Optimization Techniques for Biomaterials (PhD position)

Within the chair Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Programming we offer a PhD position in Optimization Techniques for Biomaterials.

The PhD position is co-financed by 3TU.AMI, the mathematics institute of the 3 Dutch technical universities, and makes part of the chair's initiative towards collaboration with Twente's research institute MIRA for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine. It is a collaboration with the department of Tissue Regeneration.

In this project, we want to shape and enhance a completely new field in biomaterials science, namely Materiomics based on advanced mathematical techniques in optimization and algorithm design. Materiomics aims at improving the biological performance of surfaces of -for example- medical devices such as hip implants or bone fillers. It is by now widely recognized in the scientific literature that the design of surfaces on a micro- or nanoscale has an impact on the cell behavior in its surrounding. Hence our interest in designing surface topographies that optimally support the primary functionality of the device. For example in bone fillers, we want to to design surface topographies to ``optimally'' trigger the differentiation of the surrounding stem cells into bone cells. The feasibility of this idea was verified in a predecessor project that has lead, among other things, to a PNAS publication and a UT spinoff company, Materiomics bv. In the present research project we want to develop the necessary mathematical tools and algorithms that lie at the core of designing optimal topographies for various applications. The basic idea of our approach is an integration of physical high throughput experiments with virtual experiments. The mathematical challenge is the need for a new class of search algorithms for optimization problems in which an objective function can only be computed for few batches of solutions, namely on the basis of high throughput screening experiments. This requires fundamentally new techniques and algorithms, paired with sophisticated data analysis.

For further information or an application, please contact: Marc Uetz: m.uetz@utwente.nl (++31 53 489 34 20)