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PhD Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering at Lund University

A fully-funded PhD fellowship is available at Lund University. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 5 years. Candidates are welcome before December 11, 2018.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

General description: The research in the biomechanicsgroup is focused on understanding the link between mechanics andbiology in the musculoskeletal system, including related pathologies and repair of skeletal tissues. Experimental tissuecharacterisation methods, imaging and computationalsimulation techniques are used. The research is applied on directproblems in orthopaedics to develop better methods to understand and improve repair of musculoskeletal tissues.

Background for the project: Both mineralized (bone) and soft (tendon) skeletal tissue respond to mechanical loading according to specific mehanobiological principles. Bone that is not loaded is absorbed, while bone that is heavily loaded will increase its bone mineral density. Similarly, during embryonic development, mineralization partly occur in response to movement from contracting muscles. Tendons also adapt to its local mechanical environment and mechanical loading has therefore been shown positive during the repair phase of ruptured tendons. When a tendon rupture, collagen fibers break and the new tissue is an irregular scar tissue that breaks again if loaded normally. Suitable and controlled loading on the other hand re-organizes the tissue so the collagen becomes parallel again and help restore the tendons mechanical function.

Objectives: The goal with the PhD research project is to experimentally systematically evaluate how loading affects 1) mineralization of bone during development and 2) tendons normal function, and their repair process. The research involves primarily characterization of tissue's composition, structure and mechanical function through experiments at synchrotron facilities.

Work duties

The position is focused on developing and carrying out experimental characterization of tissues from small animal experiments, including how loading affects the tissue composition, structure and mechanical function.

For tendons, the focus is on how the viscoelastic collagen responds to external loading. Experimentally, this is performed through in situ mechanical loading and structural measurements at synchrotron facilities. The goal is to identify important mechanisms to restore the tendon's mechanical function early and effectively.

For mineralization of bone, the work evolves around work with synchrotronbased experiments of embryonic mouse bones with varying degree of mineralization. Specifically, phase-contrast tomography, fluorescence and small and wide angle x-ray scattering is used to study mineralization in the growth plate and the mineral composition and crystallization to understand the relationships between calcium deposition and crystallization and the resulting anatomy.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Conditions

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 .

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).


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