Application deadline: 1 July 2017
A recently started European INTERREG project, PROSPEROS, aims to develop personalized bioactive implants for functional recovery in order to significantly improved Quality of Life in an aging population by enabling patients to maintain active mobility at an advanced age. An optimal design of patient specific implants involves the optimization of both the macro level (tissue/organ scale) as the micro level (cell). The macro geometry refers to the general shape of an implant where a personalized design of the implant will lead to increased implant stability (better fit), integration and (mechanical) functionality. Micro geometry refers to the topology and the interaction of the implant with cells inside and outside of the implant. It has been shown that cells respond (in a positive and negative way) to specific surface topographies and properties, an property that is exploited in the quest for optimal scaffold design in the context of Tissue Engineering.
The research team of Prof Geris has ample experience with macroscopic and microscopic implant design for a variety of degradable and non-degradable biomaterials (including metals and calcium phosphates) for skeletal applications (see also http://www.biomech.ulg.ac.be). In the context of the PROSPEROS project, 2 PhD students will build on this accumulated expertise and translate the already developed models to new applications (hip & spine) and materials (biodegradable metals). Design optimization (of both the micro and macro design) will be carried out in silico and subsequently 3D printed to be tested in vitro and in vivo by project partners (academic institutions and companies in Flanders and the Netherlands), providing additional input to optimize the computer models.
Further information can be found here