Description of the research:
The main objective is to develop a robotic soft exosuit for gross manipulation restoration after spinal cord injury.
A soft, lightweight, stretchy and wearable active robotic exosuit will be designed to access inner muscles and peripheral nerves, responsible for movement of proximal joints of upper limbs. The efficacy of a hybrid combination for control of both distal and proximal joints inside the arm will be investigated. In contrast to most conventional robotic architectures that are still stationary and used as workstations to deliver therapeutic exercises and mobilize the affected limb, soft exosuits provide a natural step forward in wearable assistive technology.
Expertise: Master of Science in Mechanical/Robotics engineering, Automation/Mechatronics engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or other
The researcher should hold a master’s degree in Mechanical/Electrical / Robotics/Mechatronics Biomedical / Software Engineering or Computational Sciences (or obtained before October 2023) and have interest in an R&D career on medical therapy applications. The researcher must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date prior to the start of the project.
The researcher will be employed in Wearable Robotics and enrolled in a doctoral program leading to the award of a PhD degree within the PhD in Emerging Digital Technologies course at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy, (https://www.santannapisa.it/en/training/international-phd-course-emerging-digital-technologies )
ReWIRE is set up to equip next-generation scientists with unique skills to develop ground-breaking therapeutic solutions for patients with paralysis. The specific transdisciplinary and translational aspects will fill a gap in the traditional education programs and foster R&D competence in the field of medical products and therapies focused on spinal cord injury (SCI). The first objective is to establish an international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral educational network that develops and links high-tech routes into new personalized, combinatorial approaches to rewire the spinal cord. The second objective is to build a clinical data platform for SCI. The third objective is to position Europe at the forefront of therapy for SCI. ReWIRE follows an international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral approach organized in 8 and 7 interwoven work and training packages, respectively.
The training and research parts are focused on developing the next generation specialists and technologies in the European Research Area (ERA) to conform to the rapidly evolving technologies for individualized therapies to treat SCI. Specifically, ReWIRE aims to establish meaningful long-term and autonomous functional recovery by combining axonal regrowth and reconnection with new neuronal circuits, controlled by the brain and boosted by neuromodulation. The overall goal is to translate combinatorial SCI therapies from bench to bedside in a timely manner, thereby improving the quality of life and reducing societal burden. To regenerate the spinal cord, axons must be reactivated and stimulated, chemo-attracted, supported, and guided across the lesion site and into the spared tissue. Plasticity of spared connections must be generated in combination with functional new connections via the formation of terminal-like contacts, exhibiting synaptic markers and re-establishing electrophysiological conduction capacity across the lesion. The convergent approach will lead to combinatorial therapies to repair the spinal cord after injury, which, to date, has not been successful using individual therapies.
Partners of ReWIRE: DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (Aachen); Pepscan (Netherlands); Technische Universität Hamburg (Germany); Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands); ONWARD Medical (Netherlands); Clinatec (France); Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna Pisa (Italy); Wearable Robotics (Italy); Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (Switzerland); Zürich University (Switzerland); Imperial College London (UK); King’s College London (UK)
Gross salary: Employment will be within the framework and exclusively with funding from the Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Doctoral Networks – DN (variant: European Doctoral Network DN) under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe (2021-2027).
An annual amount of 46.939,20 € will be provided by the Research Executive Agency. This amount corresponds to the budgetary burden for the employment of the EU researcher and, after deduction of the employer’s social security contributions, equals the gross salary for the activities to be remunerated. This amount includes both the annual allowance (Living Allowance) – in the amount of 39.739,20 € – corrected by the country coefficient specified by the European Commission at the time of the call, and the mobility allowance – in the amount of € 7.200,00 €.
Eventually a family allowance can be recognized to the candidate for an annual amount up to 5.940,00 €.
How to apply:
Interested candidates should prepare the following documents:
1) a valid identity document,
2) a Curriculum Vitae with the indication of significant work experiences, academic education, expertise and previous project works, list of patents and publications, language skills
3) a file with information on your M.Sc. thesis (abstract or full thesis) and exams (detailed degree transcript)
4) a description of a research project motivating your application
5) eventual reference letter from academic/industrial advisors
6) a declaration with statement that the researcher must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date prior to the start of the project.
All the documents need to be prepared and submitted as PDF files:
Submit all the information by writing an e-mail to Prof. Antonio Frisoli firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: “Candidature to Job Posting for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Network ReWIRE, Technology-driven combinatorial therapy to rewire the spinal cord after injury” within June 11, 2023.
Please avoid email attachment for large files and include a link to shared documents (google drive, dropbox, onedrive, wetransfer, etc.) for upload of large documents or archives.