31/03/2021
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) position in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (3 positions). Milano, Italy

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  • OFFER DEADLINE
    08/06/2021 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • LOCATION
    Italy, Milano
  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    POLITECNICO DI MILANO

General objectives of the DECODE project

DECODE focuses on the training of young scientists on the use of drug-eluting devices to combat the burden of peripheral artery disease (PAD). DECODE will provide young researchers with excellent scientific, technological and complementary skills through a multidisciplinary training programme having as an outmost scientific aim the development, optimization, and assessment of a drug eluting balloon system for the improved treatment of PAD. The aim of DECODE is twofold: a) to enhance the competitiveness and research careers of young researchers at European level as after the completion of the programme they will be able to face current and future challenges on the domain of biomedical engineering, b) to convert knowledge, ideas and expertise from both the academic and non-academic sectors into a novel product which will improve the monitoring and treatment of patients suffering from PAD and their quality of life, providing thus a significant economic and social benefit.

 

For more information: (https://www.decodeitn.eu/blog)

 

Specific Information for the 3 positions at Politecnico di Milano

Three positions for PhD candidates are open at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in Italy in the laboratory of Prof. Giancarlo Pennati, with these research topics:

ESR4 – “Development of in-vitro/ex-vivo models of arteries to test drug-coated balloons (DCBs)"

ESR5 – "Micro/nano characterization of balloon/coating system for DCBs and its small scale interaction with vascular tissues "

ESR6 – “In silico simulations at macro/meso scale of angioplasty with DCBs, focusing on the mechanical aspects at the balloon-vessel interface"

 

The research group led by prof. G. Pennati is based in the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LaBS), created in 2000, where a wide experience is available on numerical modeling as well as on mechanical laboratory tests applied to materials, tissues and devices for vascular applications as well as other biomedical fields. LaBS main investigation topics are tissues, biomaterials, prostheses and medical devices, with special reference to mechanical phenomena. LaBS offers an overall surface of about 600 sqm, equipped with laboratories and a computer centre. In addition to hosting 3 ERSs, and participating to the training programme and secondments, the research contribution of POLIMI in the context of DECODE project will be mainly in computational modelling of DCB mechanical behavior during the arterial angioplasty (WP4), considering different scales (nano/micro, meso/macro) and in the mechanical characterization, at the same scales, of the coating/balloon/artery mechanical interaction through laboratory tests (WP3).

 

Below, details about the three positions are reported.

 

Position 1: ESR4 -"Development of in-vitro/ex-vivo models of arteries to test drug-coated balloons"

 

The ESR will be primarily trained in: i) designing and developing advanced mock-simulators to test the implantation of cardiovascular devices; ii) using experimental techniques for characterizing the mechanical interactions between the balloon and the arterial wall.

Namely, the ESR will develop in vitro/ex-vivo models of stenotic arteries, taking into account for the specific in vivo conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity) and the surrounding tissues (e.g. bones and muscles) that can act as external constraints during the clinical procedure. Using these experimental set-ups, the in vivo balloon inflation and deflation will be simulated to evaluate and quantify the transfer of the drug coatings from the balloon to the arterial wall. The coating adherence on the inner side of the arterial wall in the period after DCB use will be evaluated, as well as the effects on the drug coating of the catheter insertion and balloon positioning within the artery. The results of these activities will be exploited, in collaborations with other ESRs at POLIMI, to calibrate and validate computational models of DCB angioplasties.

 

The ESR will gain expertise in:

1) design of complex experimental set-ups, that include 3D printed or biological tissues

2) design experiments to purposely calibrate/validate computational models

3) management of experimental results in the context of the whole project

 

Several secondments to other consortium partners are planned, to increase the training efficacy.

 

Position 2: ESR5 -" Micro/nano characterization of balloon/coating system for DCBs and its small scale interaction with vascular tissues "

 

The ESR will primarily be trained in: i) the field of the mechanical reliability of the coating/substrates through in-situ mechanical testing and imaging techniques; ii) the development of computational models complementing laboratory tests for the quantitative assessment of the adhesion properties in dependence of different loading scenarios.

In particular, different testing set-up will be designed and used for micro-mechanical testing of coated and un-coated substrates; simultaneous optical observations will also be performed. Confocal-laser microscopy will be used to assess the adhesion and integrity of the drug coating. Among the potential testing methods, bulge test, uniaxial and biaxial testing configurations will be considered.

 

The ESR will gain expertise in:

1) design of complex experimental set-ups

2) design experiments to validate models

3) development of computational models complementing laboratory mechanical tests.

 

Several secondments to other consortium partners are planned, to increase the training

efficacy.

 

Position 3: ESR6 - “In silico simulations at macro/meso scale of angioplasty with DCBs, focusing on the mechanical aspects at the balloon-vessel interface"

 

The ESR will be primarily trained on: i) the development of numerical modelling techniques to accurately simulate the interaction of the arterial wall with endovascular devices; ii) design and execution of experimental tests for mechanical characterization of arterial tissues and polymeric membranes.

Namely, the ESR will perform simulations of the angioplasties of a stenotic peripheral artery with a drug coated balloon (DCB). The adherence of drug coating to the balloon material, and other features affecting the balloon contact modalities and drug stamping to vascular tissue will be properly simulated, thanks to the results of purposely designed experimental analyses. Moreover, advanced models of the peripheral arterial wall will be implemented to describe the various effects of the clinical procedure. In parallel to the numerical analyses, some in vitro tests are planned, using small patches of animal arteries and balloons. The suggested activities aim to investigate how different balloon designs and procedural strategies may involve different modes of bonding failure and mural adhesion of drug coating which, in turn, determine the success of DCB use.

 

The ESR will gain expertise in:

1) Development of complex computational models for structural simulations in biomedical applications

2) Integration of experimental laboratory tests with computational models

3) Optimization and managing of computational results in the frame of the whole project.

 

Several secondments to other consortium partners are planned, to increase the training efficacy.

 

Additional Information

According to the EU rules for the ITN projects, the recruited researchers must comply with the following conditions:

  • are, at the date of recruitment, early-stage researchers (i.e. NOT have a doctoral degree AND be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career).
  • are recruited under an employment contract/equivalent direct contract (i.e. other contract with equivalent benefits and social security coverage), including: sickness, parental, unemployment and invalidity benefits - pension rights and - benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.
  • be employed for at least 3 months and up to 36 months.
  • be employed full-time.
  • work exclusively on the research training activities.
  • must comply with the following mobility rule: not have resided in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention. For beneficiaries that are international European interest organisations or international organisations: not have spent with the beneficiary more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.

 

Requirements

  • You have a background in numerical modeling for biomechanics and/or experience in laboratory tests and mechanics of medical devices, materials and biological tissues.
  • You are ambitious, well organised and have excellent communication skills.
  • You are verbally and written fluent in English and have the ability to work effectively and collaboratively. Below is a list of the certifications accepted by the Politecnico di Milano and the corresponding levels (the certification is valid regardless of the date when it was awarded):

TEST

MINIMUM LEVEL

CAMBRIDGE

≥ FCE – GRADE B

CAMBRIDGE IELTS (International English Language Testing System) all types

≥ 6

ETS - TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper based (total score)

≥ 547

ETS - TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) computer based (total score)

≥ 210

ETS - TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) internet based (total score)

≥ 78

ETS - TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication -Listening and Reading Test )

≥ 720

TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON

≥ ISE II

 

  • You are an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual, who is willing to take part in personal skills training, international travel and public outreach activities.
  • You have demonstrated commitment to high-quality research.

 

In addition to the above requirements, the candidates must also fulfill all the local admission requirements reported at the web-link below:

http://www.dottorato.polimi.it/en/looking-for-a-phd/call-for-positions-and-scholarships/admission-requirements/index.html

 

 

Application

Applications must contain the following documents:

  • a personal (motivation) letter and curriculum vitae,
  • a copy of degree certificates and associated certificates,
  • a copy of degree projects and any previous publications,
  • a proof of English language skills,
  • two recommendation letters (or the names and email addresses of two references).
  •  

The documents should be sent by email to giancarlo.pennati@polimi.it and also to pasquale.vena@polimi.it and dario.gastaldi@polimi.it.

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