Modelling cardiac function in healthy hearts and diabetes

   School of Engineering

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  Prof Csaba Sinka, Dr A Singh, Prof G McCann  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Additional Supervisor: Prof Susan Francis, University of Nottingham

There is a global pandemic of type-2 diabetes. Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a well-recognised complication, which manifests with early alterations in left ventricular (LV) structure and function. Its pathophysiology and management remains poorly understood. This inter-disciplinary (Engineering, Cardiology, Physics) and cross-institution (Universities of Leicester and Nottingham) project aims to develop a state-of-the-art computational model of the heart in a healthy individual and those with diabetic cardiomyopathy. The starting point is a multi-physics based computational framework coupling the differential equations describing the constitutive behaviour of heart muscle, transmembrane potential, conductance and active stress leading to the contraction of the myocardium. Calibration of the constitutive model parameters will be carried out using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging and electrocardiographic (ECG) data. The project will focus on the study of the nature of the active stress and its mechanical description as the current formulations are relatively simplistic. We will develop a direct coupling parameter which includes cardiac microstructure information for both healthy and diabetic patients. Development of an ex-vivo model of diabetic cardiomyopathy will increase our understanding of the pathophysiology of remodelling, and allow testing of potential therapies.


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To apply please refer to

Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The competition funding provides students with:
4 years of stipend at UKRI rates
4 years of tuition fees at UK fee rates (Plus one award of a full overseas fee waiver to an international applicant)*
Budget to help with the cost of purchasing a laptop
The University of Leicester will provide full overseas fee waivers for the duration of their study to all international students accepted at Leicester. The funder, UKRI, allows us to appoint up to 30% overseas students.


1. Gulsin GS, Athithan L, McCann GP. Diabetic cardiomyopathy: prevalence, determinants and potential treatments. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2019;10:2042018819834869.
2. Rawshani A, Rawshani A, Franzen S, Sattar N, Eliasson B, Svensson AM, et al. Risk Factors, Mortality, and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The New England journal of medicine. 2018;379(7):633-44.
3. S. Göktepe and E. Kuhl, “Electromechanics of the heart: a unified approach to the strongly coupled excitation-contraction problem,” Comput. Mech. 2010;45:227–243.