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The stratification, implementation and functional assessment of a decellularised biological scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project will involve developing decellularised biological scaffolds as regenerative replacement grafts for replacement of the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger populations with more active lifestyles. Decellularised graft tissues such as human bone-patellar tendon-bone (hBPTB) [produced by University patented processes] offer an exciting alternative approach to replace damaged ACLs without the disadvantages of autografts and allografts (such as initial necrosis, degeneration and slow incorporation).

These grafts are derived from natural tissue but the cells and DNA are removed to prevent ‘rejection’ by the patient. Furthermore, they offer flexibility in their manufacturing process to tailor the biomechanical properties to match different patient populations (age, gender, activity etc.). However, further research in their development, implementation and performance is required in order to optimise their use and prevent the onset of degenerative changes including osteoarthritis.

The aim is therefore to develop decellularised hBPTB grafts scaffolds that reduce the risk in developing osteoarthritis in ACL reconstructed knees through optimisation of the graft manufacturing processes, surgical implementation and functional assessment.

The candidate will be working in collaboration with industrial (NHS Blood and Transplant Tissue and Eye Services) and clinical (consultant orthopaedic surgeon) partners in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE) at the University of Leeds, a leading global centre of excellence in the multidisciplinary research.

Funding Notes

A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,327 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (£15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

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