|Location||University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology|
|Eligibility||Australian and New Zealand residents|
Spinal devices and instrumentation, wear particles, neural cells, 3D bioprinting
Duration: 3 yrs
Topic: Spinal devices and instrumentation, wear particles, neural cells, 3D bioprinting
Enquiries: Professor Joanne Tipper - please contact before applying
School/Centre: School of Biomedical Engineering
Closing date: Monday, 10 December 2018
Domestic candidates only.
Neural cell responses to wear debris from spinal instrumentation and devices
Our recent research has shown that metal-on-UHMWPE TDR devices wear at similar if not higher levels compared to modern hip and knee replacements. The wear manifests as microscopic wear particles that lead to osteolysis, as described for hip replacements. Metallic spinal fusion devices also generate significant debris and/or corrosion products. Adverse responses have been observed recently in association with total disc replacements, including recent reports describing metallosis and the formation of pseudotumours around metal-on-metal TDRs. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence documenting the release of metallic particulates from spinal fusion instrumentation and the associated inflammatory responses that ensue, in terms of cellular infiltrates and cytokine release (predominantly TNF-α). Clinically there are reports that describe delayed neurological symptoms, including radiculopathy and paraparesis, in patients with metallosis associated with spinal fusion devices. Other reports describe late operative site pain.
The effects of ions and metal debris, which have such a devastating influence on connective tissues in the hip, remain unknown for the neural structures in the spine. Cells of the central nervous system (CNS) are protected by the meninges and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Disruption of these anatomical features makes the spinal cord and adjacent neural structures particularly vulnerable to exposure to tribo-corrosive products. There is evidence that particles in the spine have the ability to cross both the dural barrier and the blood spinal cord barrier. Furthermore, nanoparticles are known to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB); a feature that is currently being exploited as a means to deliver nervous system drugs systemically. There are clear implications for the entry of nanoscale wear particles. This has led to the hypothesis that the barrier functions protecting the spinal cord will be compromised by exposure to metal wear particles and/or ions and that subsequent adverse responses to these species by neural cell populations will result in neurotoxicity, leading to complications such as pseudotumours in the spine and subsequent failure of the implant.
This project will address the following objectives:
1. Characterisation of tribo-corrosion products (ions and debris) from explanted components and tissues.
2. Determination of the responses of mixed populations of neural cells to particles and corrosion products in advanced 3D bioprinted tissue culture models.
About the Faculty
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at UTS is a world-class faculty with a growing reputation for its quality and impact. Our research is highly advanced, industry-focused and part of the lively and rigorous research culture at UTS.
Focused on 'practical innovation', our researchers are pioneering research solutions with real-world impact. They're recognised leaders in their fields, responsible for delivering new, better and more cost-effective innovative solutions to current national and international challenges.
Over the last five years, the Faculty has received more than 60 Australian Research Council projects and attracted a total research funding well in excess of $30 million.
About the University
UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions.
UTS has a culturally diverse campus life and vibrant international exchange study and research programs that prepare graduates for the workplaces of today and the future.
Our world leading research centres span a range of disciplines, including physical, biological and engineering sciences, and contemporary fields such as design, nanotechnology and sustainability. Our researchers provide practical and relevant solutions to issues of national and international importance and equip graduates with the latest discipline specific skills and practices.
We also maintain strong relationships with the local community, industry, business and the professions through a wide range of partnerships, projects and events.
See our full disclaimer