Field: 

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Orthopaedics

Location: The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland

Type of student: Both PhD/MPhil and Volunteer

Type of work: 

  • Qualitative methods
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Wet lab work

Brief synopsis: This research aims to address the important issue of orthopaedic implant infection which remains a formidable challenge in the medical field even in developed countries. Medical device-related infections costs approximately $16 billion to $20 billion per year and infected orthopaedic implants cost from $150 million to $200 million per year in the US alone [2]. Infection to orthopaedic implants (with the rates of 1% to 8.3%) leads to implant failure, revision surgeries for implant removal and thus extended hospital stay and increased cost of treatment [3]. In Australia a 2013 study showed that an additional cost of up to AUD 70,000 was incurred in patients with deep surgical site infection following total hip replacement [4]. Patient quality of life is also affected particularly in the elderly patients for whom these surgeries are major physical challenges.

The students in this project will involve in developing and optimising a novel antimicrobial coating for orthopaedic implants. Particularly, students will investigate the physicochemical properties of the coating, its bonding strength to substrates. Students will also develop a preclinical animal models to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the coatings.

Prerequisite skills: Students should have some laboratory liquid handling experience. Prior experience in chemistry synthesis and/or animal handling/surgery is preferable.

Time frame: Start as soon as possible, 3 - 6 months

Supervisor

Dr Phong Tran

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)