Haemophilic ankles: effect of bone shape and quality on contact mechanics

Project description

Haemophilia is a sex-linked inherited disorder that results in abnormal bleeding due to the lack of one coagulation factor. Affecting around 1-in-10000 people, its effects can be severe at an early age (typically in teenagers), including early onset osteoarthritis (OA), and a single joint hemorrhage can result in lasting joint damage up to a decade after its occurrence, hampering ability to walk and work. The exact mechanism through which haemophilia causes OA is still relatively unknown. One of the observed effects of bleeding in the ankle joint is geometric and bone quality changes, leading to a clinical reduction in ankle range of motion (ROM). This change likely interferes with the contact mechanics of the ankle joints and thus triggers early OA but the etiology is not clearly established and the way to prevent further complications is not well understood.

The PhD project will define a combined experimental and computational approach steered by clinical focus. The aim is to develop and validate a finite element model of the natural ankle and to computationally assess the effect of changes in bone quality and geometry on ROM and contact mechanics in haemophiliac patients. Student will have a range of professional development opportunities including access to bespoke training in innovation as well as potential for secondments and international visits. Candidates should have a strong background in engineering or a related subject, with experience of finite element analysis.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in a relevant engineering or science degree.

Additional staff contact

Dr Claire Brockett and Professor Anthony Redmond

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is ‘Haemophilic ankles: effect of bone shape and quality on contact mechanics’ as well as Dr Marlène Mengoni as your proposed supervisor. 

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e: phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.