Understanding digestion through imaging and modelling

   Auckland Bioengineering Institute

  Assoc Prof L Cheng  Thursday, March 28, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

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Once food is ingested, the stomach serves as a reservoir and continues to break down the food into smaller particles until they are small enough to progress into the small intestine. The rate at which different types of foods break down is of great interest to food technologists, pharmaceuticals and bioengineers. Our research group has developed methods to image the contraction of the stomach in an MRI and have used these images to develop subject-specific computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to improve our understanding of how stomach contractions mix and break down food. 

In the next phase of this research, we seek to use MRI to track the breakdown of food contents over time, and the rate at which food empties from the stomach in both normal subjects and patients with chronic indigestion. New CFD simulations, such as with multi-phase flow interactions, will be developed to help interpret the stomach MRI data.

Desired Skills

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Engineering, Physics or equivalent. Experience with mathematical modelling, data analytics, image processing, computational fluid dynamics. Some familiarity with MATLAB, Python, and CFD simulations be desirable.

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