PhD or Postdoc position

ANALYSIS OF HINDFOOT LOADING AND ITS RELATION TO OA DEVELOPMENT USING A MULTI-SCALE MODELLING APPROACH

13 June 2018

Get in touch!

Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Ilse Jonkers, tel.: +32 16 32 91 05, mail: ilse.jonkers@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. ir. Jos Vander Sloten, tel.: +32 16 32 70 99, mail: jos.vandersloten@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than July 31, 2018 via the online application tool.


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Apply before 01 August 2018

You will conduct scientific research activities on the loading in the foot-ankle complex more specific (1) develop and test a multi-scale workflow to study cartilage stresses and strains and their effect on the cartilage constituents in patients with hindfoot OA presenting malalignment, (2) develop a statistical shape model of the mid- and hindfoot.

At KU Leuven, a multidisciplinary research group, headed by Prof Jos Vander Sloten (department mechanical engineering – biomechanics group) and Prof Ilse Jonkers (department of human movement science – human movement biomechanics group) is active that studies foot-ankle biomechanics with the aim to understand their role in the onset and progression of degenerative joint diseases and to restore them using innovative treatment approaches. The group relies on in vitro experimental measurements of foot bone kinematics and foot pressure, for which a unique gait simulator for cadaveric experimentation was developed. We have a long-standing tradition in the use of in vivo 3D motion capture data in combination with medical-imaging based musculoskeletal and finite element analysis development. More recently, 4D CT scanning techniques are being developed in combination with a foot manipulator to measure in vivo bone kinematics.

Within our research team, we offer a unique opportunity to collaborate with biomechanical engineers, specialists in motion analysis as well as clinicians and industrial partners. We are looking for a motivated researcher to contribute to our research line on the role of hindfoot malalignment as contributing factors to the progression of Osteoarthritis (OA). Within this work, we will explore this relation using a multi-scale framework to relate hindfoot alignment during standing and gait to cartilage stresses and strains in the cartilage and subchondral bone and OA progression. Innovative in this work is (1) the use of statistical shape models to develop detailed personalised musculoskeletal and macro-scale Finite Element models of the foot, (2) the use of micro-scale finite element models to calculate the effect of the local stresses and strains on the cartilage constituents and (3) the use of in vitro experimentation to validate the FE model results against measured intra-articular pressure distribution.

Responsibilities

You will conduct scientific research activities on the loading in the foot-ankle complex more specific (1) develop and test a multi-scale workflow to study cartilage stresses and strains and their effect on the cartilage constituents in patients with hindfoot OA presenting malalignment, (2) develop a statistical shape model of the mid- and hindfoot.

You will assist in further developing this research line and writing of research proposals in this area.

You will supervise master student projects in this research area.

You will contribute to teaching classes in the biomedical engineering program depending on the candidate’s profile.

You will provide administrative and technical support of activities within the research group, department or faculty.

Profile

This position is open for interested PhD or postdoc candidates with an interest in relating human movement to joint and cartilage loading and eventually cartilage degeneration.

The PhD candidate holds a master in biomedical or mechanical engineering. The postdoc candidate holds a doctoral degree in biomedical/mechanical engineering.

The candidates should be able to demonstrate expertise in image-based musculoskeletal modelling, finite element modelling or multi-scale modelling. Interest in in vivo and in vitro measurements of movement is mandatory.  

Candidates planning their doctoral defence in summer 2018 are encouraged to apply as well.

The candidate should be highly interested in working in a multi-disciplinary environment consisting of engineers, physical therapists and medical doctors.

Key words: Biomechanics, multi-scalemodeling, foot, medical imaging, statistical shape modelling.

Offer

Financing: available for 1 year

Type of Position: scholarship

Timing: Applications should be received by August 1 st, 2018. Interviews are planned during second half of August, 2018. Start date is negotiable but at the latest October 2018.

Duration of the Project: The position will be assigned initially for 1 year. The candidate will be supported to apply for personal funding.