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Biomechanics and wear of a novel modular tray for an all-polymer total knee replacement


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 6 May 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Professor Louise Jennings
Additional supervisors
Dr Raelene Cowie, Dr Adam Briscoe
School of Mechanical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Medical and Biological 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. <br /> <br /> About the Project<br /> 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. <br /> <br /> To date, the all-polymer knee replacement has used an all-polyethylene tibial component. However, clinical preference is for a modular design, where a polyethylene insert would clip into a PEEK tray. The implications of a modular PEEK tibial tray in terms of joint biomechanics and wear are unknown, and the aim of this research is to explore the biomechanical and tribological implications at the articulating surface and interface of the tibial tray. <br />

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

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">You will be based in the Institute of <a href="">Medical and Biological Engineering</a>,&nbsp;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, <a href="">Professor Louise Jennings</a> (she/her), 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, <a href="">Dr Raelene Cowie</a> (she/her) 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 through a placement at Invibio Ltd. 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 or materials science 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 Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Mechanical Engineering FT</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Biomechanics and wear of a novel modular tray for an all-polymer total knee replacement </strong></em>as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Professor Louise Jennings</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.&nbsp; Please state clearly in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC CASE Competition 2024/25: University of Leeds</strong></em>.</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 in support of your application by the closing date of 6 May 2024:</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> </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 EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship in partnership with Invibio Ltd, offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant of &pound;19,237 and an additional Top-Up of &pound;3,300 per year for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to all applicants. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship Award Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> <em><strong>Important:</strong></em>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <em><strong>not</strong></em> covered under this studentship.</p> <p>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 Jennings by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>