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Generation of a biologic glue for bone regenerative medicine

Project Description

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated candidates to develop microsphere-loaded hydrogels and undertake cellular assays to test their effects on stem cells. The successful candidate will join the research groups of Prof Ivan Wall and Dr Richard Martin, in collaboration with the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham and University College London. This opportunity is open to UK and EU students who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a biological science or a related subject.

Regenerative medicine has enormous potential to treat a diverse range of medical conditions spanning both chronic disease and acute trauma. One area where regenerative medicine could have significant impact is in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Over 2 million bone grafts are performed per year as a means of replacing bone lost due to trauma or after surgical removal of tumours. The limitations of bone grafting (i.e. availability, donor compatibility) mean that innovations across tissue engineering and cell-free regenerative medicine are urgently needed to advance orthopaedic medicine.

In this project our aim will be to create malleable microsphere-loaded hydrogels that can be injected as a biologic glue into the defect space to stimulate endogenous bone regeneration. This will involve examining a range of parameters including osteoinductive biomaterials, hydrogels and cell-free instructional cues from cell-conditioned culture media.

Aston University was ranked 5th out of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Ivan Wall at:

Application Requirements:

• Eligible Applicants should hold a minimum 1st class or Upper 2nd Class Bachelor (Hons.) Degree or an MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
• EU applicants must demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19 and a minimum overall score of 93 in TOEFL (Internet-Based), or minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5 in IELTS.
• Please apply online at: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/postgraduate-research/apply, quoting reference: ‘Bone_Wall’ on all applications.

• The Closing Date for All applications is: Friday, 31st January 2020.

Funding Notes

Home/EU students will receive funding to cover full tuition fees and a tax-free stipend will be provided at the current RCUK rate of £15,009 p.a. The studentship is available for three years, subject to a satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated registration date of 1st April 2020.

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