Development and Optimisation of a Biohybrid Heart Assist Device PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
Start date
01 October 2019
Application deadline
28 January 2019
Reference number
UK / EU fee
Not applicable
International fee
Not applicable


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

This exiting and highly multidisciplinary and interpectoral project will optimise the bio-functionalisation of the blood contacting surfaces of a ventricular assist device (VAD) with seeded endothelial cells (ECs), with a view to developing a longer-lasting bridge to heart transplantation or a destination therapy. Although heart transplantation remains the only curative therapy for patients with late-stage heart failure, the low donor heart availability and patient ineligibility limit the number of transplantations, with the need outnumbering supply by 50-fold.

VAD technology represents the only viable alternative to heart transplantation, but the high risk of thrombotic events and imperfect haemodynamics render current VAD technology unsuitable for long-term application. The project will develop a clinically-relevant technology that will be readily translatable through our clinical collaborators and will dramatically benefit the quality of life of late-stage heart failure patients. In addition, this project offers an excellent opportunity for developing highly interdisciplinary skills at the engineering-life sciences interface, while working in the world-leading Centre for Biological Engineering at Loughborough University, greatly enhancing the prospects for a future career in academia or the medical devices industrial sector.

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Funding information

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘WS’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.

If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a tax-free stipend at the UK Research and Innovation rate. The UKRI stipend value for 2019/20 has not yet been announced but the value for 2018/19 was £14,777. While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 26th March 2019.


Primary supervisor: Professor Sotiris Korossis

Secondary supervisors: Professor Robert Thomas, Professor Liguo Zhao

Why you should choose us

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve:

  • at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in biological sciences or biotechnology or a related subject
  • a relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: molecular and cell biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, immunology, nanotechnology, biophysics

English language requirements

How to apply

All applications should be made online, under programme name please ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’. Please quote reference number: WS19

Apply now