The Laboratory for Bone Biomechanics headed by Prof. Ralph Müller at the Department of Health Sciences & Technology, Institute for Biomechanics at ETH Zurich is offering a
PhD Position in Time-lapsed Imaging and Multiscale Modeling of Human Bone Fracture Healing
The aim of the research is to perform time-lapsed high-resolution CT imaging and multiscale modeling of distal radius bone fractures in patients and to investigate the in vivo healing process employing image processing and analysis. Bone fractures are very common and in 5-10% of the cases do not heal or are delayed. Nevertheless, factors influencing the healing outcome are not yet well understood. The specific aims of this PhD project will therefore be (1) to develop image analysis and registration methods to determine in vivo bone resorption and formation sites during fracture healing at the human distal radius, (2) to assess local bone remodeling and comparing the results with clinical biomarker measurements including whole bone strength through multiscale modeling approaches, and (3) to evaluate how bone remodeling during fracture healing affects whole bone strength in healthy, aged and osteoporotic humans. The position will be based at the Inselspital Bern and at ETH Zurich, where the candidate will be enrolled in the Doctorate Program. Furthermore, this PhD project is embedded in a larger effort funded by the National Science Foundations of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria through a DACH consortium grant consisting of Ulm University (D), the Medical University Innsbruck (A), and the Inselspital Bern and ETH Zurich (CH). The overall goal of the consortium is to investigate local bone remodeling and mechanoregulation of bone fracture healing in healthy, aged, and osteoporotic humans.
The successful candidate holds or will soon receive a master’s degree in Biomedical, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, and has preferentially a background in imaging and image processing. It is essential that the candidate is willing and motivated to work at the interface between engineering and clinical research. Additionally, excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) are required. Knowledge of German is advantageous for the clinical interactions but not absolutely required.