Student projects

Study of flow and oxygen transport in the kidney using computational models

The kidneys are responsible for filtration of blood and removal of waste products of metabolism. Next to this function, they are also involved in the regulation of the body’s red blood cell mass and blood pressure, both of which are essential for homeostasis. For the former they sense renal tissue oxygenation and release erythropoietin (EPO), triggering the production of erythrocytes. Renal oxygenation thus has to reflect overall oxygen (O2) demand. Malfunction of renal O2 regulation can affect red blood cell mass and may lead to the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease. To date, kidney O2 regulation is poorly understood. With the help of computational methods and using the latest supercomputers, we aim to determine oxygen distribution in the kidney.

The proposed project involves the use and enhancement of mathematical models of oxygen transport in tissue. The studies will start from simplified models, which will be validated against literature, and ultimately applied to the actual vascular structure of the kidney (see Figure).

We are looking for students with a background in mechanical, biomedical, electrical engineering, computer science or applied mathematics, who are interested in computational modeling and its application to biology or physiology.

What we offer:

  • An interdisciplinary working environment with a team of engineers, biologists and computer scientists
  • Access and exposure to real world physiological data
  • Access and exposure to high performance computing systems

What we expect:

  • Proactivity, ability to work in a team
  • Good communication skills


Type: Master Thesis

Prerequisites: Background in mechanical, biomedical, electrical engineering, computer science or applied mathematics.

For further information or to apply, please contact
Dr. Kartik Jain
+41 44 635 50 53


Prof. Vartan Kurtcuoglu
+41 44 635 50 55

  • Figure