HEMS 5: The effect of exercise on gait biomechanics in people with knee osteoarthritis

Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Sciences / Faculty of Science and Engineering

Supervisors: Dr Jasmine Samvelyan; Dr Andrew Morrison; Prof Lee Smith; Prof Kevin Cheah (external)

Location: Cambridge or Chelmsford

The interview for this project is expected to take place on Friday 28 April.

Knee osteoarthritis is a complex and incapacitating disease influenced by a variety of factors including the loading environment, muscle strength and endurance.

The changes that occur within the knee joint due to osteoarthritis in patients often cause severe pain and changes in gait. These changes can cause further issues such as adjacent joint injury and reduction in gait stability, leading to falls.

Further, gait mechanics can have implications on other joints, increasing likelihood of joint insult, muscular injury, increased chronic pain and ultimately joint degradation and replacement.

The overarching aim of this research project is to determine the effect of physical activity on gait biomechanics in people with knee osteoarthritis with long-term benefits of pain reduction, gait modifications and improving mobility.

Both strength-based and balance-based interventions have previously shown to influence gait characteristics. However, the effect of these interventions on nonlinear measures of gait stability is not fully understood.

The gait stability will be measured using the linear and nonlinear analyses to gain a better understanding of the temporal nature of the stability changes and establish the effect of exercise intervention on gait characteristics.

You'll have qualifications in biomedical science, biology, or another relevant discipline. Previous experience/background in biomechanics, simulation and/or material engineering is desirable.

You'll be afforded an opportunity to work alongside multidisciplinary expert scientists, clinicians and laboratory support personnel and will receive training in techniques applicable to this field of study.

You'll work in the School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care on our Chelmsford campus. You'll also work in the School of Psychology and Sport Science in the Faculty of Science and Engineering on our Cambridge campus, which has a world-class biomechanics laboratory providing well equipped, state of the art facilities for this project.

You'll be a member of the Musculoskeletal and Developmental Biology Research Group, part of the Medical Technology Research Centre.

If you would like to discuss this research project please contact Dr Jasmine Samvelyan: jasmine.samvelyan@aru.ac.uk

Apply online by 19 March 2023

Funding notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For 2022/3 this was £17,688 per year. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship terms and conditions. Please note that the University asserts the right to claim any intellectual property generated by research it funds.

Download the full terms and conditions.