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A new, all-polymer PEEK-OPTIMA™ femoral knee component for total knee replacement


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Louise Jennings
Additional supervisors
Dr Raelene Cowie, Dr Adam Briscoe (Invibio Ltd)
School of Mechanical Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Do you want to make a difference in patients&rsquo; lives? Are you interested in medical technologies innovation? Do you want to collaborate with industry? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you should consider this PhD studentship opportunity offered by the University of Leeds in partnership with Invibio Limited, a proven development partner and leader of biomaterials solutions.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">25% of patients who receive a conventional metal-on-polyethylene Total Knee Replacement report problems during the first year after their operation, and rising demand for improved performance coming from younger more active patients presents a major challenge. A novel all polymer knee replacement, comprising PEEK-OPTIMA-on-polyethylene, has been developed by Invibio Limited to address these challenges. It is expected products such as this will deliver the innovation needed to treat musculoskeletal diseases, provide better quality of life, ensure higher standards of affordable healthcare, and drive economic growth by bringing new orthopaedic products to market that help tackle national and global health challenges.</p> <p>However, in vivo a major cause of long-term failure of knee replacements has been wear debris-induced osteolysis. Therefore it is necessary to develop new methods to investigate and understand the wear and resulting wear debris, of this new articulating material combination; and this PhD research will address these challenges.</p> <p>You will be based in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (, a leading global centre of excellence in medical and biological engineering. You will be part of a collaborative, friendly and supportive research group based in the School of Mechanical Engineering. The primary supervisor, Professor Louise Jennings (she/her, <a href=""></a>), is an expert in tribology and developing functional pre-clinical simulation and research methods that can then be applied to medical devices and interventions. Co-supervisor, Dr Raelene Cowie (she/her, <a href=""></a>) is an expert in the tribology of knee replacements. Joining us from Invibio Ltd will be co-supervisor, Dr Adam Briscoe (he/him), Global Strategic Technology Manager. Dr Briscoe has worked in the orthopaedic implant development arena for 20 years and has responsibility for the delivery of all technical aspects of the all polymer knee programme.</p> <p>You will develop skills in interdisciplinary working, and technology translation and commercialisation. You will share your research at academic conferences (national and international) and publish papers. There will be opportunities to engage and involve members of the public and patients with your research such as attendance at science fairs.</p> <p>We are looking for a student who is enthusiastic, has great initiative, and who will work collaboratively within the team. We are open to applicants with an engineering, materials science or chemistry background. We will support you in developing interdisciplinary knowledge and skills during the project.</p> <p>During your PhD, you will develop a broad range of skills relevant to academia, medicine and industry, providing you with excellent career options in the growing medical technologies sector.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>A new, all-polymer PEEK-OPTIMA&trade; femoral knee component for total knee replacement</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Professor Louise Jennings</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive School of Mechanical Engineering Studentship in partnership with Invibio Ltd, consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate of &pound;4,596 (currently in academic session 2022/23) together with a maintenance grant (currently &pound;17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the School of Mechanical Engineering/Invibio Ltd Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about this project, please contact Professor Louise Jenningd: e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>