3 years full time 1st April 2021, 1st July 2021 or 1st October 2021
Electrosurgery is a medical procedure that uses an alternating and high frequency current (200 kHz-3.3 MHz) to either cut and/or coagulate tissues and achieve haemostasis. The technology faces a fundamental problem: tissue builds up on the electrodes of the instrument and causes tissue sticking on the electrodes. When the tissue is separated from the electrode, it may tear and cause bleeding, impairing the coagulation performance. Although the tissue sticking can be overcome using electrically conductive coatings such as gold, titanium nitride (TiN), etc., these coatings possess a limited durability and may wear out during use.
The project aims at studying the interaction between “micro-textures” machined on the tissue-contacting surface of the electrodes and biological tissues under the aforementioned condition to design optimum textures on the electrodes to increase the efficiency and durability of electrosurgical instruments. Another focus of the project is to develop a low-cost manufacturing method to machine consistent surface textures on the electrodes in a mass production environment.
The first main challenge is to design appropriate micro-textures and related surface properties that would lead to an optimum reduction of tissue build-up. The project will exhaustively investigate the surface properties on a wider range of micro-textures designed through an in-depth theoretical study and modelling of electrode/biological tissue interaction. In addition, the project will aim to improve the surface-to-tissue interaction measurement using mechanical testing and microscopy techniques.
The second main challenge is to accurately and repeatedly manufacture the designed micro-textures. Each considered micro-manufacturing process (e.g. laser ablation, micro-EDM, micro-milling, micro-etching) will have limitations and the micro-texture design process will need to be performed in combination with in-depth micro-manufacturability test. Various surface textures will be designed, produced and tested, initially to gain insight on the manufacturing capabilities, and subsequently to guide the theoretical study and ultimately to achieve an optimum texture design.
Open to self funded students worldwide.
Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in a relevant engineering/science subject.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)
Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages including;
- an upload of your CV
- a personal statement/covering letter
- two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
- current academic transcripts
Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of:
PLEASE CHOOSE – 1st April 2021, 1st July 2021 or 1st October 2021.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please specify that you are applying for the advertised self funded project reference DB1-SF-2021
Deadline for applications is the 30th September 2021 – We may however close this opportunity earlier if a suitable candidate is identified.