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Lubrication and wear modelling of human artificial joint replacements S&T36

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2022

Project ID: S&T36

The wear of the bearing surfaces of human hip and knee joint prostheses is a key problem causing their primary failure. This project aims to develop a deeper understanding of lubrication and wear mechanisms behind the transport of wear produced in the joint gap by the frictional motion of the bearing surfaces, with a strong emphasis on the role of wear particles. According to literature, wear particles leave the joint gap during motion and can finally migrate to surrounding locations including the tissue and bone, where the wear particle deposition can cause osteolysis. However, the exact process of wear particle transport around the joint is not known.

The analysis will be based on a numerical simulation method, within the fluid-structure interaction framework and applying thin-film lubrication theory and particle trajectory analysis. The simulation will be performed by finite differences framework and finite-volume method implemented in the Ansys Fluent, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) package, for the immigration of the wear particles. The results of lubrication serve as boundary conditions for pressure and velocity. The project involves an evaluation of the impact in terms of materials, designs and routine activities. The model will be validated by comparing its results with corresponding joint wear simulator testing.

This project will aim to increase the accuracy of numerical simulation for hip replacements since previous studies for wear performance obtained from wear transport models have shown a poor agreement to clinical results. To increase the accuracy some novelties are included in the simulation. First, the field split lubrication and wear will be treated in a coupled manner, instead of segregated as done in the literature. In addition, the immigration of wear particles will be studied as one of the primary variables. Results from this project are expected to support the increase in the longevity of human hip and knee prostheses. Potential collaborations with orthopaedic manufacturers and hospitals can support promising output including publications and research funding.

School strategic research priority

The proposed studentship project aligns with the Health and Wellbeing and Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials (MTAM) research themes and it also aligns with Imaging, Materials and Engineering Centre (IMEC).

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

For guidance and to make an application, please visit our studentship application page. The application deadline is Friday 14 January 2022.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2022 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Download our full applicant guidance notes for more information.

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