Inverse modeling of Cardiac ARrhythmia sources based on UltraSound imaging (ICARUS)

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2022

(ref. BAP-2022-561)

Laatst aangepast : 19/07/2022

Technical aspects of this project will be followed-up by Prof. D’hooge and Dr. Marcus Ingram of the Lab on Cardiovascular Imaging & Dynamics of the department of Cardiovascular Sciences of the University of Leuven (www.kuleuven.be). Daily activities will take place in the Medical Imaging Research Center, a multi-disciplinary research institute where around 100 researchers work on fundamental and translational research in the area of medical imaging and image processing. You will be interacting with other students that work on the ICARUS project as well as with students working on similar projects within the lab. Cardiac arrhythmias are a leading cause of death worldwide. Although different heart rhythm disorders can be recognized using the electrocardiogram, the precise three-dimensional spatiotemporal organization of cardiac activation patterns inside the heart during certain arrhythmia types is not well understood. Commonly, invasive catheter recordings are needed to record electrograms that hint at the location of abnormal sources or re-entrant activity. However, it has recently been demonstrated that the electrical vortices in the heart driving the rhythm disorders can be reconstructed from mathematical analysis of the mechanical deformation in ultrasound (US) images. This PhD position fits in a larger project (ICARUS) that gathers experts at KU Leuven in ultrasound imaging, cardiac modelling and cardiology to bring this technology to clinical applications. Hereto, we will (a) lift US acquisition methods using state-of-art technology available at KU Leuven; (b) develop and perform inverse electromechanical modelling to reconstruct electromechanical activation sequences in the heart; (c) use this technology on patients to create personalized computer models (3D+time) and use the in silico reconstructions of spatiotemporal cardiac activation to optimize treatment (e.g. ablation, resynchronisation, pharmaceutics). ICARUS is an internally funded KU Leuven project that aims to perform clinical translation of this non-invasive approach towards cardiac arrhythmia imaging.


Responsibilities

This PhD position ambitions to develop a volumetric ultrasound imaging sequence with sufficient temporal resolution for the envisioned application. The PhD candidate will be responsible for the development of adequate imaging sequences allowing for 3D imaging of the heart at a minimum of 500 volumes/second. Hereto, the student will explore novel image formation techniques on an experimental imaging platform and evaluate their impact on image quality both in mock models and in-vivo. The PhD candidate will work in close collaboration with a colleague PhD student focusing on the development of algorithms to estimate the tissue parameters from the US datasets. Once a suitable imaging sequence has been designed, the student will test its acoustic safety before performing in-vivo measurements. In addition, the PhD student will work in close collaboration with clinical experts inside the University Hospital in Leuven in order to translate the sequence into a clinical setting.


Profile

You have a Master degree in mathematics, physics, engineering or related field
You are preferably familiar with ultrasound imaging and its applications
You have good programming skills (being acquainted with MATLAB and/or C++/CUDA is a plus)
You are practical in that you are able to build experimental setups
You are fluent in oral and written English
You are enthusiastic and result oriented
You are a team player and communicate well


Offer

We offer a 4-year PhD position with market conform wages in a large, multidisciplinary research center in the heart of Europe. The position is immediately available.


Interested?

Please send your CV, motivation letter and 2 recommendation letters to Dr. Marcus Ingram (marcus.ingram@kuleuven.be).


KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.


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