PhD position in theoretical and numerical mechanics

Biomechanical modeling of the adhesive contact at the bone-implant interface

Keywords: Biomechanics, bone, implant, interface, modeling, numerical simulation, adhesive contact.


Implants are often employed in orthopaedic and dental surgeries. However, risks of failure, which are difficult to anticipate, are still experienced and may have dramatic consequences. Failures are due to degraded bone remodeling at the bone-implant interface, a multiscale phenomenon of an interdisciplinary nature which remains poorly understood. The objective of this study is to provide a better understanding of the biomechanical properties of the bone-implant interface. To do so, we aim at studying the evolution of the biomechanical properties of bone tissue around an implant during the remodeling process.
New modeling approaches will be developed in close synergy with experiments. The aim is to derive a multiscale constitutive relation for the rough bone-implant interface. An approach based on analytical modeling will be developed using statistical and/or fractal models in order to model crack propagation at the bone-implant interface. Both finite element (weak form formulation and adhesive interface layer models) as well as semi-analytical models will be employed at the scale of the representative surface element. A numerical approach based on an isogeometric mortar formulation of the bone-implant interface will be considered since it is robust and efficient, and since it is suitable for the description of rough interfaces in partial contact.
The results will be used to design effective clinical loading procedures of implants and to optimize implant conception, leading to the development of therapeutic and diagnostic techniques.

The candidate is required to have a Masters degree in Mechanics, Engineering or Applied Mathematics, preferably with a strong background in theoretical and computational mechanics. He/she should be used to usual programming languages. No particular knowledge in Medicine or Biology is required but the candidate is expected to be interested by multidisciplinary approaches. He/she will validate the numerical results experimentally using the results obtained by our group.

This PhD study will lead to a double degree between the university of Paris-Est and RWTH Aachen University. The candidate will share his/her time between the Paris and Aachen.
The candidate will work within a multidisciplinary team of 15 persons (including engineers, biologists and clinicians), all studying the biomechanical properties of the bone-implant interface founded by the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant 2015).

Contact:
If you are interested, send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing previous research experience and interests, the names and contact information of two references. Please, submit via email with “ERC BoneImplant PhD4” on the subject line to Guillaume Haiat (Guillaume.haiat@univ-paris-est.fr).