Bone micromechanics: Effect of age and disease

Bone has a porous micro-structure and the porosity increases with age and disease, making the bone more susceptible to fractures. The porous micro-structure also makes the bone anisotropic (different mechanical properties in different directions), which has a major effect on the manner in which bone carries loads and fails. The finite element method is being routinely used to add to current understanding of osteoporosis and find answers to clinical problems. However, bone anisotropy and its nonlinear behaviour are generally not included in FE models.

The proposed research aims to utilise micro-architectural data of the human femur in conjunction with computer modelling to determine the variation of anisotropic mechanical properties for normal and diseased bone samples. Algorithms and computer programs that allow incorporation of anisotropic material properties in femur models will then be developed. The developed techniques will be used to examine hip fracture and repair with implants.

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Engineers working under the Forth road bridge

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Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Candidates should hold a degree in Mechanical/Civil/ Structural/Biomedical Engineering or Physics. They should be able to demonstrate an understanding in the subject areas of solid mechanics/ structural engineering/ strength of materials and finite element method. English Language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Strong candidates may be considered for full EPSRC funding - open to UK/EU candidates only. Further information and other funding options.

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