Visiting Post-doctoral Fellowship

Location: at the Orthopeadic Research Laboratory of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Background

Researchers in the field of orthopaedic-biomechanics can apply for an ambitious visiting research position for a period of maximally 2 years. The position is available within the Excellence Initiative of the Radboud University and is linked with the fact that Prof. Nico Verdonschot obtained a European Research Council (ERC) Grant from the European Union. The ERC project ‘BioMechTools’ aims to develop diagnostic and evaluation tools for orthopaedic patients. Imaging modalities (dynamic MRI, CT and ultrasound) are used to define geometries and deformations of tissues in the lower limb. Musculoskeletal simulations are utilized to simulate muscle actions and to simulate effects of surgical interventions. Finite element models are created to assess pathologies and surgical variations at a detailed level (ACL injury, meniscectomy, patella-femoral surgery, etc). Innovative ambulant and ultrasound based kinematic measurements systems are under development to quantify true lower limb kinematics under clinically acceptable conditions. Ultimately, these tools are applied to patients to diagnose their pathologies and optimize treatment protocols.

Applicants should have the following profile:

  • Candidates should have a strong background in one of the following areas: finite element modeling of the knee, musculoskeletal modeling of the lower limb, 3-D pre-planning of orthopaedic surgery, generation of patient specific surgical guides, kinematic assessment of patients, population based modeling, statistical shape modeling.
  • A CV showing that the candidate belongs to the top 10% of his/her field.
  • Candidates should be non-Dutch researchers who are based outside of the Netherlands.
  • Fellowships are intended for researchers who received their doctorate between two and twelve years ago.

Applicants can expect:

  • A funded research position for maximally 2 years
  • A unique possibility to get international research experience
  • An excellent infrastructure to perform research in the finite element and/or musculoskeletal simulations area
  • For researchers within this Excellence Initiative many additional activities are organized to enhance the profile of the research and to promote cross fertilization of research amongst different disciplines.
  • Fellows of the Radboud Excellence Initiative become a member of staff at the university. They receive remuneration in line with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities. They will be entered into scale 11 which allows for their monthly pre-tax salary to be between €3,299 and €4,500. As well as this, the Fellow (and their family) is entitled to travel and moving costs as well as personal assistance with relocation.

Interested?

Internship Master (Bachelor) student

Developing an advanced finite element model to investigate primary fixation of total knee implants

Background

Total knee replacement (TKR) is the gold standard for treatment of patients suffering from osteoarthritis. However, early implant loosening still remains a problem, especially in younger patients, who have a longer life expectancy and a higher activity level. Instead of cemented fixation, press-fit implants have been introduced to provide long-term biological fixation for younger patients. Many studies have investigated the effect of the primary fixation on the long-term outcome, achieved by bone ingrowth into the porous implant surface. Primary fixation is affected by various parameters, including bone material properties, surgical technique, and implant design.

At the Orthopaedic Research Lab we are developing a patient-specific Finite Element (FE) model, based on different experimental and numerical studies, to investigate implant fixation [1-3]. We are currently working on improving the press-fit fixation between the implant and the bone in the FE model. Our goal is to account for complex phenomena that occur during implantation of the femoral component, such as bone plasticity, abrasion, crushing and viscoelastic behaviour. In this regard, the objective of this study is to develop an advanced FE model based on experimental data. This approach will lead to a better understanding of press-fit implants, which aides to further improve current implant designs, thereby improving patient outcome and satisfaction.

internship master / bachelor student orthopaedic research lab radboud university medical centre

Figure 1: Experimental steps to determine the fixation strength of a femoral knee implant.
Click image to enlarge

internship 2015 master / bachelor student orthopaedic research lab radboud university medical centre

Figure 2: Finite element model of three different implant designs to evaluate the effect of implant design and surgical variation on the primary stability of the femoral knee implant.
Click image to enlarge

Objective:

We aim to develop a more realistic implant-bone interaction by introducing advanced material properties based on experimental data using finite element analysis.

Planning:

This project can be done in a time frame of 4 to 6 months.

Learning objectives:

  • understanding the interaction between orthopaedic implants and bony tissue
  • learning finite element software and imaging software (mimics, dicom toolkit, etc,)
  • acquaintance with biomechanical testing

Contact details:

For any questions, contact Nico Verdonschot


References:

[1] Berahmani S, Janssen D, van Kessel S, Wolfson D, de Waal Malefijt M, Buma P, et al.
An experimental study to investigate biomechanical aspects of the initial stability of press-fit implants.
Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2015 Feb; 42:177-85.

[2] Berahmani S, Janssen D, Wolfson D, Rivard K, de Waal Malefijt M, Verdonschot N.
The Effect of Surface Morphology on the Primary Fixation Strength of Uncemented Femoral Knee Prosthesis: A Cadaveric Study
The Journal of Arthroplasty. 2015;30:300-7.

[3] Berahmani S, Janssen D, Wolfson D, de Waal Malefijt M, Fitzpatrick CK, Rullkoetter PJ, et al.
An FE analysis of the effects of simplifications in experimental testing on micromotions of uncemented femoral knee implants.
Journal of Orthopaedic Research: official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. 2015.

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