PhD project

Modelling blood motion in deformable vessels

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Application deadline

30 June 2024

This project aims to introduce a novel approach in studying blood flow in deformable vessels by simultaneously considering both the fluid (blood) and the structure (vessel) through analytical and numerical approaches.

Blood distribution in body is achieved through a complex network of five types of nearly cylindrical vessels of different diameter namely arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins. The blood flow is generated by an impulsive, pressure gradient, that is provided by heart. The vessel walls are deformable and have various thickness and elasticity properties. Blood pressure results in formation of stresses on the walls and this causes contraction of the blood vessels. The vessel wall deformation is also initiated by the attached muscles. The precise coupling between blood pressure and the vessel wall deformation results in an extremely efficient and controlled blood motion through the body. Any irregularity in the distribution system due to cardiovascular diseases may result in an unbalanced blood motion, and this could be fatal.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the developed world. The elasticity (and smoothness) of the wall modifies the hemodynamics (the blood flow dynamics in human vessels), which in turn affects wall stress and the associated mechanobiology, and may set into motion a complex feedback mechanism that leads to various vascular disease processes, including hypertension (high blood pressure). Understanding the blood flow in arteries requires simultaneous consideration of hemodynamics and the deformable arterial wall mechanics.

This PhD studentship project at the University of Dundee aims to introduce a novel approach in studying blood flow in deformable vessels by simultaneously considering both the fluid (blood) and the structure (vessel). This will be achieved by applying concepts that have used in studying hydroelasticity of wave interaction with deformable bodies in engineering. In this project, the blood flow will be governed by the fluid-sheet theory and the deformation of the blood vessels will be determined by use of the classic elastic-plate theory. The two-way coupling between the fluid and structure occurs at the boundaries, where the fluid pressure distribution results in the deformation of the vessel, and deformation of the wall (due to the attached muscles) modifies the flow field.

This model will allow for a wide range of studies on how the blood flow and the blood vessel affect each other; and how formation of irregular obstacles in the vessels (atherogenesis; the chronic build up of fatty material in arteries) would change the flow; or how change in the vessel wall properties (due to aging, for example) would alter the blood flow. This study will be performed primarily through analytical and numerical approaches and results of the model will be compared with available data. In this project, the student will benefit from engaging with world-renowned experts in Engineering Sciences as well as Life Sciences of the University of Dundee. 

Diversity statement

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.

PhD support

See applying for a research degree for more information on the different stages of the PhD application process.

PhD fees

Fees for PhD and other research postgraduate courses

How to apply

  1. Email Dr Masoud Hayatdavoodi to:
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Hayatdavoodi, formal applications can be made via our direct application system

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Civil Engineering

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Principal supervisor

Second supervisor


PhD funding

The Chinese Scholarship Council provides opportunities for Chinese Students to undertake a PhD programme in any research field at the School of Life Sciences and the School of Science and Engineering. Successful applicants will receive support to enter the China Scholarship Council (CSC) competition scheme.

Funding eligibility: China