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DTA - 3D-Printed Soft Robotic Phantoms for Guided Radiotherapy

   Department of Materials

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  Prof B Derby, Dr S Edmondson  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Medical phantoms are used as objects that simulate aspects of the human body in terms of the contrast displayed during medical imaging. Different imaging modalities require different materials characteristics to appropriately simulate healthy and diseased tissue. This project seeks to develop materials that can be used to produce Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) phantoms using 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing). The project is in collaboration with the Institute of Cancer Research and the Christie Hospital to develop phantoms for use in advanced guided radiotherapy of cancers.

Current state of the art phantom technology uses aqueous fluids and gels to simulate human tissue. These can provide the desired contrast range but must be contained in vessels to represent a 3D object. This project will develop a range of hydrogels and similar ultra-low modulus polymers, with appropriate MRI imaging contrast that are self-supporting and usable with additive manufacturing or 3D printing manufacturing methods. An important target of the proposal is to develop materials that can be used in soft robotic designs that allow controlled deformation and shape change of the phantoms. Such robotic models are required to accurately mimic the internal movement of organs within a patient in response to respiration and other physiological movements within patients during imaging.

Academic background of candidates

1st Class or 2:1 degree M.Eng or M.Sci in Materials Science and Engineering, Biomaterials, Materials Chemistry, Medical Engineering or Allied Disciplines.

At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities, and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded on the basis of merit.

To apply please follow the link below:

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC DTA studentship. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Start date: September 2022
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