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Modelling blood motion in deformable vessels

   School of Science and Engineering

About the Project

This project aims to introduce a novel approach in studying blood flow in deformable vessels by simultaneously considering both the fluid (blood) and the structure (vessel) through analytical and numerical approaches.

Blood distribution in body is achieved through a complex network of five types of nearly cylindrical vessels of different diameter namely arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins. The blood flow is generated by an impulsive, pressure gradient, that is provided by heart. The vessel walls are deformable and have various thickness and elasticity properties. Blood pressure results in formation of stresses on the walls and this causes contraction of the blood vessels. The vessel wall deformation is also initiated by the attached muscles. The precise coupling between blood pressure and the vessel wall deformation results in an extremely efficient and controlled blood motion through the body. Any irregularity in the distribution system due to cardiovascular diseases may result in an unbalanced blood motion, and this could be fatal.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the developed world. The elasticity (and smoothness) of the wall modifies the hemodynamics (the blood flow dynamics in human vessels), which in turn affects wall stress and the associated mechanobiology, and may set into motion a complex feedback mechanism that leads to various vascular disease processes, including hypertension (high blood pressure). Understanding the blood flow in arteries requires simultaneous consideration of hemodynamics and the deformable arterial wall mechanics.

This PhD studentship project at the University of Dundee aims to introduce a novel approach in studying blood flow in deformable vessels by simultaneously considering both the fluid (blood) and the structure (vessel). This will be achieved by applying concepts that have used in studying hydroelasticity of wave interaction with deformable bodies in engineering. In this project, the blood flow will be governed by the fluid-sheet theory and the deformation of the blood vessels will be determined by use of the classic elastic-plate theory. The two-way coupling between the fluid and structure occurs at the boundaries, where the fluid pressure distribution results in the deformation of the vessel, and deformation of the wall (due to the attached muscles) modifies the flow field.

This model will allow for a wide range of studies on how the blood flow and the blood vessel affect each other; and how formation of irregular obstacles in the vessels (atherogenesis; the chronic buildup of fatty material in arteries) would change the flow; or how change in the vessel wall properties (due to aging, for example) would alter the blood flow. This study will be performed primarily through analytical and numerical approaches and results of the model will be compared with available data. In this project, the student will benefit from engaging with world-renowned experts in Engineering Sciences as well as Life Sciences of the University of Dundee. The University of Dundee has been named in 2015 and 2016 as the Scottish University of the Year in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide.

For more information about the main supervisor, please see

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Masoud Hayatdavoodi,

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent for non-UK qualifications), and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. For international qualifications, please see equivalent entry requirements here:

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) overall score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in the written component, and not less than 5.5 in any other component). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here:


Step 1: Email Dr Masoud Hayatdavoodi () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Hayatdavoodi, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Civil Engineering: Civil engineering : Study : University of Dundee

Please select the study mode (full-time/part-time) and start date agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the Research Proposal section, please:

-       Enter the lead supervisor’s name in the ‘proposed supervisor’ box

-       Enter the project title listed at the top of this page in the ‘proposed project title’ box

In the ‘personal statement’ section, please outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees, project-specific bench fees and living expenses via external sponsorship or self-funding.

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