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ESR8: Development of therapeutic ultrasound applications based on acoustic cavitation

Project Description

This is one of two projects within this section.
Please apply promptly, as we wish to appoint 2 PhD students to start by 1st June 2019

The ICR is a member of an exciting new EU funded innovative training network (ITN) called UCOM (Ultrasound Cavitation in sOft Materials) which aims to exploit EU wide experience of industrial and biomedical ultrasound cavitation and sonochemistry. This ambitious overall programme will take a systematic approach towards understanding ultrasound cavitation better using a combination of experiments and simulations. The ITN includes academic and non-academic partners from the EU, Switzerland and Singapore, and beneficiaries and partners from medical/biomedical fields.

From the experimental point of view, the research programme focuses on the onset of cavitation in tissue and tissue mimicking materials, ultrasound assisted drug delivery techniques, bubble cleaning, fundamental bubble dynamics and shock tube tests.
At a theoretical/numerical level, the focus is placed on developing, improving and validating new state-of-the-art tools for ultrasound cavitation modelling in tissue and tissue mimics, heterogeneous bubble nucleation at walls, shock wave/bubble interaction (including deformable surfaces/cell membranes) and chemical reactions inside collapsing bubbles.

The proposed work will provide a unique training opportunity for the student who will gain knowledge, skills and expertise through state-of-the-art experimental and simulation methods, alongside gaining experience at the premises of internationally renowned universities, biomedical research institutes and industry, and core studies at their host institution.

The therapeutic ultrasound team at the ICR has a world-leading reputation as a result of its extensive experience in developing and implementing ultrasound based therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. Most recently, we have been looking at a therapeutic approach that exploits ultrasound cavitation using pulsed exposures, often referred to as histotripsy.

The aims of this project are:
• Development of methods of analysing acoustic cavitation signals
• Determine the cavitation threshold for a range of fresh mammalian tissues under different physiological and ultrasound exposure conditions
• Determine the nuclei content of tissue mimicking materials developed by ESR7
• Determine the cavitation threshold for tissue mimicking materials developed by ESR7 for different exposure conditions
• Develop mathematical models to describe bubble activity under different exposure conditions.
• Validate mathematical models produced in appropriate phantoms

Applications are invited for a 4 year PhD studentship (aka Early Stage Researcher or ESR position). The first 3 years are EU funded and the 4th year is funded by the ICR. The preferred state date for the projects is June 2019.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have spent fewer than 12 months working in the UK in the last 3 years, and should have a minimum of a BSc, but preferably an MSc, in a relevant physical science or engineering subject, and be able to demonstrate strong experimental and mathematical modelling capabilities.

For more information please contact Professor Gail ter Haar: .
If you wish to apply, please do so via: (ICR projects are listed as ESR7 and ESR8).

Funding Notes

Fully funded for four years. UCOM EU funded ITN full funds first 3 years, ICR underwrote the costs of the 4th year at the time of application.

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