PhD opportunity in respiratory biomechanics in Sheffield

PhD opportunity in respiratory biomechanics in collaboration with industry and the UK National Health Service. Supervisors: Dr Alberto Marzo and Prof Jim Wild at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. Deadline: 15 Jan 2019.

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects 5.4M sufferers in the UK alone. Control of the disease can be achieved by administrating drugs (bronchodilators) using pressurised Metered Dose inhalers, often enhanced by the combined use of asthma spacer devices. These devices are mostly effective in children but their design is old, cumbersome and difficult to use, which leads to a low treatment intake with increased risk of serious complications.

Using modelling and experimental approaches, the project will investigate the link between spacer design, patient-specific respiratory system anatomy, and drug delivery. The aim is to ultimately develop a computational framework for the identification of effective and personalised devices that are easy to use, portable, discrete, attractive to the younger population, cost effective, easy to manufacture, disposable and with low environmental impact.

The project is in collaboration with ELAROS (NHS spin-off company), the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit (national NHS referral centre for Clinical Pulmonary Imaging) and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Supporting figure for PhD project description

Figure 1. CFD analysis of drug particles distribution in a typical asthma spacer (left). Comparison of CFD vs MRI data in central airways (right).

Applicants for the post must have (or be expected to attain) a first-class or upper second class degree in an engineering discipline. An aerospace/mechanical engineering background would be an advantage, as would experience of computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, or image-based computer modelling.

Please note, this position is only open to UK and EU citizens with 3 or more years residency.

This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard UK research rate (£14,777 in 2018/19).

For further information about this project please contact Dr Alberto Marzo.

To apply please use our standard on-line PhD application form and indicate on your form that you are replying to this advert or email me-pgadmit@sheffield.ac.uk for further guidance on applying.

Closing date: 15th January 2019

More info at:

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mecheng/phd/phd-studentships/improving-design-medical-devices-asthmatic