Fully Funded PhD Studentship Patient acceptance of custom-fitting additively manufactured wearable medical products

Additive Manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D Printing, offers previously impossible levels of personalisation, customisation and design complexity in a wide variety of products.  This is leading to numerous attempts to explore advanced Computer-Aided Design and AM techniques for customised and personalised patient specific, body-fitting products. Much of the existing research has centred on physical performance, fit and comfort rather than appearance. However, there is significant published evidence suggesting poor aesthetics result in feelings of stigmatisation and negative connotations which affects patient satisfaction, well-being and results in poor compliance with care regimes.

In many cases devices such as wrist splints and orthoses are not worn in public for example. This research will explore how the personalisation possibilities of AM can positively affect patient compliance through improved patient choice, personalisation and enhanced aesthetics. Incorporating elements of co-design, the research will involve a combination of clinical requirements and patients’ desires and will utilise qualitative and quantitative methods to provide evidence of a correlation between improved aesthetics and compliance.

This research builds on a highly successful recently completed PhD. This opportunity will appeal to students interested in medical devices, design research and user-centred design practice. It will provide opportunities for user engagement in the design of novel rehabilitating products, for which strong ideation and CAD skills will be advantageous.

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £13,726 per annum for a period of three years plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, the studentships are open to UK and EU applicants only. Non UK applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements, details available here: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/englang/index.htm 

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Informal enquiries about the project should be made to:

Dr Richard Bibb: r.j.bibb@lboro.ac.uk or +44(0)1509 228333

Information about Loughborough Design School can be found at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/lds/

Details about the application process can be found by clicking the Apply link below.

Please note that we require all online applications to be accompanied by a one page summary of why the applicant feels that they are appropriate for the post e.g. their particular skillset, interests and experience. This proposal should be emailed to dslearning@lboro.ac.uk at the same time as submitting an online application.

Please quote the following reference when applying: RJB/LSD2013 – 2014

Deadline for applications: Friday the 13th of September 2013

However, early application is strongly encouraged as October 1st 2013 is the preferred start date is Note: January 2014 would be the next available alternative

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