Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes

Evaluation of Metal Leaching from Implantable Medical Devices


Department of Chemistry

About the Project

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

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/apply/english-language-requirements/

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

How to apply

Please apply online at https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research-applications/ and include reference CM/AJM-Un2/2020

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