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Optimising skin graft meshing techniques to improve after-burn care


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  Dr Cormac Flynn, Dr D O'Mahoney, Dr Gerard McGranaghan, Dr Conall Doran  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project description: Burns are among the most common type of trauma occurring in society. For example, burn injuries affect 250,000 people annually in the United Kingdom. Burns pose a threat to life when not treated properly. For deep partial thickness and full thickness burns, skin grafts are necessary for treatment. Usually, the skin from the donor site is stretched to cover the injured site. To increase the expansion, the donor skin is meshed by cutting slits using a skin mesher. Skin meshers on the market are rated according to the expansion they achieve. The manufacturers usually overrate the expansion of the mesher. In addition, there is a relative dearth of analysis of the skin meshing, in particular, the mechanics of cutting. This project aims to fill the gap in the knowledge around skin mesher design. Specifically, it will analyse current skin meshers and determine the optimum arrangement and geometry of cutters on the device that will maximise the quality of cutting and expansion of donor skin. The influence of the mechanical properties of skin on the expansion will be analysed. This research will result in better skin mesher designs and thus improve the quality of life of patients requiring skin grafts. 

 Project objectives: 

  • Develop experimental framework to measure forces on skin and cutting blades during skin meshing 
  • Key parameters during skin meshing will be measured. 
  • Develop computational models to simulate skin meshing and skin expansion. 
  • Parametric models of skin grafts with differing slit patterns will be developed. These and outputs from the first objective will be used in finite element models to simulate meshed skin expansion. 
  • Develop optimisation framework to determine the best blade arrangement and geometry on the skin mesher. 
  • Using the computational models, the arrangement and geometry of slits that result in the best cut and maximum expansion will be determined. 


to Richella Murphy [Email Address Removed]  only using the application form.

Application Form / Terms of Conditions can be obtained on the website:

  • The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) 21st February 2022

Funding Notes

Unit costs per PRTP scholar p/a:
Stipend: €19,000 gross, €16,000 nett (nett stipend of €16,000 p/a is after deduction of €3,000 p/a student contribution).
Tuition fees: Waived by each institute (fee waivers may be partial for non-EU candidates).
Consumables, Mobility, and Training: Up to €3,500 p/a for non-laboratory, desk-based research; Up to €4,500 p/a for studio, or fieldwork research; Up to €5,500 p/a for laboratory-based research

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