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  Plantar tissue and activity in diabetes


   School of Health and Society

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Over recent years, the Centre for Human Movement and Rehabilitation (CHMR) has received extensive investment allowing us to develop world-class research facilities for PhD study. These include three human performance laboratories, a prosthetics and orthotics workshop, markerless motion capture, cutting-edge ultrasound equipment, and access to the new North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC). CHMR has a strong community of postgraduate research students and is home to the £5.5 million EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Prosthetics and Orthotics. The Foot Health and Footwear Theme has a PhD project available with a focus on plantar tissue and activity in diabetes.

Current methods for prevention of ulceration focus on offloading of the at-risk foot, and guidance to patients about which activities are safe or tolerable by at risk tissue are limited. To better inform this guidance we must understand the properties of the underlying tissue and how this tissue changes during exercise or rehabilitation. Plantar tissue mechanical properties are different in people who have diabetes compared to healthy control groups, due to structural changes, which can reduce tissue tolerance of harmful stresses. Assessment of biomechanical load or exposure to these harmful stresses in the real world currently uses models which combine simple measures such as step counts with an average walking pressure to achieve a cumulative load. While this gives an indication of exposure it lacks detail of how activity frequency or intensity may influence tissue response. We are looking for a candidate to investigate the interaction between physical activity and tissue tolerance to load.

We are seeking PhD applicants with a minimum of a 2.1 degree. We encourage candidates from various background to apply, including, physiotherapists, podiatrists, prosthetists, orthotists, engineers, physicists, computer scientists, sports scientists, occupational therapists, exercise and health scientists, psychologists, data scientists, rheumatologists, epidemiologists and health economists.

All students who study for a PhD at Salford benefit from our strong PGR community through peer-to-peer support, alongside dedicated PGR training and seminars. Core training and induction is mandatory for all three years and covers topics such as ethics, IT essentials, communications skills and EDI and wellbeing. The cohort structure encourages peer support and increases PGRs to network with one another to a build community of researchers that can engage with activities that are accessible and inclusive. Details of our student journey and how to apply can be found from our Doctoral School here.

Engineering (12) Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27)

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