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Computational modelling and prediction of brain shift to improve surgical navigation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Marshall
    Prof Jones
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The Cardiff University Schools of Computer Science & Informatics, CUBRIC (Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, School of Psychology) and Engineering, in collaboration with Renishaw PLC seek two PhD students to join a research team developing computational modelling and MRI for surgical planning. They will work with world-renowned experts in tissue modelling, computer vision and brain imaging.

One industrial/EPSRC sponsored (iCase) scholarship and one School-funded PhD scholarship are available.

We seek high calibre graduates with a good degree (First or strong Upper Second Class) in Computer Science, Physics, Engineering or Mathematics with a high degree of computer programming proficiency and strong mathematical skills. Experience in image registration, especially non-linear deformation would be desirable but not essential.

Both scholarships are to work on the brain image analysis aspects of the research – These will work alongside two recently funded School of Engineering scholarships in brain tissue modelling. Experience in image registration, especially non-linear deformation would be desirable but not essential.

Neurosurgical procedures for treatment of brain tumours and diseases such as Parkinson’s disease often require the insertion of catheters to deliver drugs to particular parts of the brain, or electrodes to enable precisely targeted stimulation. It is important to be able to place these accurately and to avoid critical parts of the brain. Surgical trajectories are planned using preoperative MRI images and a robot system is used to set the correct direction relative to the skull. However, the brain is soft and moves around when the skull is opened for surgical access, affecting the accuracy with which particular features can be targeted.

There are several situations in which brain shift occurs:
• It is often necessary to move the patient into different orientations to allow access from different directions. This causes repeated brain movements;
• Pushing catheters or other devices into the brain may cause shift and deformations, depending on the resistance of different tissues;
• Multiple catheters /electrodes may anchor the brain tissue and alter its subsequent deformation.
• Fluid flow within the brain arising from brain rotation can impact the degree of deformation;

This project aims to predict brain shift from pre-operative MRI scans and hence improve the accuracy of neurosurgical navigation. We will investigate the effects of incremental shifts and produce models, simulation tools and algorithms to minimise targeting errors and facilitate surgical planning. The long-term aim is to incorporate these predictions into Renishaw’s neurosurgery systems and deliver better treatment to patients.

Interested parties are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal chat prior to submission of a formal application.

Supervisors: Prof David Marshall ([email protected]), Professor Derek K Jones ([email protected]) & Professor Sam L. Evans ([email protected])
Start date: January 2016 but later start dates will be considered.
Number of Studentships: 2

Funding Notes

FUNDING by Renishaw PLC, the EPSRC and Cardiff Schools of Computer Science & Informatics, CUBRIC (Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, School of Psychology) and Engineering:
ELIGIBILITY - Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) open to UK Nationals and EU students satisfying UK residency requirements, (i.e. must have been in the UK for minimum 3 years prior to the start of the course, including for purposes of full-time education). EU Nationals who do not meet this requirement are eligible for fees only award, provided they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for minimum 3 years prior to the start.

How good is research at Cardiff University in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.73

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
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