The successful candidate will be a part of the BONE Consortium, a recent North Western Europe Inter-Regional (NWE INTERREG) initiative with the objective of developing electrospinning technology capable of fabricating cost-effective implantable tissue scaffolds for the regeneration of skeletal bone. This will involve other European research institutions, SMEs, health care professionals and regulatory expert, with a focus on expediting the adoption of this technology by the health care sector as a new regenerative medicine treatment for bone fractures in the NWE region.
The Ph.D. student will design a new melt electrospinning technology that incorporates laser irradiation, following by evaluation of the resulting polymeric electrospun scaffolds for regenerative medicine applications. This is a critical component of a recently funded consortium focused on translating electrospun scaffolds to clinical application, culminating in the in vivo evaluation of the scaffolds produced. Activities include computational modelling to optimize hardware design, device prototyping, and the development of a basic software interface. Resulting electrospun fibres will characterization of in terms of morphology and surface chemistry, and their capacity to stimulate in vitro cell differentiation into cartilage or bone cells will be evaluated. Additional knowledge on bioprinting or photochemistry is a plus.
Candidates should have a master degree in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, applied physics, or a similar background, with an affinity for regenerative medicine. Understanding the basics behind optics and/or material sciences is strongly preferred and experience with surface chemistry characterization would be considered as additional expertise that will be positively evaluated. Any of the following competencies would be a strong plus:
- Experience with FEM modelling (i.e. COMSOL)
- Programming (e.g. Labview, C++, Java)
- Mechanical design (e.g. AutoCAD, SolidWorks) and any prototyping (i.e. machine shop) experience
- Familiarity with 3D printing software and hardware
In addition, excellent knowledge of scientific English both in speaking, reading, and writing is required. The candidate should be able to independently solve problems and incorporate knowledge from different fields to find solutions, with a willingness to learn new expertise, including tissue culture and biological analysis
We offer a top-level research and academic environment with excellent opportunities for personal development. The work is highly interdisciplinary and the atmosphere in the group as well at the institute is collegial and collaborative.
The full-time positions are offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. The salary will be set in PhD salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (€2.222,- gross per month in first year to €2.840,- in the last year). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local MU provisions. For more information, look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees
For more detailed information you can contact Dr. Paul Wieringa (email@example.com) and/or Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Moroni (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications should consist of a motivation letter, a CV, and two references.
Maastricht University (MU) is renowned for its unique and innovative problem based learning (PBL), characterized by small scale and student oriented approach. With 16,500 students and 4,000 staff, MU offers a wide choice of academic programs. MU can easily call itself the most international university in the Netherlands, with 45% of our students and more than 30% of our staff from abroad.
MERLN institute- Complex Tissue Regeneration
Research in the recently established MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine focuses on the development of new and challenging technologies for the repair of damaged organs and tissues. Within MERLN, the CTR department (merln.maastrichtuniversity.nl/content/complex-tissue-regeneration-ctr) focuses on advanced macro-, micro- and nanobiofabrication technologies developed and combined with fundamental knowledge of (developmental) biology to design and engineer complex tissues and organs. The scope of this project focuses on the development of advanced electrospinning technologies for generating extracellular matrix-like fibrous meshes to create 3D tissue analogues that facilitate bone repair.