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PhD thesis subject

Start date: October 2020
Doctoral School: SIMME (Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanics, Energy)
Workplace: IRCER RESEARCH LABORATORY – UMR CNRS 7315 LIMOGES – New Aquitaine – FRANCE
Funding: public
Scientific fields: – Materials – Process Engineering
Keywords: Bioceramics – Additive manufacturing – Bone substitutes

Presentation of the host institution and lab

The Ceramics Research Institute (IRCER) is a multidisciplinary laboratory at the interface between materials science and process engineering. It combines fundamental and applied approaches aimed at understanding, characterizing, controlling and modeling the various processes that lead to obtaining an object or a deposit with one or more properties for a given use. This institute is composed of 4 research axes and this thesis subject is part of the Bioceramics team of axis 4: Ceramics under environmental constraints.
The Bioceramics team at IRCER develops substitutes adapted to bone fillings of varying sizes for use in bone tissue engineering. These bone substitutes made of phosphocalcic ceramics, mainly hydroxyapatite-based, are thus biocompatible and osteoconductive. In addition, these ceramics present a 3D architecture with controlled multi-scale porosity (micro-macro porous) because they are shaped by additive manufacturing techniques such as microstereolithography or robocasting. https://www.ircer.fr/

Description of the subject

The thesis subject is part of a project in the New Aquitaine Region federating 3 research laboratories (IRCER, XLIM, PPRIME) which pool their skills with the aim of developing bone substitutes whose structure mimics human bone.
The work of this thesis will focus on the shaping of these ceramic bone substitutes from specific CAD files established by the XLIM laboratory and allowing to reproduce the architecture of trabecular bones. On the basis of the know-how acquired over the last twenty years in the field of phosphocalcic bone substitutes, IRCER’s “Bioceramics” team proposes to develop, within the framework of this thesis, model phosphocalcic ceramics with multi-scale porosity controlled in size and geometry mimicking the microstructure of bone structures. In this objective, additive CAD/CAM shaping processes will be implemented. The ceramics will be produced from a hydroxyapatitebased ceramic suspension either by microstereolithography (μSLA), a technology based on selective photopolymerization by a UV source, or by robocasting, a technology based on microextrusion of paste through a nozzle. Previous work carried out at IRCER has highlighted the relevance of these innovative processes in the design and manufacture of customised controlled architecture phosphocalcic bone substitutes. The parameters related to the shaping and sintering processes as well as the formulation of suspensions filled with ceramic powder will have to be refined to obtain ceramic parts with the expected physical-chemical, architectural and mechanical characteristics. The mechanical properties of these bone substitutes will be characterized in collaboration with the PPRIME laboratory.

Candidate profile

In view of the proposed lines of research, skills in materials science and/or chemistry are desired in order to study all aspects of these bioceramics. Knowledge of additive manufacturing processes and/or ceramic materials would be appreciated.

Deadline for application

May 20th, 2020

Contacts for application
Eric Champion: eric.champion@unilim.fr
Patricia Pascaud-Mathieu: patricia.pascaud-mathieu@unilim.fr