Study level


Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Paige Little
Principal Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Indira Prasadam
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


There is still much to learn about the biomechanics of the arthritic knee joint. In particular, improving our understanding of the osteochondral interface may prove to be a critical step in better understanding aetiology and treatment of the diseased joint.

We believe combining the complementary approaches of experimental cell-biology and computational modelling will lead to a breakthrough.

Research activities

You will:

  • develop a finite element model (FEM) of the interface between bone and cartilage (osteochondral interface) in a knee joint
  • use an existing database of micro-scale imaging (micro-CT) to develop the FEM geometry
  • draw on both literature-based and experimental data to develop benchmark properties describing the mechanical behaviour of the model constituents
  • use single axis loading conditions to simulate the joint mechanics in the standing knee
  • conduct image analysis of micro-CT data
  • develop and analyse finite element models.


The model will be applied to establish whether:

  • mechanical information describing the osteochondral interface can be gained from FEM
  • we can use such a model to better understand the region-specific biomechanics of arthritic cartilage in a degenerate joint.

Skills and experience

Undergraduate-level FEM experience is required for this student topic.

As a preferred application, you'll:

  • be studying a mechanical or medical engineering major
  • have prior experience with image processing.



Contact the supervisor Dr Paige Little for more information.