[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD opening - Haptic medical devices @ University College London, London, UK

Wurdemann, Helge h.wurdemann at ucl.ac.uk
Thu Aug 11 06:15:21 PDT 2016

PhD position in Haptic Medical Devices @UCLMechEng, London, UK
University:	University College London
Department:	Mechanical Engineering
Location:	Bloomsbury Campus, London, UK
Start date: 	1 October 2016 (or soon after)
Duration:	up to 4 years

Closing Date:	11 September 2016

University College London's Department of Mechanical Engineering is offering a four year funded studentship focusing on haptic feedback solutions for transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures. The studentship offers full fees and an annual stipend of £16,057.

More info at:

PhD Research Topic
Transcatheter valve implantation is a minimally invasive procedure which allows to replace a dysfunctional heart valve avoiding the need for open heart surgery and its associated risks. The valve is collapsed and delivered through a catheter, inserted from a peripheral blood vessel and steered towards the heart. Once in the optimal location, the replacement valve is deployed operating a release mechanism in the catheter. This intervention has the major advantage of not requiring cardiac arrest and restart, or bypass pumps, and therefore it is suitable for the rapidly enlarging group of high-risk patients who are excluded from surgery. However, the interventional cardiologists have to rely essentially on 2D X-ray imaging and do not have any direct sense of touch to support the correct positioning and deployment of the replacement valve. 

Thus, understanding the challenges of this interdisciplinary project and effectively providing haptic feedback (tactile feelings) to clinicians are of great importance. Hence, this PhD will concentrate on investigating different types of haptic modalities suitable to guide replacement valves into the optimal position to be deployed. The outcome of this project might result into approaches with reduced use of X-ray imaging during heart replacement procedures, and improve the safety and efficacy of the procedure. The PhD student will work closely with surgeons to set up the user needs for this medical device. The research focus will be then on how to sense and measure the optimal deployment position of a heart valve. On the other hand, the creation of a haptic feedback interface will be investigated which will be integrated into a standard catheter handle. The haptic device will be evaluated in in-vitro and ex-vivo models. The final aim is to transfer the developed solution to the clinic.

Funding is for UK and EU passport holders only.

The PhD student will be supervised by Dr Helge Wurdemann at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with co-supervision from Dr Gaetano Burriesci.

Applicants should have a background in Engineering (e.g. Mechanical, Electrical, Biomedical, Computer Science etc.). Only students with a UK-equivalent First Class Honours degree, or are expected to receive one, will be considered. 
Experience in sensing, mechatronics, robotics, system engineering is desirable. Adequate training will be provided; however, the candidate must take initiative for fruitful execution of the project goals.

How To Apply            
Applications for the post can be discussed directly with Dr. Wurdemann, and formal applications made via https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.prism.ucl.ac.uk_-23-21_-3Fprogram-3D25&d=DQIFAw&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=Om_DXmMKrQJLnSUxu4wiWhmZWVC5vRDChWwcJ1DglNY&s=cnNAlxQuwa9k6c3S7YCOogTxzuCOPx3NhbLCN_i7lP4&e= .

Dr Helge A Wurdemann
Lecturer in Medical Devices
Head of the #SoftHapticsLab

UCL Mechanical Engineering
University College London
Torrington Place
London WC1E 7JE, UK 

T: +44 (0)20 7679 3862
Internal ext: 33862
E: h.wurdemann at ucl.ac.uk
W: www.softhaptics.website
T: @h_wurdemann

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