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Quantitative imaging biomarkers for nonspecific low back pain

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Sewell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Personalised biometrics is a rapidly growing area of medical research, which relies on biotechnologies, especially those involving imaging. It typically employs neurological and vascular imaging, such as functional MRI, to discover biomarkers for conditions that may be treated by minimally invasive means. The applicant team has led the development of fluoroscopy and image processing to an innovative technology called quantitative fluoroscopy (QF) to study the motion of the vertebrae of the low back in living people and have discovered biomarkers for nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) based on intervertebral motion and disc degeneration.

The aim of this PhD Studentship is to explore and compare the strength of associations between the existing biomarkers identified in the literature, such as intervertebral motion sharing inequality (MSI), composite disc degeneration, back muscle electrical activity (sEMG) and oxy-haemoglobin concentration as measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).

The project is an exciting collaboration between Bournemouth University’s (BU) Faculty of Science and Technology and the Centre for Biomechanics Research at AECC University College (AECC UC).

The Design and Engineering Research Centre has a proven track record of internationally excellent (REF14) applied research in a number of areas such as medical engineering, nano coating, corrosion, clean energy technologies and tribology in collaboration with Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Poole Hospital, Schaeffler, Ministry of Defence, The Tank Museum at Bovington, SKF and the RNLI for example.

The AECC UC’s Centre for Biomechanics Research is the home of the quantitative fluoroscopy (QF) technology. It shares the same site as the AECC Outpatient Clinic, where many other clinical research studies have been conducted using QF and other technologies.

The project presents an opportunity to combine the available imaging technologies, research expertise and clinical skills in a unique investigation to examine biomarkers for nonspecific low back pain.

The successful candidate will have an interest in/knowledge of spine biomechanics. During the studentship, they will be trained in the use of various technologies available to assess the biomarkers as well as having the opportunity to develop data collection and analysis skills for clinical studies.

How to apply:

Applications are made via our website using the Apply Online button below. If you have an enquiry about this project please contact us via the Email NOW button below, however your application will only be processed once you have submitted an application form as opposed to emailing your CV to us.

The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 3 years and must demonstrate:

• outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA)
• an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

In addition to satisfying minimum entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.


Funding Notes

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,000 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.



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