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PhD Studentship: 3D Image Based Modelling of Collagenous Soft Tissues

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,285 tax-free per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th July 2020
Closes: 31st August 2020

Supervisor: G Limbert  

Co-supervisor: P Schneider  

Project description 

Due to their fibrous nature soft collagenous tissues (e.g. skin, ligaments) possess strongly directional mechanical properties which play a key role in ensuring their diverse physiological functions. From a modelling perspective, incorporating information about spatially-dependent fibre orientation is essential for faithfully simulating the micromechanical mechanical behaviour of collagen-rich tissues. Current state-of-the-art models of soft tissues only accounts for local fibre orientation in an averaged (i.e. statistical) sense or are restricted to 2D. The complex 3D architecture of collagen fibres is key in conditioning the mechanics of biological tissues and it is therefore essential to integrate it into the next generation of biophysical models to support basic discovery research and a wide range of industrial applications from medical devices to consumer goods and sport equipment. 

The aim of this project is to study the micromechanics of collagenous soft tissues (e.g. skin) through the development of novel quantitative and mechanistic tools combining imaging and biomechanical modelling. The first objective of this project is to develop an integrative research methodology combining state-of-the-art imaging techniques (nano/micro-CT, serial block face scanning electron microsocopy, 3D histology), image-processing and finite element modelling to extract and efficiently integrate the 3D architecture of collagen fibre networks in biological soft tissues’ models. Using this methodology, the second objective is to develop image-based 3D micromechanical finite element models of human skin to study the interplay of the collagen network characteristics and the mechanical properties of the surrounding matrix, particularly as a result of ageing. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact A/Prof. Georges Limbert, nCATS Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0)2380 59 2381.  

Entry Requirements 

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).  

Closing Date: Applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place. 

Funding: Full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.   

How To Apply  

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Georges Limbert under the proposed supervisor.  

Applications should include:  

Curriculum Vitae 

Two reference letters 

Degree Transcripts to date 

Apply online by clicking on the 'Apply' link above. 

For further information please contact:

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