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PhD Position - Bench to bedside biomechanical evaluation of shoulder arthroplast

PhD Position - Bench to bedside biomechanical evaluation of shoulder arthroplast


Total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) has gained in popularity because of its efficacy in relieving pain and restoring function of the arthritic shoulder. Whereas osteoarthritis typically leads to the use of an anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty design (aTSA), rotator cuff tear arthropathy most commonly leads to the use of a reverse (rTSA) design. In such a reverse design a metal ball is attached to the glenoid and a socket (= liner) is attached to the humeral stem.

Interestingly, both designs are confronted with specific failure mechanisms. Whereas glenoid component loosening is the most important reason for failure in aTSA, especially in glenoids with preoperative erosion, limited range of motion is one of the most common problems in rTSA, complexly depending on both surgical and patient-related factors.

Within this PhD project, the successful candidate will be expected to improve our insights in the above described failure mechanisms by first validating and further refining an available finite element model through experimental data from a cadaveric shoulder simulator to subsequently drive the model with available in-vivo collected 3D motion analysis and imaging data from a cohort of rTSA patients. In this endeavor you can build further on our close collaborations with the different stakeholders in our ambition to improve outcome of TSA surgery and will have the opportunity to very closely interact with clinicians, physiotherapists, researchers and industrial partners.

This funded project involves multi-disciplinary collaborations between the IORT (Prof. L. Scheys, Prof. P. Debeer, Dr. F. Verhaegen), the Clinical Motion Analysis Laboratory (Prof. K. Desloovere), the Bio- Electro- And Mechanical Systems (BEAMS) department of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Prof. B. Innocenti) and Materialise N.V. (R. Wirix-Speetjens).

Highly motivated applicants with a Master degree in mechanical engineering, biomechanical engineering, mechatronics or related discipline with expertise in human joint biomechanics (preferably shoulder) are invited. Proficiency in finite element modelling and analysis (Abaqus) of the locomotor system, experimental data collection, and human motion analysis are strong surpluses.

We expect the candidate to demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills in English. Furthermore, we value sense for teamwork, experience in planning and implementation of laboratory measurements, as well as the ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

Does this challenge appeal to you? Then we would like to meet you...

Please send your complete application (including a CV, degree certificates and a short statement of research interests and experience), preferably via email in pdf-format to:

Institute for Orthopaedic Research and Training (IORT) - Division of Orthopaedics, Goedele Liegeois, Weligerveld 1 - Blok 1, 3212 Pellenberg, Belgium (Tel. +32 (0)16 33 88 17). email:

The position is immediately available and is being offered for 2 years. Extension as well as the possibility to obtain a PhD is subject to the candidate's performance and availability of funding. Salary will be offered full-time, according to university regulations and depending on level of qualification (please see: - Salary scale 43). Location of work will primarily be in University Hospitals Leuven - campus Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.

Additionally, we offer:
* a young, highly motivated and international team of researchers,
* a modern, dynamic working environment,
* in a state-of-the-art laboratory conveniently located within the centre of Leuven, Belgium,
* a strong, multidisciplinary supervisory team with room for own initiative,
* the possibility for unique interactions with high-level, research-oriented orthopaedic surgeons,
* integration in our international network of academic and industrial partners.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Lennart Scheys, tel.: +3216340885, mail: or Mr. Filip Verhaegen,

PhD Position - Bench to bedside biomechanical evaluation of shoulder arthroplast

KU Leuven, Leuven