This project will use an innovative manufacturing process, involving ‘digital’ materials (i.e. compounds formed by blending different proportions of the two base materials), to manufacture a human heart that can accurately simulate blood output during compression. Subsequently, this project will provide a platform to lever further research funding to investigate a range of cardiac conditions, including exploring the optimal CPR technique and developing enhanced CPR training manikins.
Objectives: (i) Mapping the heterogeneous material properties of the human heart; critical to identifying the most appropriate digital materials. (ii) Identifying the most appropriate 3D printing protocol: The heterogeneous material properties and intricate internal architecture means that producing a geometrically accurate heart model is complex, complicated further by a need to use durable and robust materials. (iii) Integrating a resistive pressure equivalent to the circulatory system: A sophisticated mechanical system will be developed to replicate the non-linear resistive pressure experienced during CPR, as a consequence of the viscoelastic behaviour of the blood vessels surrounding the heart. (iv) Model validation: Initial validation will consider the geometric comparison between the model and the original computer tomography (CT) data, whilst echocardiography will be used to ultimately validate fluid flow through the heart during contraction representative of the healthy cardiac cycle.
Candidates should possess a first degree at 2.1, or non-UK equivalent, as minimum. Whilst a 1st April 2014 start is preferred, applicants graduating in 2014 are also encouraged to apply with a view to starting this project on 1st July 2014.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)
The award is open to Home and EU students and will cover fees at the Home/EU rate and provide a stipend equivalent to the RCUK rate of £13,726 (2013/14 rate). International Students are permitted to apply but will be expected to cover the difference between the home and international fees.
In the first instance interested applicants should send a CV and covering email/letter to Ms J Cleaver on [Email Address Removed]
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU QUOTE THE STUDENTSHIP REFERENCE NRN-PT-2014 IN THE EMAIL SUBJECT FIELD.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit an online application form.