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  Brain tissue mechanics: constitutive modeling of degeneration and dynamics

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr D Espino  Applications accepted all year round  Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

About the Project

The aim of this project is to evaluate the mechanics of grey and white matter found in the brain during health & disease and effective methods by which to model disease mechanics and progression.

The study will require working with constitutive material models and their application to numerical models, to evaluate the mechanics of brain tissue across multiple scales. The focus is on the application of these models to the brain where degeneration of nervous tissues takes place. For instance, this may lead to a Prony-series compatible with finite element analysis of brain tissue which can be applied across time and frequency domains. A key output is to decipher the transient and temporal mechanics of white and grey matter, so as to evaluate potential for novel methods of treatment, diagnosis or prognosis management in relevant diseases.

Degenerative disorders which affect the brain can include damage and degeneration to its white and grey matter. For example, during multiple sclerosis demyelination occurs of the brain’s white matter, which compromises cognitive function. The implications of this process of degeneration, on the mechanical behaviour of brain tissue, is incompletely understood though.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

There may be potential for some applicants to apply for a School of Engineering scholarship, if they meet the scholarship criteria. Self-funded PhD students are welcome too. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Espino ([Email Address Removed]).


Li, W., Shepherd, D.E.T. & Espino, D.M. Investigation of the Compressive Viscoelastic Properties of Brain Tissue Under Time and Frequency Dependent Loading Conditions. Ann Biomed Eng 49, 3737–3747 (2021).

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