Development and validation of in vitro tools for orthopaedic research and training

KU Leuven
August 28 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

For Mechanical Engineering Technology TC, Technology Campus Geel we are looking for a PhD candidate Research in the field of "Health Engineering" at Technology Campus Geel focuses on the (mechanical) interaction between assistive (medical) devices and the human body. By combining in vivo and in vitro experiments on the one hand and computer simulations, on the other hand, we want to optimise contact forces, movement patterns and pressure or shear stress distribution.

In collaboration with the Biomechanics section (Department of Mechanical Engineering), the IORT (Department of Orthopedics) and Mobilab (Expertise Centre Thomas More, Campus Geel) we work on (further) developmen... For more information see

Currently, several joint simulators are already available in the three partner labs mentioned above. With this combination of tools and our experience in this field, KU Leuven undoubtedly is at the forefront of this domain worldwide. The even better valorization of this equipment already is the subject of a recently approved application for an internal KU Leuven grant. Further research and development related to these simulators is already underway in the framework of some master's and design assignments. We are trying to develop a simulator that offers even more opportunities for mimicking human movement. In this way, a more versatile joint simulator can be obtained than most existing devices in which only squats can often be simulated. Contribution to these developments is a first assignment for the future PhD candidate.

Mock ups that exhibit the same biomechanical behaviour as real human joints are a necessary addition to the availability of joint simulators. If we have such tools, it will be much easier to design and test new medical devices in a controlled and reproducible way. In addition, such mock ups can support surgeons in learning and training new surgical techniques. Currently, development and training can only be done using human cadaver specimens, which show a lot of disadvantages. The development of mock-ups is still in its infancy (although some work has already been done in the field of master theses). This is a second important assignment for the future PhD candidate.

Which of the two assignments is emphasized most depends on the prior knowledge, experience and interest of the selected candidate.


- Based on a thorough knowledge and insight into mechanical design techniques, robotics and control of machines, biomaterials and applied materials science, in combination with the requirements that apply in the medical field, your research focuses on the development of in vitro tools for orthopaedic research and training.

- You have a limited didactic assignment to supervise practice sessions and exercises (fluid mechanics, mechanisms and vibrations, engineering engineering) of engineering technology students on the campus in Geel.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess