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Evaluation of Metal Leaching from Implantable Medical Devices

Project Description

This PhD studentship seeks to apply state-of the art laser ablation technology developed at Loughborough University to improve understanding of heavy metal ions in biomaterials research.

The development of medical devices such as total artificial hip implants and knee replacements in orthopaedic surgery and vascular stents in the treatment of cardiovascular disease has improved the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. However, their increasing use has raised concerns regarding the potential long-term side effects of implantable materials. Corrosion of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants may lead to leaching of toxic heavy metal ions and particulate materials known as wear debris in to the surrounding tissue. This has often been associated with a variety of adverse tissue reactions. It is therefore important to develop an understanding of the extent of metal leaching and accumulation of particulate materials to inform safety procedures and facilitate the development of the next generation of improved biomaterials.

The project will use laser ablation - inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to perform high resolution mapping of leached metals within samples that have been exposed to implantable materials. Loughborough University, in collaboration with industry, have developed a leading LA-ICP-MS system, which with its high speed, high sensitivity and sub-micron spatial resolution is ideally placed to characterise accumulation down to the single cell level.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Biology or a related scientific discipline.

The successful applicant will have an interest in both the technical and biological aspects of the project and will demonstrate a willingness to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration with industrial and clinical partners.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: analytical science, data analysis.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements:

How to apply

All applications are made online, please select the school/department name under the programme name section and include the quote reference number: CM/AMY-Un1/2019

Start date: 1st October

Full-time duration: 3 years

Part-time duration: 6 years

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

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