Improvement of hemodynamic performance and vessel repair using novel stent design

Supervisor: Dr Cécile M. Perrault
Co-Supervisor: Prof. Paul Evans

We are looking for a bright, enthusiastic and self-motivated PhD student to join our research group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield to work on the design of coronary stents.

When blood flow is obstructed due to the presence of an atherosclerotic plaque in a blood vessel, coronary stents are often deployed to “re-open” the passage. However, this deployment involves very strong mechanical forces to deform the stent into its final shape and result in the destruction of the innermost layer of cells. A rapid repair of this layer is critical to avoid clotting or restenosis, e.g. reformation of the obstruction. With Prof Evans, we have demonstrated that this repair process is dependent on flow patterns within the stented vessel and we want to use this knowledge to create a novel coronary stent.

The aim of the project will be to design, manufacture and validate a new coronary stent. As a researcher at the frontier between engineering and medicine, you will combine traditional mechanical engineering tools (CAD, Flow analysis, PIV) to optimize the design of the coronary stent with biotechnological techniques (cell culture, microscopy, …) to validate its effectiveness.

The ideal candidate will be a home UK student, have a 1st class or a good 2.1 degree in mechanical engineering, bioengineering, physics, applied mathematics or a related discipline. Previous knowledge of fluid mechanics, numerical modelling and good programming skills are essential. No previous clinical or biological knowledge is required, although the candidate should demonstrate an interest in learning these aspects, and be keen on working at the interface between engineering and the life sciences.

This project will be supported by the INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine. INSIGNEO is a research initiative between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. INSIGNEO intends to realise the scientific ambition behind the Virtual Physiological Human, producing a transformational impact on healthcare. While recently established, INSIGNEO is already considered one of worldwide-leading institutions in the area of in silico medicine research. For more information on INSIGNEO please see our web pages: http://www.insigneo.org/.

Further Information

This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend for 3 years at the standard UK research rate (£14,553 for 2017/18) and is restricted to home students only (see link for more information on eligibility).

For further information or clarifications about this project please contact Dr Cécile M. Perrault.

The start date will be October 2017.

Closing date: 30th June 2017. Applications will be considered after this date until the position is filled.