The Biomechanics Section at KU Leuven is seeking to appoint two highly motivated PhD students to perform research on:

Mechanical and structural alterations after surgical treatment of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent chronic joint disease. There is no cure to OA. Surgical treatment is performed in severe cases to reduce pain and to improve mobility. Due to longer life expectancy and the tendency to perform initial surgery at younger age, classic joint arthroplasty is facing increased revision surgery. In an attempt to postpone or obviate joint arthroplasty a renewed focus is seen on joint preserving corrective surgery; yet, controversy exists on what would be optimal surgical procedures. We hypothesize that patient-specific differences in bone geometry and microstructure play a crucial role, such that optimal treatment in one patient may mean overcorrection in others. Funding for three PhD students has been secured for a project which aims to improve our understanding on (i) the alterations in bone microstructure following surgery and on (ii) how these structural alterations are related to alterations in joint loading. Specifically, we will measure bone microstructure in OA patients (at knee and wrist) using high-resolution ConeBeamCT and will monitor the alterations occurring within two years following treatment. Experimental and computational biomechanics will be used to quantify the alterations in mechanical load following treatment. These data are highly needed to improve treatment of OA.

We are seeking to expand our team with two PhD students to quantify the alterations in mechanical load in OA-affected joints before and after surgical treatment. Specifically, we will be addressing the knee, with a specific focus on high tibial osteotomy, and the wrist, with a specific focus on proximal row carpectomy and four-corner arthrodesis.

The applicants should have a recent MSc (or be close to graduating) in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or other relevant discipline. Knowledge and experience in bone and cartilage mechanics, finite element analyses, programming and experimental testing are advantageous. Good skills in spoken and written English are mandatory.

We offer a four-year interdisciplinary research project at the Biomechanics Section at KU Leuven, with close interaction and collaboration with clinical departments in Leuven and Kortrijk as well as with several research groups in Europe. The candidate will be supported by the Arenberg Doctoral School offering a versatile training program that addresses both academic expertise and personal skills. Salaries are highly competitive and in accordance with KU Leuven regulations.
A project start early 2017 is envisioned. Applications will be reviewed immediately until the positions are filled.

For more information please contact Harry van Lenthe

You can apply for this job no later than January 31, 2017 via the online application tool :

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