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PhD Candidate: Computational model of guided growth in immature skeleton for custom-made correction of deformities.

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    Universitat Pompeu Fabra - ETIC
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/08/2021 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Spain › Barcelona


Vacancy for PhD Thesis: Computational model of guided growth in immature skeleton for custom-made correction of deformities.

Type of Contract: full time, 48 months

Doctorate programme: Information and Communication Technologies, UPF

Starting date: October-November 2021

Short description:

Limb deformities in children motivate frequently pediatric orthopedic consultations, either because of angular disorder (genus valgus / varus), torsional (internal / external torsion), longitudinal (leg length discrepancy) or combinations thereof. We currently apply guided growth techniques with implants that temporarily block the physis. These techniques correctly solve genu valgus but are not as effective for genu varus or leg length discrepancy and are not effective for torsional or combined deformities. In addition, these techniques often lead to complications such as the emergence of deformities in other planes or the change of epiphyseal joint shape.

The objective of the present PhD project is to create a computational model of physical growth that allows to customize the treatment of a specific deformity through individualized designs of implant and the ability of the devices to correct the deformity with the greatest efficiency and the shortest time. It is part of a larger scale project that combines the physeal surgery in experimental animal (pig) and the computer development of the simulation model of physial growth, in collaboration with the children Hospital Sant Joan de Deu, Barcelona. The computational model development stands for the core of the proposed PhD thesis at BCN MedTech. Its development will combine image analysis and mechanobiological theories of epiphyseal bone growth, through finite element modelling, to simulate different growth guidance systems made of plates or screws. The model will be uniquely calibrated and validated against it ability to recreate and correct deformities against the experimental animal model. Eventually, it will be transferred to the physiological characteristics of the human bone, leading to a tool to properly plan the surgical correction of growth deformities in patients.

Working lab: Biomechanics & Mechanobiology (BMMB), BCN MedTech.

The BMMB is one of the eight Research Areas of BCN MedTech. It settled at UPF in 2015. Research at BMMB focuses on the load-bearing organs and tissues of the human body in health and disease, and it targets (i) the interactions between tissue multiphysics and biological processes, (ii) the multiscale regulation of organ functional biomechanics, (iii) the identification of mechanistic risk factors associated with different diseases and disorders, based on synthetic data and on the virtual augmentation of real world data.

Numerical methods that combine different modelling and simulation techniques are used to describe both the tissues at the organ level, and the tissue-cell interactions at the tissue and cellular levels. Models are usually developed to admit real world biological and/or clinical data as inputs, in addition to mechanical data from motion analyses where relevant. Theoretical and numerical concepts are tested against in vivo and in vitro data, allowing mechanistic interpretations of both experimental and clinical evidences, in addition to model validations.

On the one hand, emphasis is given in the study of the multiscale transfer of mechanical effects from the system level to the cell level in different scenarios, e.g. simulated treatments, organ/tissue condition or cell cultures; relative to a chosen reference state. On the other hand, advanced tissue models are used to link observable phenotypes to possible mechanisms of spatiotemporal tissue regulation that will depend on the prediction of different cell microenvironments. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches are adopted, to eventually apprehend the regulation of highly multifactorial diseases and disorders.

Supervisors: Jérôme Noailly, Miguel Ángel González Ballester, César Galo García Fontecha


Please send:

· Full CV

· motivation letter

· two reference letters

· Academic transcripts

to jerome.noailly@upf.edu by August 31th, at the latest.

More Information

Offer Requirements

    OTHER: Excellent


-Master Degree or equivalent. Candidates must hold a MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering, Biomedicine, Physics, Mathematics or equivalent.

-Previous experience in biomedical engineering research, including computational biomechanics and/or Mechanobiology and/or medical image analysis will be welcome.

-The candidate is expected to have good communication skills in spoken and written English and must be motivated to develop collaborative research in an international and multidisciplinary environment.

-English is mandatory. Spanish will be positively considered though not decisive.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

EURAXESS offer ID: 658033


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