Computational Simulations in Cell Mechanics

Supervisor: Professor Damien Lacroix

We have a vacancy for a bright, enthusiastic and self-motivated PhD student to join the Mechanobiology group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. The research group has extensive experience in the development of computer simulations to better understand the interaction between biomaterials, cell biology and mechanical stimuli.

Cell deformation is essential in many cellular processes such as cell attachment, migration, proliferation and differentiation. All these are essential processes present in many clinical applications and disorders, such as neuro-musculoskeletal disorders, cancer and osteoarthritis. However, little is known about the exact mechanical load transfer from the extracellular matrix. It is believed that such transfer is partly responsible for the regulation of the essential biological processes described above.

Consequently, in this project an existing single cell finite element model will be extended to simulate the dynamic behaviour of the cytoskeletal components of the cell and also account for the variability found from one cell type to another. The research is mostly computational; however, experimental techniques using atomic force microscopy will be used to validate the models.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate should have or be expected to obtain a 1st class or a good 2.1 degree in mechanical engineering, bioengineering, physics, applied mathematics or a related discipline, and should be enthusiastic about fundamental research. Previous knowledge of finite element analysis and programming skills are essential.

Further Information

This studentship is funded by the European Research Council and is available immediately. A tax-free stipend at the standard UK research rate of £14,057 is available for three years, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Please note, This position is open to UK and EU citizens only.

For an informal discussion about the project please email Prof. Damien Lacroix:

To apply, please use our standard on-line PhD application form, including your CV and two references, and indicate on your form that you are replying to this advert.

Closing date: 30th June 2017