PhD position: Effect biomechanical loading on joint tissues in health and disease

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 31 Dec 2023

  • Vacancies
  • PhD position: Effect biomechanical loading on joint tissues in health and disease

  • Key takeaways

    University of Twente’s Technical Medical Centre is widely recognized for its excellence in development of new biomedical solutions and advanced biofabrication technologies to address important biomedical challenges. Here, various Departments work on pressing topics with high societal and biomedical relevance such as osteoarthritis. TheDepartment of Developmental BioEngineering DBE  is currently recruiting 3 PhD students in recently granted programs funded by the NWA, and NWO focusing on developing dearly needed treatments and new diagnostic tools for osteoarthritis.

    PhD position 1: The effect of biomechanical loading on joint tissues in health and disease.

    Exposure of joint tissues to biomechanical loading is a key characteristic of the moving knee joint and is essential for normal joint health. Indeed patients suffering from osteoarthritis are advised to keep on moving and consequently loading their joint. However excessive loading of the joint can also increase joint deterioration in osteoarthritis. It is unclear what healthy loading of an osteoarthritic knee joint entails and what is pathophysiological loading worsening disease. More in dept knowledge is needed to understand the impact of biomechanical loading on healthy and diseased joint tissues at the molecular and cellular level. In previous research we have engineered a cartilage-on-chip and synovial membrane-on-chip model and we have developed prototypes of Hoffa’s fatpad and a ligament-on-chip in which the engineered joint tissues can be mechanically stimulated. The purpose of this project is to use these models for increasing our understanding of the impact of mechanical loading on the cellular and molecular level in the healthy and osteoarthritic joint. In this project the PhD student is expected to closely collaborate with partners in the Erasmus Medical Center and the Leiden University Medical Center.


    Information and application

    Please send your application via the ‘Apply now’ button, and include:

    • A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position  and for which of the three positions you are applying
    • A description of your research interests
    • A detailed CV
    • Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

    You are welcome to contact prof. dr. Marcel Karperien (Email: [email protected]) for any questions you may have.

    Applications are welcome till January 1st 2024.


    About the department

    The department of Developmental BioEngineering is a research group with a highly international character. The main goal of this group is to investigate novel and challenging technologies in the field of Regenerative Medicine, which can be used for tissue repair. Research focuses on i) Fundamental aspects of joint and cartilage homeostasis, ii) Cell therapy for treatment of joint disorders, and iii) Injectable, in situ gelating extracellular matrices for soft tissue repair, iv) computational models for tissue development and homeostasis. DBE


    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.



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