Patient-Specific FE Model of the Femoropopliteal Artery: Application to Stent Design

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. Studentship in the Computational Bioengineering Group at the Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics, University of Bern, Switzerland. The PhD position is available for an exciting multidisciplinary project merging the fields of medical imaging, computational biomechanics and surgical techniques. The project will have both theoretical and applied research, and it will be performed in close collaboration with the Clinical and Interventional Angiology clinic of the Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, Switzerland.

Endovascular treatment of femoropopliteal obstructions has gained widespread acceptance as the primary revascularization approach in patients with claudication. The use of nitinol stents was recently shown to be superior to balloon angioplasty as a stand-alone procedure in patients with femoropopliteal arterial obstructions. However, stent fractures were reported to occur in up to one quarter of patients. The objective of this project is to propose Finite Element Models to able to simulate the mechanical stress in the femoropopliteal segment during motion of the lower extremity and use these tools to improve periphery stent design. One of the main challenges of the project is to fuse advanced imaging techniques with biomechanical models to estimate the mechanical environment in the artery during daily activities. This project will be supported by top surgeons in the area and by one of the major stent manufacturer. The candidate must have strong communication skills, be willing to work with the surgeons, and the ability to combine basic research activities with the needs of clinicians.

We are looking for a motivated, proactive person with a background in computer science, biomedical or mechanical engineering, physics or other related field. The candidate must have solid programming skills, as well as a good background in general engineering mathematics. An MSc degree or comparable previous experience is required to join the PhD program at our University.

Interested candidates should send their resumes with references and school transcripts to:

Dr. Philippe Büchler
Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics
University of Bern
Stauffacherstrasse 78
CH-3014 Bern
Tel. +41 31 631 59 47
Fax +41 31 631 59 60