PhD on Engineering Collagen Architecture

PhD on Engineering Collagen Architecture

Published Deadline Location
12 Oct 30 Nov Eindhoven
Are you eager to understand how collagen fiber orientation can be influenced by the process of tissue growth and how this could be exploited to control collagen architectures in regenerated tissues?

Job description

Collagen fibers are ubiquitous in many connective tissues giving them their unique mechanical properties necessary for the tissues to function properly. In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, the development of a proper collagen architecture is key to whether the tissue will function properly and not eventually breakdown. Such is the case in articular cartilage, where the collagen fibers extend millimeters from the underlying bone to bend over to lay flat on the articular surface forming the unique Benninghof arcade architecture. However, the mechanism responsible for the formation of these arcades has never been demonstrated nor replicated in tissue engineered cartilage although its importance to tissue function and longevity is well accepted.

In this PhD research, which is part of the Dutch Gravitation program Materials Driven Research, we will exploit our recently developed cartilage organoids, produced from human chondrocytes or progenitor cells, to grow thick hyaline cartilage. This tissue growth process will be perturbed in an in vitro culture system to create varying collagen fiber architectures to understand how this could be influenced by the physical-chemical environment during tissue growth. Finally, smart biomaterials will be used to create unique tissue growth environments to guide the formation of the desired collagen architectures and applied in ex vivo osteochondral explant bioreactor systems to simulate in situ cartilage regeneration. In addition to molecular biological, biochemical, histological assessment methods, advanced microscopic methods will be used to visualize the collagen architecture. Furthermore, functional assessment of cartilage mechanical properties will be an essential element.

The PhD candidate will contribute to a multi-disciplinary team of biomedical engineers and scientists, molecular biologists and orthopaedic surgeons, from the student to senior level. An educational and professional development program is offered to all PhD candidates. You will also be involved in teaching courses, as well as contribute to the supervision of bachelor and master students. Based on your research, you will be expected to present at conferences, publish in scientific journals and write a doctoral dissertation.


The research will be mainly conducted within the Orthopaedic Biomechanics (OPB) group which cover diverse topics in bone, intervertebral disc and tendons/ligaments, as well as articular cartilage. The group is well known for their multidisciplinary approach combining tissue mechanics, mechanobiology, and biomaterial mechanics. They utilize, in vitro, ex vivo and computational models to understand tissue conditions in disease and for regenerative engineering, operating at the international forefront of engineering of living, load-bearing tissues.

The OPB group is part of the Regenerative Materials and Engineering cluster of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The department offers Bachelors and Masters education programs who are integrally linked to its research areas ranging across Chemical Biology, Biosensing, Biomaterials, Biomechanics Tissue Engineering, Computational Biology, Biomedical Imaging and Modelling, with 800+ students and 200+ academic staff. The university is open and inclusive with short communication lines. The people are curious, collaborative, and strive for excellence in research and education at an internationally renowned level. Our lively campus community facilitates connections between staff and students, in an open, friendly, vibrant atmosphere that welcomes and inspires.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are accepting applications from enthusiastic and highly talented candidates who meet the following requirements:
  • A MSc degree (or equivalent) in biomedical engineering/science or a comparable domain.
  • Experience and knowledge of tissue engineering is appreciated.
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in a team and with the industrial partners.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

We offer a meaningful job in a dynamic, stimulating and ambitious team environment.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with intermediate evaluation after nine months.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video. Information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact prof. Keita Ito (k.ito[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact [Name Surname], [Job title], …[at] or +31 40 247 ….

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V50.6014


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Nov 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).