Localised haemodynamic forces have been shown to regulate atherosclerosis development which occurs predominantly in vessels where blood flow is multi-directional and complex and endothelial cells fail to align in the flow direction. Wall shear stress, the frictional force applied parallel to the blood vessel wall due to the viscosity of the blood, appears to be the primary determinant of endothelial cell function and it is generally accepted that shear stress plays a fundamental role in vessel function and development. To measure wall shear stress, ultrasound Doppler techniques have been used but the accuracy of velocity measurements are limited by the frame-rate of conventional ultrasound Doppler systems, the assumption that blood flow is laminar and the challenges raised by measuring low blood velocities adjacent to the vessel wall.

The aims of this PhD studentship are: (1) to develop high frame rate ultrasound imaging techniques to measure slow blood flow typically found adjacent to vessel walls and critical in the assessment of wall shear stress, (2) to generate synthetic data using a flow-dynamics model to optimize high frame rate imaging techniques, and (3) to develop and manufacture flow test objects of typical dimensions and flow velocities observed clinically to provide experimental validation of blood flow and wall shear-stress measurements.

This 4-year PhD project is suitable for someone with a strong background in physics, engineering or computing and can work in a multi-disciplinary research environment. The candidate will be principally based in Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences in University of Edinburgh but will be expected to spend extended periods of time for research in the department of Cardiovascular Sciences in Leuven.

For details of this project with supervisors Prof Carmel Moran (University of Edinburgh) and Prof Jan D’hooge (KU Leuven), go to https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/measurement-of-vascular-wall-shear-stress-using-high-frame-rate-ultrasound-imaging/?p131985

The deadline for application is 30 June 2021