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Postgraduate Research Opportunity: The Stratification, Implementation and Functional Assessment of a Decellularised Biological Scaffold for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (EPSRC DTP)

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Covers fees & maintenance grant
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 19th February 2019
Closes: 31st March 2019

Funded PhD project: UK and EU
Value: A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,327 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (£15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.
Number of awards: 1
Deadline: 31/03/2019
Supervisors: Dr Anthony Herbert, Professor Paul Rooney, Mr Stephen Guy and Professor Ruth Wilcox. Contact Dr Anthony Herbert to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

This project will involve developing decellularised biological scaffolds as regenerative replacement grafts for replacement of the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger populations with more active lifestyles. Decellularised graft tissues such as human bone-patellar tendon-bone (hBPTB) [produced by University patented processes] offer an exciting alternative approach to replace damaged ACLs without the disadvantages of autografts and allografts (such as initial necrosis, degeneration and slow incorporation).

These grafts are derived from natural tissue but the cells and DNA are removed to prevent ‘rejection’ by the patient. Furthermore, they offer flexibility in their manufacturing process to tailor the biomechanical properties to match different patient populations (age, gender, activity etc.). However, further research in their development, implementation and performance is required in order to optimise their use and prevent the onset of degenerative changes including osteoarthritis.

The aim is therefore to develop decellularised hBPTB grafts scaffolds that reduce the risk in developing osteoarthritis in ACL reconstructed knees through optimisation of the graft manufacturing processes, surgical implementation and functional assessment.

The candidate will be working in collaboration with industrial (NHS Blood and Transplant Tissue and Eye Services) and clinical (consultant orthopaedic surgeon) partners in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE) at the University of Leeds, a leading global centre of excellence in the multidisciplinary research. More information on iMBE can be found here.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a first-class bachelor’s degree or equivalent, or a second class bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a Master's degree in a relevant engineering or science degree such as Mechanical Engineering, Medical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Material Science, or other related subjects.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the 'The stratification, implementation and functional assessment of a decellularised biological scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (EPSRC DTP)' as well a Dr Anthony Herbert as your supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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