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3D printing of glass-ceramic-based scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

Project title: 3D printing of glass-ceramic-based scaffolds for bone tissue engineering
Recruiting and hosting institution: Politecnico di Torino
Country: Italy
PhD enrollment: Politecnico di Torino
Supervisors: Francesco Baino (Politecnico di Torino, Italy), Grégory Nolens (CERHUM, Belgium).
Objectives: To develop knowledge in the synthesis of bioceramic and bioactive glass/ceramic composite materials obtained through vat photopolymerization (VPP) technique.
Expected Results: (i) Selection of the materials to be printed (e.g. calcium phosphate bioceramics, zirconia, silicate bioactive glasses, glass-ceramics and composites thereof) in terms of formulation and physico-chemical characteristics (e.g. particle size, solubility in biological fluids); (ii) processing of these materials through VPP and achievement of a production protocol; (iii) characterization of 3D-printed scaffolds from physico-chemical, mechanical and biological viewpoints (in vitro culture with cells, testing inside a bioreactor).

Description: Specifically, DC3 position is about investigating the following aspects:

  1. Development and selection of materials according to functional (e.g., the need for bioactivity) and manufacturability (i.e., VPP-related) requirements. Bioactive silicate glasses and glass-ceramics will be synthesized in the form of powders and characterized in terms of morphology, particle size and composition. Commercial calcium phosphate bioceramic powders will be also analysed. Particle size will be properly modulated according to the needs dictated by the manufacturing method. Glass-ceramic-based blends will also be prepared in order to produce composites with improved properties. Thermal behaviour and sinter-crystallization of glasses will be analysed by multiple and complementary techniques (e.g. DSC/DTA, HSM, XRD), as scaffold production requires high-temperature consolidation. Glass softening, densification and phase transitions upon heating will be thoroughly investigated.
  2. 3D printing of bone-substitute implants based on the materials developed at the point (i); VPP will be the preferred additive manufacturing technology for making scaffolds.
  3. Characterization of 3D-printed scaffolds (see point (ii)), which have also been optimized for selected clinical cases, from morphological, structural, mechanical and biological (in vitro with cells and inside a bioreactor) viewpoints.

The Doctoral Candidate will interact with other members of the project in a multidisciplinary setting by taking part in training sessions and workshops. The DC will also conduct secondments in order to broaden her/his scientific understanding of the project’s subject and develop soft skills. Exchange of materials with other DCs is also forecast to strengthen the research network.

Required profile/research interests:

  • Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering or related fields.
  • The degree must be completed with good grades, latest by the start of the recruitment.
  • Proficiency in the English language (both written and spoken): CAMBRIDGE ≥ FCE grade B (or equivalent).
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of a team and independently.

Monthly salary:

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Doctoral Researchers for a 3-year contract (full time employment). The salary includes a living allowance (gross amount: €3311,60 per month), plus a mobility allowance (€600 per month), and a family allowance (€650 per month if applicable). The precise (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment.

In addition to such a monthly salary, all REBONE fellows will benefit from a wide range of training and mentoring activities, which include secondments to be organised at the premises of the REBONE Beneficiaries and Associated Partners, as well as of a wide variety of training modules (related to both scientific and transferable skills).

Where to request additional information for this position:

Prof. Francesco Baino (Politecnico di Torino, Italy), francesco.baino@polito.it

In order to complete the application procedure please prepare in advance the following documents:

  • Application summary and Privacy consent (pdf file, please download the form HERE)
  • CV using the European template (pdf file)
  • List of publications (pdf file, free format)
  • Copy of up to three selected publications, if available (zip file with three selected publications)
  • Certificate of English language (pdf file)
  • Signed copy of Identity card/Passport (pdf file)
  • Motivation letters (pdf file)
  • Two recommendation letters (zip file with two pdf)
  • A research proposal: A document with no more than 8000 characters (excluding Bibliography) describing a potential research activity pertinent to the specific topic of the DC to be recruited. Figures and tables are allowed. Template provided. (pdf file, please download the template HERE)