Medical Delta: Ultrafast Ultrasound for the Heart and Brain
Renewing ultrasound techniques will open doors for a whole range of diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities in the cardiovascular and neurological field. The Medical Delta program Ultrafast Ultrasound for the Heart and Brain offers excellent opportunities to tackle the major existing and evolving healthcare threats.
The program focuses on three healthcare threats: heart failure, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders.
In the Netherlands it is expected that 195,000 people will be diagnosed with heart failure in 2025. This will lead to a high number of hospitalizations and deaths. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries. If plaque ruptures in an artery linked to the brain, this can lead to stroke. In the neurological field, brain tumors are a large threat. In the Netherlands alone, more than 1000 patients were diagnosed with a brain tumor last year.
Ultrasound is the most commonly used medical imaging technique. It is harmless, relatively cheap and because of the real imaging it gives immediate diagnostic feedback. The technology is developing rapidly: newly developed ultrafast imaging brings the functioning of the heart and brain directly into view and special contrast agents make new diagnostics and treatments possible.
Three technological developments are foreseen. The first is ultrafast ultrasound imaging (thousands of images per second), which makes the flow in the heart, blood flow through organs and even activation of brain parts directly visible ("functional ultrasound").
The second focuses on the realization of new sensors, making ultrasound into a truly 3D modality. At the moment, almost all applications show a 2D visualization, this creates a limitation for treatment. In this program 3D image reconstruction will be used, to improve diagnosis and treatment options in health care.
The third is the development of ultrasound contrast agents that target disease-specific markers and can transport drugs with them.
This program will offer diagnostic methods with excellent opportunities to tackle the major existing and evolving healthcare threats, such as heart failure, atherosclerosis, and neurological disorders. The technological breakthroughs will also be directly clinically tested in the cardiology and neuroradiology departments of Erasmus MC. The expected results will represent a huge step forward for clinical practice, where doctors eagerly await the new possibilities these techniques offer.
In this program Erasmus MC is involved as well as TU Delft and LUMC. The program is very well linked to two living labs of the Medical Delta. These are Medical Delta Instruments, which is focusing on the use of minimal invasive instrument, and Medical Delta ResearchOR, which focusses on the use of protocols and measurement systems in the Operating Room.
We are looking for a PhD for this position.