Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology

Research Centres: RVC Quantitative Biology Resource, MicroCT

Dr Doube is a Lecturer whose work focusses on imaging of the musculoskeletal system.

Dr Doube earned a veterinary degree at Massey University, New Zealand and a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London on early changes in the equine third metacarpal bone in the same site as later condylar fracture. This work built on previous studies by Elwyn Firth and Alan Boyde using correlative confocal and scanning electron microscopy.

A postdoc at Imperial College London followed, in Sandra Shefelbine's group in the Department of Bioengineering. In collaboration with John Hutchinson at RVC's Structure and Motion Laboratory, Michael investigated scaling of bone structure in relation to animal size. To accomplish this research, Michael started the BoneJ software project, which brought together existing and new programs for bone image analysis. After a stint at the Light Microscopy Facility of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Michael returned to London to take up an academic post within RVC's Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences.

Michael continues to work on BoneJ and the investigation of comparative skeletal physiology and anatomy.

Dr Doube's research concentrates on imaging and bioimage informatics of musculoskeletal tissues. Michael is an active member of the ImageJ and Fiji community, and supports BoneJ users via the ImageJ forum. Michael's work is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, and BBSRC. Michael is affiliated with RVC's Skeletal Biology Group and London's Bloomsbury Centre for Skeletal Research, and maintains memberships of the Anatomical Society, the Royal Microscopical Society and the Bone Research Society.

PhD opportunity - Fully-funded (BBSRC) collaboration with RVC's Structure & Motion Laboratory and Foster + Partners Specialist Modelling Group, starting September 2017, LIDo scheme

Pack and deploy: Nature's flatpack design motifs revealed with 3D imaging

Many engineered structures benefit from a fold-pack-deploy use cycle. From quotidian items such as umbrellas to more exotic hikers' lightweight fast-erecting tents and space station modules, there can be a considerable advantage to efficient packing and robust deployment strategies. In this project, the student will image in 3D X-ray microtomography, and in high-speed or timelapse video, fold-pack-deploy cycles of insect wings and plant buds. Phylogenetically distinct organisms will be used, to determine conserved and variable anatomical folding motifs. Computational models of folding structures will be generated for use in design of engineered structures of millimetre to tens of metre scales.

Apply online via the LIDo scheme website


Postdoc opportunity, available from April 2017 - email for more information

Physiological bone loss is believed to be associated with a transition from plate-like to rod-like trabeculae. This belief is based on a flawed metric published in 1997, structure model index (SMI), which artefactually links bone volume fraction (BV/TV) to rod/plate geometry due to the unexpected influence of concave surface curvature. Such a plate-rod transition may exist, but SMI cannot measure it. Despite this, SMI has been cited over 850 times in published studies and the plate-rod transition in bone loss has become 'common wisdom' in the field. Because BV/TV dictates the majority of trabecular bone's mechanical behaviour, and SMI is collinear with BV/TV, bone biologists may have inadvertently linked rod/plate bone architecture with mechanical behaviour. This project will test the hypothesis that there is a real correlation between BV/TV and rod-plate geometry using a new unbiased metric, ellipsoid factor (EF), which measures rods and plates using axis ratios of maximally-fitting ellipsoids fit to 3D images of trabecular bone. Before use in biological hypothesis testing, EF must be further validated and its performance improved. The project will also quantify the mechanical consequences of any such plate-rod change under normal loading conditions and under mechanical overload (fracture) conditions using computational finite elements analysis.

For an up-to-date list of publications and citations, please see PubMed and Google Scholar.

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