Four collaborative PhD positions are available at the Institute for Biomechanics (Department of Health Sciences and Technology). The Institute for Biomechanics is a multidisciplinary research unit dedicated to the biomechanical investigation of the human body. We investigate the mechanics and material properties of the musculoskeletal system, as well as movement control, from a macroscopic (body/organ) scale to a microscopic (cell) scale.
The available position is funded under the EU MSCA Innovative Training Network program “BioTrib”. The overall aims of the research program are to develop advances in the performance of natural and artificial joints. The program’s focus is on biotribology, which includes friction, lubrication and wear in these interventions. The researchers will gain the necessary interdisciplinary skills demanded by industry to deliver timely and cost-effective solutions to some of the most intractable European healthcare problems in arthritis.
The focus of this research sub-project is to study models of cartilage fibrillation, the development of local fissures and defects at the tissue surface, a hallmark of “wear and tear” osteoarthritis. The initiation and growth of fissures in surface zone cartilage tissue samples and electrospun synthetic analogues will be characterised, monitoring the individual fibre response with multi-photon microscopy while subjecting the tissue to controlled dynamic loading. Articulating conditions will be identified that specifically lead to the development of surface fissuring in a loading mode replicating friction-induced shear at the tissue surface. Experimental data will be implemented into a first computational model of mechanically induced fibrillation in fibrous collagenous tissues. You will communicate the results of your research in peer-reviewed journal articles and at international conferences.
You are required to have a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering or related relevant field. You are expected to have demonstrated experience with biomaterials application, biomechanical testing, and finite element analysis. Experience with electrospinning would be advantageous.
Eligibility is set by the regulations of the MSCA ITN framework. Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Therefore, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. The position is available from October 2021.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:
- Covering letter with statement of motivation
- Copy of bachelor and master transcripts
- Copy of MSc thesis
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.
Further information about the Institute for Biomechanics can be found on our website www.biomech.ethz.ch. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Stephen Ferguson, email email@example.com (no applications).