PhD-Position in Biomechanics: Mechanical Testing and Modeling of Barlow Mitral Valves

Trondheim, Norway
26 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
30 May 2018
IV 166/18
Contract Type
Full Time

Faculty of Engineering 
Department of Structural Engineering


The mitral valve is a thin walled complex connective tissue structure located between the left atrium and left ventricle preventing the blood from flowing back into the atrium when the ventricle contracts. The mitral apparatus consists of two leaflets attached to the annulus, which is an ill-defined line between the left atrium and the left ventricle, and connected to a network of chordae tendinae further attached to the papillary muscles attached to the left ventricular wall. The normal function of the mitral valve depends on the coordinated actions of different anatomical parts: the left atrium, the mitral annulus, the mitral leaflets, the chordae tendinae, the papillary muscles and the left ventricle.

Barlow disease is a common cause of mitral regurgitation and leaflet prolapse. Barlow’s disease is characterized by annular dilatation, leaflet prolapse, leaflet thickening due to excessive myxomatous tissue proliferation, chordal elongation and rupture. The goals of reconstructive surgery are to ensure normal leaflet motion and restoration of a sufficiently large surface of coaptation between the leaflets. This may be achieved by annuloplasty, neo-chordal replacement, leaflets resection and papillary muscle repositioning. Therefore, durable surgical mitral valve repair is a challenging task for surgeons.

The goal of this project is to establish nonlinear finite element models of these mitral valve reconstructive repair techniques that can guide surgeons. Therefore, geometry, boundary conditions and material properties are of crucial importance for the accuracy of the finite element simulations. Material properties will be estimated via in-vitro mechanical testing such as biaxial tension. Geometrical reconstruction and motion measurements of the mitral apparatus will be done from three-dimensional echocardiographic recordings. Animal studies will be used for validation of the models.

This project is a collaboration with Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen.


Successful candidates must hold a university degree (Master of Science or equivalent) in structural engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, biophysics, applied mechanics or applied mathematics. The candidate must also qualify for admittance as a PhD student at NTNU, see webpage

Candidates are highly motivated and ambitious students with excellent grades and a strong interest in material mechanical testing, continuum mechanics, constitutive modelling, parameter identification, the finite element method, and programming.The candidates must have a strong motivation to work on a multidisciplinary research project.


PhD Candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross NOK 436 900 before tax. There will be a 2 % deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund from gross wage.

Engagement as a PhD Candidate is done in accordance with “Regulation concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”, given by the Ministry of Education and Research of 19.07.2010. The goal of the positions is to obtain a PhD degree. Applicants will engage in an organized PhD training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicants plan for a PhD study within three months from the date of commencement.

The position is of 4 years duration, of which 25% teaching duties

For further information about the PhD scholarship, please contact:

Associate Professor Victorien Prot, Department of Structural Engineering at phone number +47 98497731, e-mail:

Professor Bjørn H. Skallerud, Department of Structural Engineering at phone number +47 918 97 318, e-mail:

See for more information.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. The positions adhere to the Norwegian Government's policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Women are encouraged to apply.

The application

The application must contain information of educational background and work experience. Certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be enclosed. Applications with CV, grade transcripts and other enclosures should be submitted via this webpage at www.jobbnorge.noMark the application with IV-166/18.

Start-up date may be discussed, but tentatively 1 August

Application deadline is 30 May

According to the new Freedom of Information Act, information concerning the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the list of applicants.


  • Deadline Wednesday, May 30, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Institutt for konstruksjonsteknikk
  • Jobbnorge ID 152030
  • Internal ID 2018/12603
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary


  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!