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The goal of this project is to design & test spinal instrumentation construct components to improve surgical treatment for patients with early onset scoliosis.
The Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (Chemelot InSciTe) is a newly founded public-private research institute for bio-based and biomedical materials. Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), DSM, Chemelot Campus, and the Province of Limburg have jointly invested €80 million in order to establish an innovation and knowledge institute. The PoSTuRE project is a new biomedical materials project aiming to provide personalized treatment for early–onset and degenerative scoliosis patients.
Scoliosis is a complex three-dimensional deformity of the spine with an overall prevalence of 2-3%. The surgical treatment of scoliosis in adolescent and adult patients is fairly straightforward with operative correction and instrumented spinal fusion serving as the current golden standard. However, the group of early onset scoliosis (EOS) patients (i.e. presentation before the age of ten) poses immense challenges in their treatment. A standard instrumented spinal fusion procedure is undesirable for these patients, as instrumented fusion will halt the growth of the spine and thoracic cavity entirely with hindered lung development as a consequence. Growing-rod surgery is currently the most used surgical treatment of early onset scoliosis, but this technique is associated with substantial disadvantages. Conventional growing rods still require repetitive surgical lengthening procedures at six to eight month intervals, thereby placing huge physical and psychosocial burden on patients and their parents, and generating enormous healthcare costs. We have proposed a growth-guidance system utilizing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sublaminar wires as sliding anchors along metal rods. In the Biomedical Materials Program’s (BMM) Spineguide project (2010-2014), novel radiopaque ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) wires were developed and their biological and mechanical safety was proven. The surgical technique can be further optimized using additional construct components to increase the mechanical stiffness of the construct, decrease the incidence of spontaneous spinal fusion, and decrease the overall complication rate. Optimization of the construct will run in parallel to a stepwise clinical introduction of the surgical technique.
We seek highly motivated, enthusiastic candidates with a Master degree in Medicine. The candidate must have strong communication skills and be a pragmatic team player. Commitment is essential and the candidate should have a keen eye for detail. Proficiency in written and spoken English is desirable. Previous participation in a laboratory animal course (Art. 9 certification) is advantageous, but not required. Affinity with mechanical testing and/or engineering is desirable.
The candidate for the available function will be responsible for the design & evaluation of additional construct components. The candidate will perform in vitro mechanical & biomechanical tests; mechanical testing will include standardized benchmark tests and in vitro biomechanical testing using (animal) cadaveric spine segments with spinal construct component variations in order to identify the ideal construct for different patients. Furthermore, the candidate will be responsible for pre-clinical in vivo testing of instrumentation in an animal model.The candidate will work in close collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons, implant fabrication engineers, and computer modelling engineers.
We offer a full-time position (38 hours/week) with the Maastricht University at the Department Orthopeadic Surgery of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School CAPHRI
The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl.
Dr. Paul Willems, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tel. 00 31 (0)43 3875038, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr.ir. Alex Roth, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Tel. 00 31 (0)43 3884152, email: email@example.com
Dr. Chris Arts, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tel. 00 31 (0)43 3881272, email: firstname.lastname@example.org