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Research Opportunities

 

Postdoctoral Researcher (Stem cell delivery to the myocardium)
2 year postdoc position in Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin,

The TCBE cardiovascular group was recently successful in securing collaborative 7th Framework Programme European Commission funding to develop an integrated materials-therapeutic-medical device approach for regenerating damaged cardiac tissue. We are currently inviting applications for a 2 year Postdoctoral Research fellow to advance the medical device aspect of this programme.
The researcher will be involved with developing a new medical device to deliver novel biomaterials that are impregnated with allogeneic bone marrow derived stem cells. The research strategy is focused on developing a solution that will result in greater retention of therapeutics at the injection site. The researcher will collaborate with a number of European academic and industrial partners for example Cardio3 Biosciences and Boston Scientific are the catheter based medical device partners, while the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland are the grant coordinator and the Fraunhofer Institute will provide biocompatibility testing on the therapeutic system.
TCD Cardiovascular Group Background:
Key research areas of the TCD Cardiovascular medical device group are: Mitral valve disease, developing decellularized tissue components to repair and replace the damaged/diseased cardiovascular system, the delivery of therapeutics via novel catheters.
Role & Responsibilities
The position involves working within the cardiovascular medical device design group within the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. The candidate will form an integral part of the R&D team. The candidate will be involved in the research and development of an intramyocardial delivery therapeutic delivery catheter, from concept to pre-clinical evaluation.
The tasks will include the design, development and testing of the catheter in laboratory models and pre-clinical models.
Essential requirements:
 Mechanical Engineering degree or Biomedical Engineering degree
 PhD in the Lifesciences area
Skills Required
 Solidworks/CREO proficient
 Knowledge of medical device design procedures
 Strong laboratory practical skills
 Good technical writing skills to ensure documentation of design/development/test activities as required in Engineering Laboratory notebooks.
 Ability to liaise with external vendors to ensure timely delivery of prototypes.

Please submit applications with a CV and covering letter to: Bruce Murphy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Parsons Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2
For more information contact bruce.murphy@tcd.ie Tel: 01 896 8503
Closing Date for applications: Friday 28th February 2014
Start Date April 2014

 

PhD Research Position in Neural Engineering

Early Predictors of Speech Perception and Performance in Cochlear Implant Users

A cochlear implant (CI) can partially restore hearing in patients with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. However, the large outcome variability in CI users prompts the need for more objective measures of speech perception performance

For a cochlear implant (CI) users to obtain a high level of speech perception the electrical stimulation, controlled via the speech processing strategy, must be adjusted or ‘fitted’ for each individual user.  It is the task of the audiologist to fit the CI so that the user obtains the maximum level of speech perception. However, a number of factors make this a difficult task, which may result in less optimal fitting for that individual user. Currently, the audiologist adjust the speech processing strategy and ask the users if it ‘sounds better’ or carries out a speech perception test. This subjective assessment of speech perception is less than optimal.

Based on the recent findings from our laboratory into electrophysiological (EEG) based analysis of the brain’s response to acoustic stimuli, a method to assess acoustic processing in Cochlear Implant Users has been developed based on neuroimaging (EEG).

This project aims to further develop neural objective measures of speech perception in CI users. Such measures may be employed to optimize or streamline the fitting process and would be particularly useful in a paediatric population. In addition, a neural metric which predicts speech perception outcome before the CI user has fully adjusted to a new speech processing strategy (a process which can take months) would be extremely beneficial to the audiologist. It would allow the audiologist to optimize the speech processing strategy in a timely manner and identify users who may need extra rehabilitation at an early stage.

Measures of neural signals, such as evoked potentials, from structures such as the auditory nerve and brainstem are useful in estimating threshold levels but are unable to predict higher-level outcomes like speech perception. Evidence suggests that cortical evoked potentials may be more suited to estimate speech perception.

The specific objective of this project is to measure cortical response to complex stimuli, which probe a CI user’s spectral and temporal processing capabilities and thus develop a range of metrics, which correlate with speech perception.

A 3-year scholarship is available. More details can be found here.

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School of Dental Science and Trinity Centre for Bioengineering

PhD Research Position in Neural Engineering

Analysis of Physiological Signal Changes during Sleep Bruxism before and after the use of an Occlusal Splint

Sleep bruxism (night-time tooth grinding) is a very common and destructive clinical condition about which relatively little is understood.  It is most commonly managed with occlusal splints but there is a lack of clinical consensus on best practice for their use and very little scientific knowledge of their mechanism of action.  This project aims to combine historical and clinical data in a novel analysis to establish baseline characteristics of bruxers and their response to splint use.

Sleep bruxism affects 8% of the adult population. While it is known to be associated with transient lightening of the sleep state, the underlying aetological trigger is not well understood.  In severe cases, or cases that are poorly managed over time, bruxism can cause considerable damage to teeth and restorations.   For instance, veneers fail 7 times more quickly in bruxers compared to non-bruxers and implant restorations have 68% more technical complications. Occlusal splints are the international standard of care for bruxism patients. The mechanism of action of splints is as yet unclear and little is known about the determinants of a favourable treatment response.  It has been reported that there is some variability in patients’ response to this treatment modality but no physiological basis for this inconsistency has been established.  In addition, there are no detailed data available on how the splint response progresses over the first three months of use. As a result, there is a lack of consensus amongst clinicians about the appropriate duration of use of splints for bruxism patients.  Addressing these two areas would provide greater scientific insight on a possible mechanism of action of splints and greater clinical clarity on best practice for early splint use.

This research project will examine the early response of bruxers to splint provision using retrospective and prospective approaches. A unique database of sleep studies that recorded the effect of splints on bruxism patients will be accessed from a specialized sleep centre in Canada. Detailed analysis of multiple physiological variables recorded in these sleep studies will be carried out to elucidate whether this could suggest a mechanism of action for splints. A prospective study will involve patients whose bruxism activity is analysed every night for 3 months, using a combination of devices, including a novel, sensor-containing splint. This will generate a very detailed picture of the variety of responses to splint treatment and help to provide guidance on clinical usage in the early stages of management.

The overall aim of the project is to examine and clarify how bruxism activity is influenced by the provision of a splint. The following objectives will be

  • to examine baseline physiological characteristics of bruxers during sleep, before and after splint use.
  • to evaluate the ability of a novel splint device to measure bruxism during sleep.
  • to monitor the effect of the splint on bruxism over a period of time. The null hypothesis is that an occlusal splint has no effect on sleep bruxism or its associated physiological changes.

A 3-year scholarship is available. More details can be found here

 

Postdoctoral Researcher and Program Manager in Neuroimaging of Temporal Discrimination in Adult Onset Primary Torsion Dystonia

The Neural Engineering Group within the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering invites applications for a Senior Researcher with specific experience in the design and analysis of neuroimaging to join a multidisciplinary team studying the cause of adult onset primary torsion dystonia (AOPTD).

 

Are you interested in pursuing your PhD degree or carrying out post-doctoral research in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering?

If so, please email tcbe@tcd.ie with the following information

  1. The Research theme you are most interested in (Biomaterials, Regenerative Medicine, Neural Engineering, Muskuloskeletal or Cardiovascular)
  2. A cover letter detailing your background and research interests
  3. Your C.V.
  4. Any papers and publications you were involved in

 

 


Last updated 22 January 2014 by Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (Email).