A Biomechanical investigation of revision total knee replacement using metaphyseal cones. Self-funded PhD in Engineering Ref: 3076

About the award

Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Academic Supervisors:
Dr Junning Chen or Dr Timothy Holsgrove

Project Description:
Total knee replacements (TKR) are an incredibly successful surgical procedure, with 
survivorship at ten years now routinely above 95%. However, the number of primary total knee replacement procedures is forecast to increase dramatically, and demands on primary total knee replacements are also increasing due to younger patients who are living longer and more actively than the traditional TKR patient. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of revision total knee replacement procedures, which is a more complex procedure that often has to deal with substantial bone loss and/or bone defects.

These bone defects have led to the introduction of metaphyseal cones, often manufactured from porous titanium, which aim to improve stability and fixation, leading to better clinical outcomes. However, there is limited data concerning the biomechanical effect of using metaphyseal cones over traditional revision methods, or on the optimal design for such cones.

This PhD will use both in-vitro and in-silico methods to investigate the use of several commercially available metaphyseal cones as part of a revision total knee procedure. A key aspect of this project will be to complete finite element (FE) analysis of the bone/cone/knee replacement assembly to investigate the load transfer and estimate both the immediate and long-term performance of the designs, and the effect of variation in the surgical procedure. A further component of this work will be to complete in-vitro tests to validate the FE models using Sawbones composite models, or human cadaveric specimens. This work has the potential to directly impact surgical practice, and will be linked with a clinical trial of metaphyseal cones currently being completed in the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Unit at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

This research project will be completed within the Biomedical Engineering Group at the University of Exeter. This group has facilities for biological specimen preparation and storage, cell culture, biomechanical testing and computational simulation. The Biomedical Engineering group comprises academics from both the Departments of Engineering and Physics and links closely with collaborators at the Medical School and clinical partners at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital.

As part of the PhD, it is expected that you will present the results of your research at both national and international conferences, in peer reviewed journals, and to the wider community through public engagement activities.

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisors: Dr Junning Chen or Dr Timothy Holsgrove

Information about current fees can be found here: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/pg-research/money/fees/

Information about possible funding sources can be found here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/pg-research/money/alternativefunding/


Application deadline:10th June 2018
Value:This project is self-funded
Duration of award:Not applicable
Contact: EMPS Postgraduate Research Officeemps-pgr-ad@exeter.ac.uk

How to apply

You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and two academic references. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project. You may also be asked to upload verified transcripts of your most academic qualification.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email emps-pgr-ad@exeter.ac.uk

Please quote reference 3076 on your application and in any correspondence about this project.

Entry Requirements

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in mechanical engineering, bioengineering, or biomedical engineering. You should have a good working knowledge of finite element analysis. Experience with ScanIP software, and the computational modelling of biomechanical problems is desirable, as is experience in the laboratory testing of biological specimens.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.