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Combining experimental and computational approaches for preclinical assessment of biomaterials for spinal repair

PGR-P-517

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Funding
Non-funded
Supervisors
Dr Marlène Mengoni and Professor Ruth Wilcox
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

A PhD is available is developing computational models of the spine able to replicate the main mechanical variation in experimental preclinical testing. This is key to be able to test new repair biomaterials for a range of patients, taking into account their variation in anatomy. Building on a strong experience in developing computational and experimental models for the spine, this PhD will aim to develop and validate a combined in silico and in vitro testing protocol for the biomechanical assessment of biomaterials for intervertebral discs, using state-of-the-art computational methodology combined with tissue imaging and mechanical testing. This will be used to define the range of utilisation of existing biomaterials

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

<p>An emerging treatment for low back conditions related to intervertebral disc degeneration is the injection of a biomaterial into the disc to restore height and function. However, the clinical conversion of the technology is poor, with adverse outcomes reported in early-generation products. This is partly due to the lack of effective preclinical testing of the ability of new treatments to restore biomechanical function for a range of patients, and the capacity to experimentally testing to represent the large variation in the population.</p> <p>Developing computational models able to replicate the main mechanical variation in experimental preclinical testing is key to be able to test new repair biomaterials for a range of patients, taking into account their variation in anatomy.</p>

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/prospective_students/apply/I_want_to_apply.html">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 &ldquo;Combining experimental and computational approaches for preclinical assessment of biomaterials for spinal repair&rdquo; as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering/staff/612/dr-marlene-mengoni">Dr Marl&egrave;ne Mengoni</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>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<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">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.u</a><a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk ">k&nbsp;</a>or +44 (0)113 343 505.</p> <p>For information regarding the project please contact the Dr Marl&egrave;ne Mengoni<br /> e: <a href="mailto:m.mengoni@leeds.ac.uk">m.mengoni@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


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