunately, the insight, which can be provided by cell or tissue level models, is limited, while the two systems remain unlinked and validation with detailed cell-level data are still lacking. Within this position, therefore, novel computational tools will be developed to simulate the mechanoregulation in bone associated with adaptation and regeneration. A multiscale model will be developed combining three types of computer models: Boolean networks to model interaction between molecules and cells; cellular automaton to model bone microstructure; and micro-finite element analysis to calculate mechanical tissue loading; the mechanical signal for the bone cells. In the end, these simulations will be compared to in vivo data from an animal experimental study. This PhD project is embedded in a larger group effort funded by the European Research Council (ERC) through an ERC Advanced Grant called MechAGE, which aims to investigate in vivo single-cell mechanomics of bone adaptation and regeneration in the aging mouse.
The successful candidate holds or will soon receive a master’s degree in Computational Science and Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Applied Mathematics, preferably with some background in computational modelling with cellular automaton and Boolean networks. It is essential that the candidate is willing and motivated to work on the foundations of biological computer modelling and simulation. Additionally, excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) are required.

We look forward to receiving your online application including 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 Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Patrik Christen by email patrik.christen[at]

To apply please visit

PhD position in Biomechanics – Karl Landsteiner University of Health Science


Established in 2013, the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL) is part of an academic and research community located at the Campus Krems, and includes a network of comprising teaching hospitals in St. Pölten, Krems and Tulln. The university offers degree programmes in Human Medicine, Psychotherapy, Counselling Sciences and Psychology, which are tailored to the requirements of the Bologna model, opening the door to new, cutting-edge health professions. KL is committed to raising its profile in specific areas of biomedicine, biomedical engineering, and biopsychosocial sciences by entering into strategic academic and research partnerships with other institutions.

Starting at January 2018, the department of anatomy and biomechanics (division of biomechanics, Prof. Dieter Pahr, offers a research position, which is limited to the duration of three years:

PhD Position in Biomechanics

Your responsibilities:

  • Participation in the funded research projects
  • In more detail, using of micro CT imaging, biomechanical testing, finite element simulations, and 3d printing
  • Programming of evaluation- and analysis scripts
  • Assistance in teaching in the fields of mathematics, physics, informatics and biomedical engineering
  • Engagement in other research projects

Your profile:

  • Degree in civil or mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, technical physics, or similar fields
  • Basic knowledge in programming, biomechanics, imaging (CT), experimental material characterization
  • Good English skills
  • Skills in script programming as well as experience in finite elements simulations of advantage
  • The willingness to support teaching, experience is of advantage
  • Self-responsible and reliable working approach
  • Interest on scientific working and writing a dissertation thesis
  • Friendly and team oriented personality

Your perspective:

  • You can expect a challenging job in an internationally recognized and highly motivated team

Research Topics

  • Biomechanical characterization and FEA simulations in the field of endochondral ossification for bone regeneration
  • Biomechanical investigation of the degradation behavior and FEA simulation in the field of biodegradable magnesium alloys for implants


The Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences is dedicated to achieving a balanced mix of male and female academic and non-academic staff. Consequently, applications from female candidates are particularly welcome. The minimum gross salary for this position is € 2,045. Overpayment based on the internal salary structure and individual qualifications and experience is possible.


Applications should include a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and credentials and should be mailed by 19. November 2017 to Ms. Christina Schwaiger of the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences,

Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30, 3500 Krems, Austria (

The division of biomechanics is constantly looking for pre-doc candidates. Therefore, we also accept unsolicited applications after the deadline.

European Calcified Tissue Society Webinar: bone implant interface

ECTS Academy Webinar: Multiscale characterization of the biomechanical properties of the bone-implant

Live Webinar: 29 November 2017, 3-4pm CET

Webinar objectives:

Learn about the cutting-edge science and career paths of the most successful young scientists in Europe
Ask questions to better develop your own career plan
Learn from the questions of peers
Benefit from the knowledge of speakers on how to apply for ERC grants


25 min science presentation
10 min presentation of the career path
25 min Q&A


Dr. Guillaume Haiat

ECTS Academy Webinar

ESBiomech Newsletter Autumn 2017

We are pleased to present our 2017 Autumn Newsletter with the latest ESB news, reports from ESB conference and honouring award winning researchers, and updates from our corporate members.

Please contact us with ideas of items you would like to see on our website and newsletter and these will be considered as the society continues to expand. If you do not wish to receive mailings including the newsletter and other updates from the European Society of Biomechanics you can update your settings in the membership section of the website here:

I hope you find the newsletter useful and informative.

Mark Thompson –