Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
App. deadline 30/11/2018
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Australian and New Zealand residents

3D bioprinting, total joint replacements (TJR), osteolysis, wear particles

Value: $27,596

Duration: 3 yrs 

Topic: 3D bioprinting, total joint replacements (TJR), osteolysis, wear particles

Enquiries:  Professor Joanne Tipper - please contact before applying

School/Centre: School of Biomedical Engineering

Closing date: Friday, 30 November 2018

Domestic candidates only. 

3D Bioprinting the Periprosthetic Niche

Implanted devices release wear particles from the bearing surfaces into the synovial fluid and periprosthetic tissues surrounding the joint as they articulate. Increasingly it is being recognised that particles are also released from other interfaces, e.g. acetabular shell in the hip, taper head/neck junction in the hip or tibial tray and tibial component of a knee replacement. These bearing surfaces and interfaces often comprise mixed materials, often mixed metals, meaning that the total debris load is greater and more complex than originally thought. Traditionally, reactions to particulate wear debris are studied in simple 3D models comprised of cells (fibroblasts or macrophages) suspended in gels (agarose, collagen) and the results are often variable (donor dependent, particle challenge dependent). Other issues include lack of cell attachment to gels, issues with homogeneous cell distribution, over stimulation of cells. A more robust 3D cell culture model is required to reduce the effects of this variation and allow direct comparison of responses to implant materials.  

The research will focus on:

  • Development of novel 3D Bioprinting inks that will support a variety of cell types present in the periprosthetic niche
  • Development of strategies for 3D Bioprinting single and multiple cell types
  • Development of 3D Bioprinting models that combine cells with particles of different implant materials e.g. UHMWPE, CoCr, Titanium alloy, PEEK
  • Determination of cellular responses to particulates in 3D culture

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