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3D dynamic simulation of myocardial bridge: estimation of myocardial ischemia with a simplified biomechanical model


Project Description

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship. The successful candidate will join the project ‘3D dynamic simulation of myocardial bridge: estimation of myocardial ischemia with a simplified biomechanical model’ led by Prof Dingchang Zheng (physiological measurement and dynamic modelling) and Dr Haipeng Liu (Computational fluid dynamics and fluid-structure interaction) at Coventry University.

The Project

Recently, myocardial bridge (MB) has been confirmed as a direct cause of myocardial ischemia especially in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). MB can cause atherosclerosis in its proximal segment and compression of epicardial coronary arteries that extends from systole to early diastole, reducing sub-endocardial perfusion in diastole. Currently, it is difficult to observe transient hemodynamic effects of MB in a whole cardiac cycle. Considering the increasing rate or CAD, there is an urgent clinical need to estimate the transient hemodynamic effects of MB on the risk of ischemia in a whole cardiac cycle for CAD patients. Based on invasive measurement in coronary arteries, patient-specific dynamic computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has been used to estimate the transient hemodynamic effects of MB. Moreover, the fluid-solid-interaction (FSI) analysis could simulate the process of MB in a whole cardiac cycle. However, these methods rely on the results of invasive measurement with the requirement of high computational resources.

In this PhD project, we aim to develop a simplified biomechanical model of cardiac contraction to non-invasively estimate the transient hemodynamic effects of MB on the risk of ischemia in a whole cardiac cycle using 3-dimensional (3D) dynamic simulation in low computational resources. The method to be developed is of high value for the screening of CAD patients with MB. The simplified biomechanical model of cardiac contraction will provide a platform for the investigation of other cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary microcirculation dysfunction.

We are looking for highly motivated candidates who have a strong interest in developing innovative healthcare technologies and has a broad understanding of cardiac physiology. The PhD project requires working with clinicians, biomedical engineers, and computer scientists at different stages along the development pathway – and will lead to high-quality publications. It will involve clinical data collection and analysis, and a variety of computing work (including cardiac image processing, computational modelling, and statistical analysis).

Funding

Coventry University and A*STAR jointly offer a fully-funded PhD studentship to UK/EU and international students as part of the A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP).

Each studentship will include:
• full tuition fees
• a stipend for up to 4 years (£15000/year) subject to satisfactory progress
• a one-time airfare to and from Singapore
• a one-time settling-in allowance in Singapore
• medical insurance for the period in Singapore
• Conference allowances.

Other Benefits

• Throughout the programme there will be joint supervisory teams and the project will be operated in close collaboration with industry stakeholders in both UK and Singapore.
• Comprehensive research training- including technical, personal and professional skills will be provided by the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development at Coventry University
• The supervisory team offers a substantial track record in successful doctoral supervision and expertise in the thematic areas identified.

How will the joint programme work?

The successful candidate will enrol at Coventry University, UK as their home institution and will spend up to 2 years at the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) of A*STAR.

A typical 4-year pattern of attendance is shown below although the concrete plan would be developed in response to the proposed research design and with the mutual agreement of the supervision team.

Year Study Place Tuition fee waivers + Stipends
1 Coventry Uni, UK Tuition fee waivers + Stipends
2 IHPC Singapore Tuition fee waivers + Stipends
3 IHPC Singapore Tuition fee waivers + Stipends
4 Coventry Uni, UK Tuition fee waivers + Stipends

Entry Requirements

• A minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Cardiology, or a related discipline with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average;
• In the event of a undergraduate degree classification of less than 2:1, a Master’s Degree in a relevant subject area as mentioned above will be considered as an equivalent;
• Minimum English language proficiency of IELTS Academic 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, if you are an EU (non UK) or overseas national;

Desirable Specifications

• The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 4 years;
• Previous experience of 3D reconstruction or modelling;
• Knowledge of cardiology, biomechanics, and statistical analysis;
• Knowledge of related software (MIMICS, ICEM, CFX, SPSS, etc.);
• Ability to think innovatively and critically analyse data and results;
• Good written and oral communication skills;
• A record of presenting papers at conferences and of publishing peer reviewed research papers (desired);
• Ability to meet deadlines, sometimes under pressure;
• Ability to work independently and also as part of a local and international multidisciplinary team;
• Willingness to take on roles to enhance research team activities and profile.

Informal enquiries are essential before application; please contact Prof Dingchang Zheng (), Prof Yi Su (), or Dr Haipeng Liu () to discuss this opportunity.

How to Apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Submit application online at https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/studentships/hls-3d-dynamic-simulation-of-myocardial-bridge-estimation-of-myocardial-ischemia-with-a-simplified-biomechanical-model

For further details see: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/making-an-application/

Enquiries

Informal enquiries are essential before application; please contact Prof Dingchang Zheng (), Prof Yi Su (), or Dr Haipeng Liu () to discuss this opportunity.

Start date: September 2020

Duration of study: Full-Time – up to 4 years fixed term

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Funding Notes

Full fee waiver

c.a. £15,000pa

• One-time return airfare to Singapore
• One-time settling-in allowance in Singapore
• Medical insurance for the period in Singapore
• Conference allowances

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