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Models for Tissue Growth and Fundamental Relationships with Scaffold Microarchitecture

Project title: Models for Tissue Growth and Fundamental Relationships with Scaffold Microarchitecture.
Recruiting and hosting institution: Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, (PLUS).
Country: Austria
PhD enrollment: Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
Supervisors: PLUS (A): J. Dunlop ULG: D. Ruffoni
Objectives: (i) Develop knowledge on the role of micro-architectural feature of bone implants and the growth process. (ii) Computer simulations will be developed to understand the role of surface geometry on tissue growth. (iii) These simulations will be bench marked on 3D cell culture experiments to give experimental insight into the model parameters needed, and to verify the output of the models.
Expected Results: To extract a set of design rules to optimise scaffold geometry to achieve fast and effective tissue healing.

Description: DC8 position is about investigating the following aspects

  1. The growth process on scaffold surfaces will be simulated as a function of scaffold surface geometry leading to functional design principles that can be used by other partners in the optimisation of regeneration. Previous studies indicate that surface curvature plays an important role not only in the rate of new tissue formation, but also in the orientation of the constituent cells and extracellular matrix. Although the role of surface curvature on orientation has been experimentally determined, suitable models to describe multi-layer tissue formation are missing. A first step in this project will be to develop such models and explore predictions for a variety of different surface geometries.
  2. Tissue architecture (orientation of extracellular matrix and cells etc) will be evaluated as a function of geometry, feeding in to a better understanding of the role of a micro- architecture of bone-implants on the quality of bone tissue formed. To explore this, different curved surfaces will be produced using 3D printing and/or 3D surface tension mediated moulding. Tissues will then be grown on these surfaces and evaluated in terms of rate and tissue architecture.
  3. Once a suitable theoretical model for describing growth and tissue architecture has been developed, it will be used to explore how surface geometry can be optimised in order to stimulate growth and improve the quality of the tissues formed.

The Doctoral Candidate will work in a multidisciplinary team of scientists (Physicists, Biologists, and Materials Scientists) in the MorphoPhysics Group at the Department of Chemistry and Physics of Materials at the Paris-Lodron-University of Salzburg in Austria. The Doctoral Candidate will interact with other members of the project’s DCs in a multidisciplinary setting by taking part in training sessions and workshops. Each DC will also conduct secondments in order to broaden her/his scientific understanding of the project’s subject and develop soft skills.

Required profile/research interests:

  • Master’s degree in Biophysics, Physics, Materials Science or related fields.
  • The candidate should have an Interest in performing computer simulations and doing experiments.
  • 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.
  • For the PhD programme at PLUS, 30 ECTS in extra credits are required. These comprise 8 ECTS Seminars (can be done online), 8 ECTS in university courses (at the PLUS in Salzburg), and 14 ECTS covered by the student’s action in MSCA.

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: €3614.2 per month), plus a mobility allowance (€600 per month), and a family allowance (€495 per month if applicable). The precise (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment.

In addition, such a monthly salary, all REBONE fellows will benefit from a wide range of training and mentoring activities, which includes 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:

Dr. John Dunlop,
Address: FB Chemistry and Physics of Materials, Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg, Jakob-Haringer-Straße 2a, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria

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)