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DOCTORAL OPPORTUNITY IN INTERVERTEBRAL DISC RESEARCH

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  • DOCTORAL OPPORTUNITY IN INTERVERTEBRAL DISC RESEARCH

    DOCTORAL OPPORTUNITY IN INTERVERTEBRAL DISC RESEARCH
    University of Auckland New Zealand

    The successful candidate will be expected to focus his/her research
    around one or more of the following areas:-
    (a) the structural disruption of the disc resulting from traumatic
    overloading,
    (b) structural weakening associated with degeneration and prolapse,
    (c) annular wall/vertebral endplate biomechanics.
    A major experimental emphasis will involve the application of
    differential interference contrast optical imaging and simultaneous
    micromechanical techniques (together with TEM/SEM) in order to gain an
    in-depth understanding of (i) how the collagen fibrils/fibers
    interconnect both within and between the lamellae that comprise the disc
    wall structure, (ii) the microanatomy of the annulus/endplate junction,
    (iii) the influence of mechanical overloading of the disc on the
    structural integrity of both the annular architecture and the
    annulus/endplate connectivity, and (iv) the influence of degeneration on
    these same structural regions.
    The proposed study will build on the research groupís current progress
    both in understanding the mechanics of disc loading and failure and in
    visualising directly the primary structural interconnectivities
    governing normal disc strength. The intention is to use these insights
    and apply them directly to both discs with a history of prior mechanical
    overloading/trauma and those with varying degrees of ageing and
    degeneration. The study should increase our understanding of the
    structural principles governing intervertebral disc weakening and prolapse.
    The doctoral program is fully funded. This funding covers all PhD fees
    and provides a generous living allowance of NZ$20,000/year for 3 years
    which is tax-free.
    It is open to international students who hold a degree qualification
    equivalent to a bachelor with honours or masters degree at a level
    deemed suitable by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland.
    Preferred applicants will be those with a background or strong interest
    in biomaterials or bioengineering.

    Further information can be obtained from
    Associate Professor Neil Broom
    Biomaterials Laboratory
    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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