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Biomedical Engineering: Model-based treatment for mechanically ventilated patients

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Ph.D. or Master position at Monash University (Malaysia Campus) in the field of Biomedical Engineering

Model-based mechanical ventilation treatment in respiratory failure patients: Clinical Application of Respiratory Mechanics (CARE) study

Mechanical ventilation (MV) is a primary and costly therapy for respiratory failure patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) [1, 2]. MV seeks to provide sufficient breathing support to enable patient recovery. While there is a generalised agreement on MV treatment [3], there are no standard guidelines for optimising patient-specific treatment. As a result, clinicians often rely on clinical experience to set MV treatment. This variability can be variable and costly [2], affecting patient-centred quality of care and clinical outcomes. The main problem is patients lung injury is very heterogeneous with significant inter- and intra- patient variability. A treatment that works for one may lead to ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) in another.

Project Focus:
In recent years, there are emerging use of a model-based method to optimised MV therapy. These methods can account for patients’ variabilities and individualise treatment without excessive clinical effort or burden to the patients [4]. This postgraduate research seeks to investigate the performance of model-based method for MV treatment in Malaysia; in particular, this research focus on the quality of patient-ventilator interaction.

Patient-ventilator interaction revolves around the quantity and magnitude of Asynchronous Events (AE), which occur when the patient undergoing MV is not synchronised with the support from the ventilator. The frequent occurrence of AEs results in poor patient-ventilator interaction, leading to potential adverse effects, and higher mortality [5]. AEs can occur anytime and hence, there is a significant need for being able to quantify patient-ventilator interaction during MV to enable optimised and patient-specific care to improve outcomes and reduce cost.

Project Benefit:
Model-based MV research is an interdisciplinary research. Interested candidates will have the opportunity to engage in a cutting edge biomedical engineering research linking practical engineering, physiological modeling, and medical research. Positive findings arise from this research can significantly impact clinical practice and outcome in the hospitals.

This project will be conducted with Dr. Chiew and A/Prof Tan, and with other international researchers. More importantly, it offers the opportunity to engage in publishable, biomedical engineering research with significant social impact.

1. Dr. Chiew Yeong Shiong ()
2. A/Prof. Tan Chee Pin ()

Other Info

Funding Notes

In collaboration with hospitals in Malaysia and internationally renowned research group in New Zealand

- Candidate with MATLAB/ JAVA/ Phython Skills
- Candidates who are capable of performing independent research.
- Candidates who have experience in academic publications.
- Degree in a relevant area (Engineering, Eg. Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Mechatronics, Biomedical, Medical Engineering)
- Send in a complete CV, copies of academic transcripts and/ or other relevant documents.


1. Esteban, A., et al., How Is Mechanical Ventilation Employed in the Intensive Care Unit. An International Utilization Review. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., 2000. 161(5): p. 1450-1458.
2. Dasta, J.F., et al., Daily cost of an intensive care unit day: The contribution of mechanical ventilation. Crit Care Med, 2005. 33(6): p. 1266-1271.
3. The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network, Ventilation with Lower Tidal Volumes as Compared with Traditional Tidal Volumes for Acute Lung Injury and the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. N Engl J Med, 2000. 342(18): p. 1301-1308.
4. Chiew, Y.S et al., Feasibility of titrating PEEP to minimum elastance for mechanically ventilated patients. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 2015, 1, 9.
5. Epstein, S.K., How Often Does Patient-Ventilator Asynchrony Occur and What Are the Consequences? Respiratory Care, 2011. 56(1): p. 25-38.

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