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The mitral valve: next generation of cardiovascular engineering replacement devices and materials

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Severe heart valve failure can require surgical repair or replacement of the mitral valve. Current medical devices do not fully exploit the next generation of materials, or their design, for targeted patient treatment and monitoring. There are two PhD posts available:
i. An experimental post: aiming to develop smart materials (including their design) for heart valve repair/replacement, using in vitro technology to assess biomechanical causes of failure.
ii. A computational modelling post: aiming to develop and validate a computational platform on which to design novel, smart, materials for mitral valve repair/replacement and perform in silico testing through multi-physics modelling.

Please contact Dr Espino for further details of this project and to discuss any questions you may have:

Funding Notes

This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more.

Non-UK Students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered.
You can search for sources of funding at: View Website


J.M. Freij, H.E. Burton, and D.M. Espino. Objective Uniaxial Identification of Transition Points in Non-Linear Materials. Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology 2019,
M Constable, H. E. Burton, B. M. Lawless, V. Gramigna, K. G. Buchan, and D. M. Espino. Effect of glutaraldehyde based cross-linking on the viscoelasticity of mitral valve basal chordae tendineae. BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2018, 17:93
R.M. Dorrepaal, B.M. Lawless, H.E. Burton, D.M.Espino, D.E.T.Shepherd, A.A.Gowen. Hyperspectral chemical imaging reveals spatially varied degradation of polycarbonate urethane (PCU) biomaterials. Acta Biomaterialia 2018, 73:81
C.E. Lavecchia , D.M. Espino , K.M. Moerman , K.M. Tse , D. Robinson , P.V.S. Lee , and D.E.T. Shepherd. Lumbar model generator: a tool for the automated generation of a parametric scalable model of the lumbar spine. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 2018, 15: 20170829
R. Jewkes, H.E. Burton, and Daniel M. Espino. Towards Additive Manufacture of Functional, Spline-Based Morphometric Models of Healthy and Diseased Coronary Arteries. Journal of Functional Biomaterials 2018, 9:15
J. Baxter, K.G. Buchan, and D.M. Espino. Viscoelastic properties of mitral valve leaflets: An analysis of regional variation and frequency-dependency. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 2017, 231:938
A.G. Wilcox, and D.M. Espino. Viscoelastic characterisation of chordae tendineae of the mitral valve: requirements for future replacement materials. The Lancet 2013, 381:S41

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 21.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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