Movement in the womb is essential for normal bone and joint development. In some cases where unborn babies do not move or ‘kick’ enough in the womb, bones and joints can form abnormally. However, the biology, or mechanobiology, underlying the effects of mechanical forces in the womb is not well understood. The Developmental Biomechanics lab is interested in how mechanical forces in the womb are translated into developmental change. A greater understanding of this topic is relevant to a range of medical and bioengineering topics, such as osteoarthritis and developmental dysplasia of the hip. This PhD project will investigate how the mechanical forces induced by movement, and by the changing environment of the womb, affect bone and joint development.
More information on the research done in the lab can be found at http://nowlan.openwetware.org/Home.html. The PhD project will start in October 2014.