Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioengineering of polymeric adhesives for hard tissue fixations

Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioengineering of polymeric adhesives for hard tissue fixations

KTH CBH

Stockholm, Sweden

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm is the largest and oldest technical university in Sweden. No less than one-third of Sweden’s technical research and engineering education capacity at university level is provided by KTH. Education and research spans from natural sciences to all branches of engineering and includes Architecture, Industrial Management and Urban Planning. There are a total of 12,400 full year students at first and second levels, almost 1,900 active (at least 50 per cent) research students and 5,100 employees.

The workplace

The School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health consists of nine departments, and over 850 co-workers. It is represented in four strategically important locations in the Stockholm area – centrally at Campus Valhallavägen, at Alba Nova University Center close to physics departments at both Stockholm University and KTH, in the medical technology hub Campus Flemingsberg, and at the national research center SciLifeLab and the Karolinska Institute in Solna.

The departments of Fibre and Polymer Technology, where the position is placed, has around 130 co-workers and is divided in 7 different divisions of which the Fibre Technology is one. The division of Coating Technology has around 30 co-workers divided on 6 seniors 7 Post Docs and PhD students.

Project description

Complex bone fractures are traditionally stabilized by plates and screws. To establish novel methodologies for bone fixations, the use of benign adhesives are foreseen to play critical role in future orthopedic healthcare treatments.

Today, synthetic and biomimetic adhesive e.g. fibrin, cyanoacrylate and dental adhesives are widely used in dentistry or as sealant of soft tissue. While these are commercially available their use as adhesives to stabilize bone fractures is limited as they either lack appropriate modulus or display cytotoxicity. Recently, the combination of i) a self-etching phosphonic primer system, a triazine based two-component glue with hydroxyapatite fillers, and biomedically approved fibre mesh was successfully utilized to generate adhesive patches unprecedented adhesion to wet bone substrates. High-energy visible light thiol-ene chemistry enabled a bottom-up buildup of the patches in surgically realizable methodology.

The shear bond strength was found 55% higher when compared to commercially available dental adhesive systems. While promising, the chemistry and methodology are still in their infancy and numerous improvements are to be considered.
The current position, funded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, will be devoted to establish novel methodologies that allow for proper fixation of bone fractures and in parallel accelerate the healing process of the traumatized tissue. In this context, the project will include the engineering of various synthetic networks, combining commercially available scaffolds together with new networks available within the group, to generate bone restoration patches (BAPs) using thiol-ene or other robust crosslinking chemistries. The patches will take into consideration all-important events that occurs during bone healing including bone-to-soft tissue interactions. Simple bone models will be utilized and the surfaces optimized for proper integration of the BAPs. The concepts will be biomechanically validated and the biocompatibility/biodegradability of the final BAPs will be studied.

The main focus will be dedicated to provide novel restoration concepts of fractured bones and include formulations and method developments that takes into consideration of events during healing process. The BAPs will be built, using light initiated chemistries, to display different domains for fixation and accelerated healing of the fractures. Antibacterial features will also be introduced to counteract the potential risk for infections.

Qualifications

We are looking for you who:

  • Has a PhD degree in chemical and engineering science, materials design, bioengineering or similar areas. The project is methodology intensive and require expertise in chemistry, formulation and crosslinking of well-defined monomers and polymers. Materials characterization of the final BAPS is of importance including DSC, FT-RAMAM, SEM, Instron, assessment in simulated body fluids etc.
  • Documented experience of crosslinked networks and hydrogels fused with growth factors in a bioreactor setup and in conjugation to bone tissue will be regarded as advantageous when evaluating the applicant.
  • Other advantageous features include earlier work on synthetic bone substitute scaffolds for accelerated healing as well as documented proposal writing with successful outcome. The candidate should be structured and creative, be able to work independently at high pace and meet agreed deadlines, critically analyze information and have previous high impact reports in this field.
  • You should have good communication and cooperation skills. The project is interdisciplinary in nature with close collaboration with scientists and surgeons from other medical universities and research institutes.

Application

Apply to this scholarship by e-mail to scholarship@che.kth.se.

You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad. Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than 2018-12-31.

Mark your application with reference number C-2018-XXXX.

The application must include the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter (detailing both your previous scientific work experience and your interest in this position)
  • Research statement (max 2 pages)
  • Contact information for three references
    Please observe that you apply for a scholarship, not an employment.

About the position/positions
Period: 2 years
Extent: Full-time
Amount of scholarship: According to agreement, will be paid bi-annually.
Location: Stockholm

Contact
Questions about the project – Professor Michael Malkoch, malkoch@kth.se

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Position

Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioengineering of polymeric adhesives for hard tissue fixations