Postdoctoral vacancy (3 years) on patient-specific design and finite element modelling of 3D printed orthoses and prostheses

Country: Belgium;

City: Ghent

Vacancy added: 03.05.2019

Employer: Ghent University

Resumes due: 30.06.2019


3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies carry the promise of revolutionizing the quality and efficiency of healthcare. However, the required technologies, even when available, are currently too fragmented to be integrated into routine, affordable and streamlined solutions that can benefit a large number of patients. The challenge thereby is to deliver 3D printing technologies that enable:

  • Patient-specific solutions: personalized medical devices that are designed using the images acquired for individual patients and best fit their treatment needs;
  • Complexity and miniaturization: complex shapes, articulations and miniaturized geometries of orthotics/prosthetics and instruments have the potential to radically enhance treatment effectiveness and post-treatment recovery;
  • Streamlined care: the ability to integrate diagnosis, design and manufacturing of AM medical devices into a validated software platform is the key to delivering fast, affordable treatments with dramatic life-saving potential.

The INTERREG project 3DMed aims to improve affordability and large-scale accessibility of medical treatment using 3D printed devices. This will be achieved by increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies for medical applications and integrating them into a streamlined, fast, cost-effective software platform for use in routine clinical practice. 
This project contains 17 partners from The Netherlands, Belgium, France and United Kingdom, including universities, hospitals, software suppliers, 3D printing companies, clinical observers, manufacturers of medical devices and implants,... The project is coordinated by TUDelft.

In this Postdoctoral position, it is the purpose to develop patient-specific design and finite element modelling of 3D printed orthoses and prostheses (an orthosis is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system, while a prosthesis an artificial device replaces a missing body part). This position requires an in-depth knowledge of advanced design, finite element modelling and topology optimization, based on the processing and segmentation of patient-specific medical images. 
Important criteria that will be investigated, are: (i) stress limits for a fatigue-safe design (under multi-axial loading); (ii) critical stress concentrations due to certain geometrical discontinuities; (iii) stiffness match (or mismatch) with surrounding body parts; (iv) thermal behaviour of the part at body temperature. 
Different orthoses and prostheses will be covered and a close collaboration will be required with the researchers at TUDelft, clinical observers, AM service providers and software companies.

Only candidates with a PhD degree or equivalent experience should apply. The candidate should have a strong background in design and FE modelling for medical applications. He/she will closely work together with the other postdoc in the team (see other vacancy) and is willing to travel frequently to meet and discuss with the other project partners in the neighbouring countries. 

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