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Characterization of the morphological and nanomechanical properties of human cortical bone

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

About the Project

Musculoskeletal diseases have a huge impact in our ageing society, affecting dramatically the disability of patients suffering from them. Osteoporosis causes almost 9 million fractures annually worldwide, causing more disability than most cancers.

Predicting the bone mechanical properties and the fracture risk is not trivial due to the complex hierarchical structure of the bone. In this project the student will process high resolution Synchrotron micro-computed tomography images of human femoral cortical bone to evaluate in details its microstructure in different anatomical positions. Moreover, biomechanical assessments with finite element models and nanoindentations will be performed to characterize the mechanical properties of the tissue.

Funding Notes

This project is open to self-funded candidates who can cover: University Fees, Stipend and enhancements costs (conference travel, etc)


Entry Requirements:
Candidates must have a first or upper second-class honours degree or significant research experience. In addition, candidates must be self-motivated, have the ability to think independently, use own initiative, have good communications skills and be well-organised including good time management. Experience in biomechanics and/or image processing would be desirable but not essential.

Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Dr Enrico Dall’Ara ([email protected])

How to apply:
Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here:

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select Oncology and Metabolism as the department.

Proposed start date: 26/10/20

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