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Optimising bone shape with memory networks

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Mathematical Sciences

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Pascal Buenzli
Position
Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

Bone is a dynamic tissue that optimises its shape to the mechanical loads that it carries. Bone mass is accrued where loads are high, and reduced where loads are low. This adaptation of bone tissue to mechanical loads is well-known and observed in many instances. However, what serves as a reference mechanical state in this shape optimisation remains largely unknown.

Research activities

You will use mathematical and computational modelling to investigate mechanisms by which a network of cells living within bone tissue (osteocytes) sense and respond to mechanical loads.

This network is similar to the neural network in the brain. It is plastic, which enables learning new mechanical states; and it is long-lasting, which provides a mechanical memory. You will investigate how this new model of mechanical adaptation influences the evolution of bone shape when such a mechanical memory can be reset during bone tissue renewal. Results will be compared with previous theories and with experimental observations.

Outcomes

A new theory of bone mechanobiology with applications to biomechanical implant stability, orthodontics, and bone disorders.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.