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A Robotic Instrument for Adaptive Neurostimulation


Project Description

(4 year MRes + PhD studentship)

This project is on offer in the Imperial College EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health. See https://www.findaphd.com/search/PhDDetails.aspx?CAID=2386&LID=112 for all projects available.

Supervisors: Ravi Vaidyanathan (Mechanical Engineering), Peter Brown (Brain Network Dynamics Unit, University of Oxford), Dipankar Nandi (Medicine), Huiling Tan (Brain Network Dynamics Unit, University of Oxford)

Implantable brain stimulators are now established methods of treating of neurological movement disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease (PD), dystonia, essential tremor, and even non-movement disorders such as depression. These treatments, however, remain almost exclusively ‘open-loop’. Determination of optimal stimulation parameters is complex and clinically demanding. The dissertation goal is to explore robotics as a means of adjusting brain stimulation parameters and provide a foundation for future neurostimulation treatments. Specifically the research will employ a robotic device to: [1] correlate muscular rigidity and underlying neural signals; [2] explore robot-assisted rehabilitation targeting PD; and [3] investigate adaptive tuning of brain implants.

NOTE: This project is co-supervised through the Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford. The successful candidate, while hosted at Imperial College London, will also spend part of their research time in Oxford for implanted neural recording experiments.

The CDT programme is not a standard PhD programme. Throughout the 4 years, there is considerable emphasis upon multidisciplinary and transferable skills, through centre activities beyond the individual research project. The programme cannot be taken without the first (MRes Neurotechnology) year, as it is an integral part of the overall programme.

Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first or upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent) in an engineering or physical science subject. Students with a biological and medical sciences background may be considered, but candidates must have sufficient quantitative skills to thrive in the programme. You should be looking for a challenging, multi-disciplinary PhD at the interface of neuroscience and engineering.

To apply online, visit http://www.imperial.ac.uk/neurotechnology/cdt/apply/

If you have questions or would like further information about the project, we encourage you to contact the supervisors directly before making your formal application.

Funding Notes

Studentships pay UK/EU tuition fees, stipend and a generous consumables and travel fund for the duration of the programme (one year of MRes and 3 years of PhD).

Places are open to UK and EU applicants only.

How good is research at Imperial College London in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.50

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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