PhD Studentship: 3D Printed Biodegradable Scaffolds for the Orthopaedic Surgeon to Treat Loss of Cartilage and Heal Osteoarthritis

University of Southampton - Department of Engineering and the Environment

The overarching goal of this project is to develop a repair kit for the orthopaedic surgeon to treat loss of cartilage and heal osteoarthritis. Such treatment options could not only reduce the burden to the individual and contribute to a healthy nation, but also significantly reduce direct and indirect medical costs and hence have an important role in delivering prosperity for the UK. In particular, this project aims to satisfy the key attributes required for engineered osteochondral scaffolds by combining additive manufacturing of porous scaffolds using 3D printing in combination with deposition of multi-functional nanocomposite coatings. 3D printing will be used to fabricate biodegradable polymer scaffolds with controlled and graded micro-porous architecture. Nanocomposite coatings will be used to deposit nano-to-micro-scale multilayered coatings with the potential for graded composition and thickness. 3D printing of scaffolds for articular cartilage repair is a novel approach that would transform orthopaedic research and have a major impact in health care.

The PhD student will be part of our team that aims to license the technology to bring the cartilage repair kit to the market. Based on this work there may be other applications for repair materials in research, development or clinical applications that are addressing other tissues such as bone, or vascular tissues.

The University of Southampton has an established track record in generating, exploiting and managing valuable IP. Our Research and Innovation Services (RIS) are specialists in managing IP and undertake a variety of technology and knowledge transfer activities whether through promoting the dissemination and adoption of new clinical practice, or interventions, commercial research, licensing, creation of spin-out companies.

Applicants should have a strong interest in biomedical engineering and interdisciplinary team work. Ideally the candidate should have a technical background and some experience in biomedicine, nanotechnology. It is planned to start the project in 2018, preferably no later than October.  

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Martin Stolz, National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS), University of Southampton, email:, or Dr Andrew Hamilton, Bioengineering Research Group, University of Southampton, email:

Click the button below to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship within the application form.

Funding notes:

This project is in competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded a full studentship. This 3 year studentship covers home-rate tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19. 

The funding is only available to UK citizens or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship and not mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education. For further guidance on funding, please contact:

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