PhD Studentship: 3D-printed Bioresorbable Medical Devices: Improving the Interface between 3D-printed Layers

Loughborough University

Application details:

Start date: 1st October 2018


Primary supervisor: Andy Gleadall

Secondary supervisor: Xiaoxiao Han; Vadim Silberschmidt

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

The project considers 3D-printing bioresorbable materials for medical applications. 3D-printing is widely used in medical research and is expected to transform clinical manufacturing as technologies mature. Biodegradable materials are already established for healthcare applications including fixation plates for bone fracture because, unlike permanent devices, they are fully absorbed by the body over several months and do not need surgical removal after healing. Innovative advances in healthcare can be achieved by 3D-printing biodegradable materials, but the effects of 3D-printing need to be further understood. Specifically, the interface between 3D-printed layers in medical products is critically important for overall strength but requires further investigation. The PhD student will undertake experimental and/or modelling activities to characterise and predict the properties of 3D-printed medical products as the polymer (and interface) degrades. Methods to improve interface strength will be investigated such as optimisation of the material formulation, 3D-printer setup or product geometry. The project will be highly tailored to the individual candidate: depending on their interests, there may be opportunities to 3D-print living cells or work with a 3D-printing systems manufacturer to develop a more advanced 3D-printer. There is high scope for translation of the proposed research to other materials and fields.

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Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline to the topic area. Prior knowledge or expertise relating to the following areas would be highly advantageous: Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or Computer Simulations.

Funding information:

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 32 projects that have been prioritised for funding; job advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a provisional tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

Contact details:

Name: Andy Gleadall

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509227578

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select  Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS04

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Midlands of England