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School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

3D perfusion bioreactor for optimising osteostimulatory scaffolds for conditioning of autologous cells for enhanced bone grafting

Supervisors: Karin HING

Application Deadline: 31-01-2021

A PhD studentship is available to expand the continuing collaborative partnership between QMUL and Baxter healthcare to promote novel musculoskeletal tissue engineering approaches by developing new in vitro screening and cell conditioning technologies. 

Achieving reliable bone healing and fracture repair in older patients or patients with compromised bone biology continues to challenge clinicians. The negative impact on patient recovery rates and ongoing quality of life, resulting from poor fracture repair, also presents health and social care systems with a significant financial burden. In response to this challenge a number of different synthetic bone graft substitute (BGS) materials have been developed globally. These synthetics aim to replicate the success achieved by auto-grafting (which uses bone taken from the patient), but without the clinical complications associated with retrieving the auto-graft from the donor site.  While some synthetic BGS materials have proven to be clinically successful, there is increasing interest in pre-seeded orthobiologic bone grafting therapies to further boost the rate and quality of bone regeneration.

Following the QMUL groups involvement in the development of Actifuse® and Inductigraft® synthetic BGS materials this studentship will build on investigations into the regulation of bone regeneration capacity by synthetic BGS, previously centred around using a perfusion based bioreactor system to investigate human mesenchymal stem cell sensitivity to the structural characteristics of synthetic BGS.

The aims of this studentship are to develop further the in vitro 3D perfusion bioreactor platform for use as an alternative to first level in vivo screening, and to optimise graft structures specifically to deliver and enhance the osteogenic potential of autologous cells.

EPSRC Research Studentship Details

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees) applicants must have: 

  • settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and
  • been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to October 2021.This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences and
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (This does not apply to UK nationals). (See: for more details)
  • Full Time programme only.
  • Applicant required to start in September 2021.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £17,285 in 2020/21).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Karin Hing


Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Biomedical Materials programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2021 SEMS EPSRC CASE KAH’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.