Placeholder image for KESS2 East PhD in Biosciences: Could anti-inflammatory treatment at ACL reconstruction improve biological, functional and clinic

KESS2 East PhD in Biosciences: Could anti-inflammatory treatment at ACL reconstruction improve biological, functional and clinic, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #101 (ARWU) Cardiff, United Kingdom
This project will test the hypothesis that inflammation after ACL reconstruction surgery is detectable in the joint fluids and blood, and reduces joint function and surgical outcomes; and that anti-inflammatory medication reduces inflammation and improves joint function and surgical outcomes.
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Osteoarthritis affects 8.5 million people in the UK and is a painful, debilitating and progressive condition with no cure apart from eventual surgical removal, fusion or replacement of the affected joint.

Osteoarthritis is commonly secondary to previous joint trauma.  Such post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) accounts for ~12% of the current osteoarthritis population. Since these injuries often arise from sporting activities, individuals affected by PTOA are often affected at a young age (5-15 years after injury).

Not only does this contribute to a significant burden of pain and disability within the working age population, but existing treatments such as joint replacements are less well tolerated in this age group.

One such injury is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture of the knee, which leads to osteoarthritis in 50% of patients. Many patients will undergo ACL reconstruction surgery to stabilise the joint but, such surgery does not prevent PTOA, and may actually be detrimental due to the inflammation caused.

The project plan represents an ambitious and significant academic challenge for the knowledge base. The interactions between joint biology, joint mechanics and therapeutic outcomes are often poorly understood and difficult to measure, with few efficacy indicators.

The supervisory team applies their expertise in disease mechanisms and functional biomechanics to investigate orthopaedic conditions and thus guide improvements in patient care.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

This project aims to:

  • assess surgery-induced inflammation across patients at the time of ACL reconstruction by using biological, functional and clinical measures
  • assess whether anti-inflammatory treatments such as hyaluronan improve ACL reconstruction surgical outcomes.

This project is highly interdisciplinary, involving commercial and clinical orthopaedics, bioscience and engineering. Dr Mason and Professor Holt have developed tools and methods of assessment of joint biology and function in arthritic patients. Hospital Innovations, suppliers of specialist orthopaedic products, have successfully collaborated with Mason and Holt to investigate the relationship between biological and biomechanical indicators after knee surgery.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Cardiff

  • 628 - 1070 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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