Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Zhiyong Li
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


Plaque characteristics and local haemodynamic/mechanical forces keep changing during plaque progression and rupture.

Quantifying these changes and discovering the progression-stress correlation can improve our understanding of plaque progression/rupture. This will lead to a quantitative assessment tool for early detection of vulnerable plaques and prediction of possible ruptures.

Our research project aims to combine medical imaging, computational modelling, phantom experiments and pathological analysis to investigate plaque progression and vulnerability to rupture in both animal models and patients with carotid stenosis.

We will identify and quantify the critical blood flow and plaque stress/strain conditions under which plaque rupture is likely to occur. This will lead to a novel and improved ability to assess plaque vulnerability.

Research activities

During this research project, you'll be involved in:

  1. developing three-dimensional (3D) subject-specific imaging-based computational models to quantify blood flow and plaque stress/strain distributions
  2. validating the computational methods using a phantom circulation system and develop an in vivo method for the characterisation of plaque tissue properties
  3. quantifying the relationships between the following risk factors:
  • plaque morphology
  • inflammation
  • neovascularisation
  • intraplaque haemorrhage
  • stress/strain
  • shear stress.


Upon conclusion of the research, we expect to have developed:

  • three-dimensional (3D) subject-specific imaging-based computational models
  • validated computational methods
  • an understanding of the relationships between the risk factors.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this research, you should have a background in one or more of the following:

  • mechanical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • biomedical engineering.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact the supervisor for more information.