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Computational modelling for prevention of heart failure following myocardial infarction

University of Bath - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bath
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 stipend, Home tuition fees, and Training Support Fee
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 9th October 2018
Closes: 23rd November 2018

Supervisory team:

Dr Andrew Cookson (University of Bath), Professor Paolo Madeddu (Bristol), Dr Stephen Paisey (Cardiff), Dr Katharine Fraser (Bath)

Email contact:


This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the ‘GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership’ which is offering up to 18 studentships for entry in September/October 2019.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction, MI) is the cause of around 37% of heart failure (HF) cases. Current treatment for MI consists of percutaneous coronary intervention, to restore perfusion, and administration of thrombolytic and antiplatelet drugs, to breakdown and prevent clots.  However, these are only partially effective; many patients’ hearts still undergo remodelling, leading to HF in the following months.  New tools for optimising treatments are therefore needed to improve these outcomes.  Numerical models have the potential to predict the interplay between complex biological systems and dynamic, mechanical tissue remodelling.

The aim of this project is to develop a numerical model that links cardiac perfusion with myocardial remodelling and thus address the “Repair” strand of the “Infection, Immunity and Repair” research theme of this Doctoral Training Partnership.

To achieve this scientific aim, we have identified three key objectives:

  1. Develop a validated computational model of myocardial perfusion in the mouse heart building on existing models developed for porcine data.
  2. Build a model of myocardial remodelling to predict structural changes i.e. primary end point.
  3. Use these models to predict the effect of varying treatment, such as ACE inhibitors.

In order to build and validate this model, various types of experimental data will be used, which is currently being gathered by another PhD student supervised by this team.  This data will derive from a mouse model of MI, with contraction assessed by echocardiography.  Perfusion will be imaged and quantified using micro-PET-CT, with N-13 ammonia tracer, at points throughout MI and subsequent dilation of the heart.  The project involves working at the boundary between the life sciences and physical sciences and, via the supervisory team’s links with the Translational Biomedical Research Centre, the project is targeted to generate knowledge transfer and clinical translation of the research, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

IMPORTANT: You should apply using the DTP’s online application form:

For more information on the application process visit:

You do NOT need to apply to the University of Bath at this stage – only those applicants who are successful in obtaining an offer of funding from the DTP will be required to submit an application to study at Bath.


Studentships cover Home tuition fees, Training Support Fee and stipend (£14,777 p/a, 2018/9 rate) and are open to UK/EU applicants who have been resident in the UK since September 2016.

Start date

30 September 2019

Relevant subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Medical/ Biomedical Physics
  • Medical Imaging
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Medical / Biomedical Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
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