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Postdoctoral position in cartilage research

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  • Postdoctoral position in cartilage research

    A two-year postdoctoral position is available in the School of
    Engineering, University of Auckland

    Research title: "The mechanisms of structural weakening of cartilage in
    early osteoarthritis"

    Description of proposed research:
    Osteoarthritis eventually destroys the joint cartilage. However, before
    visible cartilage loss occurs it weakens and becomes more vulnerable to
    what would normally be safe levels of loading. Cartilage derives its
    remarkable mechanical strength from a 3-D architecture of collagen
    fibrils which actively constrains the proteoglycan component against
    swelling in the presence of water. These two components cooperate to
    create the excellent load-bearing characteristics of cartilage. The
    eventual osteoarthritic destruction of cartilage is intimately tied up
    with important changes in these two components and in their
    interrelationship. Gaining an in-depth understanding of these changes
    occurring during the early stages of the disease forms the basis of the
    proposed investigation.

    The research will seek to determine to what extent the spatial integrity
    of the 3-D network of collagen fibrils, crucial to the effective
    containment of the high swelling proteoglycans and therefore the loading
    bearing ability of articular cartilage, is knitted into a coherent
    structure by largely entwinement-based interconnections or by some form
    of mediated linkage that is not entwinement based. If it can be
    demonstrated that physical entwinement is a relatively unimportant
    network linking mechanism this would place the focus on molecular agents
    that would fulfil this crucial role of network linkage.

    The research will have a strong micro and ultrastructural emphasis (SEM
    and TEM) and the successful candidate will be working in a
    biomechanics/biomaterials laboratory with a substantial history of
    innovative cartilage research.
    Commencing salary: NZ$57,442

    In the first instance interested persons should contact:-
    Neil D. Broom
    Associate Professor
    Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
    University of Auckland
    Private bag 92019
    Auckland, New Zealand
    PH. 64 9 3737599 Ext. 88974 (messages ext. 88112)
    Fax 64 9 3737463
    E-Mail nd.broom@auckland.ac.nz

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