Patient-specific modelling of atherosclerosis

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Zhiyong Li
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Rupture of atherosclerotic plaques without warning is responsible for most acute cardiovascular syndromes such as heart attack and stroke, and many victims who are apparently healthy die suddenly without prior symptoms. Such deaths could be prevented by surgery or alternative medical therapy if vulnerable plaques were identified earlier in their natural history. New diagnostic screening methods are urgently needed to assess plaque vulnerability to avoid such acute events.

Research activities

Develop in vivo multi-sequence contrast-enhanced MRI techniques to quantify plaque morphology and progression;

Develop three-dimensional (3D) subject-specific computational models based on follow-up MRI measurements to quantify blood flow and plaque stress/strain distributions;

Develop a MRI-compatible phantom circulation system and develop an in vivo method for the characterisation of  plaque tissue properties;

Apply the developed patient-specific model for identification of human vulnerable plaques


The developed patient-specific model and the new risk factors can be used to better assess plaque vulnerability, make more accurate predictions for plaque rupture, and allow actions to be taken in a timely manner to reduce risk of eventual fatal events on an individual basis. Improved prediction accuracy will lead to a reduced risk of eventual fatal events and many lives may be saved. It will provide a quantitative computational platform for early risk stratification of the cardiovascular system and ultimately contribute to public health policy.

Skills and experience

  • Mechanical/chemical engineering background
  • Know the basics of solid mechanics or fluid dynamics


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.