PhD project

Development of micro-incubator OCT/ OCE bioreactor system to engineer a robust musculoskeletal tissue model

On this page

Achieving adequate musculoskeletal tissue healing is one of the most challenging factors in the repair of orthopaedic tissues. The problem of hard-to-soft tissue fixation is the major cause of failure of replacement grafts and leads to further musculoskeletal degeneration e.g. osteoarthritis. This project will explore how to develop a bioreactor system and optimise a stimulation regime to produce robust tissue-engineered models.

The formation of tissue-engineered constructs will be approached using a fibrin-gel contraction model with bone anchor regions, mimicking native tissue interfaces. An innovative co-culture system will allow the production of a complete engineered interfaced construct and will endeavour to replicate the native tissue transitions found at the enthesis between tissue types in vivo. Complete tissue interface grafts will then undergo stretching regimes to aid tissue maturation.

The maturation process will be qualitatively and quantitatively analysed by using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Elastography (OCE) in the modular bioreactor system. Development of this novel culture system will contribute to the knowledge regarding interface formation, optimum growth and stimulation requirements, and will provide a robust model to investigate enthesisal healing and repair. The findings from this study will have significant relevance in bioreactor development and musculoskeletal tissue-engineering.

How to apply


31 October 2022

  1. Email Dr Jan Vorstius to:
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Vorstius, formal applications can be made via our direct application system.

Candidates must apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in either:

Biomedical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering


Principal supervisor


Senior Lecturer +44 (0)1382 385646

Second supervisor