Smart Prosthetics – Fully Funded PhD Studentship Structural integrity of smart prosthesis

Restoration of human functional activity has been a drive for many centuries dating back to early Egyptian and Greek civilizations. These interventions would often take the form of a prosthesis made from various materials-depending upon the body part. Technology has progressed to using newer materials enabling lighter devices and more realistic appearances. Current state of the art research is looking at the integration of robotics, electrical components, temperature, pressure sensors etc. The question is what is the next iteration? In parallel with the developments detailed above, the field of tissue engineering has progressed significantly with various relevant tissues now able to be “fabricated” in vitro. This vacancy is one a group of 4 PhD researchers that will be working together to integrate the latest prosthetic and bioengineering developments to develop “smart prostheses”. The areas of study will include Biological and Chemical Interfaces, Loading and Performance, Materials, Manufacturing, Design and Integration. The supervisory group is composed of academics from across the whole of Loughborough University.

This PhD project will focus on the loading and performance aspects in the development of “smart prosthetic lower limb”. These aspects will be addressed by implementing experimental studies and developing numerical simulation tools to get an in-depth knowledge of mechanical behaviour of biological and artificial components of a smart prosthetic lower limb and to investigate deformation and fracture mechanisms under various usability regimes including cyclic and impact loading. Another important aspect will be analysis of stress and strain distributions in critical elements of the system, especially at the interface between living tissues and mechanical components of the prosthetic leg.

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This PhD is part of a larger multidisciplinary “smart prosthetics” project being pursued by academics from several Schools under the University strategic theme of Health & Wellbeing. The project embraces the disciplines of mechanics of materials, engineering, materials and life sciences and aims to create a step change in prosthetic rehabilitation. This studentship will appeal to students interested in studying structural integrity of challenging multi-material mechanical structures with emphasis on medical devices design and integration with biological systems.

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £13,726 per annum for a period of three years. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK and EU applicants only. Non UK applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements, details available here: 

Informal enquiries about the project should be made to: Professor Vadim Silberschmidt: or +44(0)1509 227504 or Professor Mark Lewis: or +44 (0)1509 226430.

Applications are now invited from students who want to embark on a full-time research degree programme commencing in Autumn Term 2013. 

For full details please visit the Apply button below.

The deadline for applications is 5th July 2013

However, early application is strongly encouraged as a 1st October 2013 start is preferred.

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