PhD Studentship in Quantitative Photoacoustic Imaging

Section: Photoacoustic Imaging Group

Supervisors: Dr. Ben Cox, Prof. Paul Beard and Dr. Bajram Zeqiri (National Physical Laboratory)

Studentship value: 3 year EPSRC CASE PhD studentship joint with the National Physical Laboratory. Yearly tax free stipend of £15,590 and full fees. Open to EU/UK students only due to funding restrictions.

Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is one of the most promising emerging biomedical imaging techniques because it provides high resolution optical absorption-based images of tissue. Fundamentally, PAI involves the absorption of modulated high-intensity optical (laser) radiation within tissue and detection of the acoustic radiation subsequently generated. PAI is a hybrid modality, powerfully combining the high contrast and spectroscopic specificity of optical imaging with the high spatial resolution obtainable with high frequency ultrasound.

The development of quantitative spectroscopic PAI (qPAI) would open the door to accurate 3D molecular imaging, but it requires both the light distribution within the tissue and the photoacoustic conversion efficiency (local thermodynamic properties) to be reliably known or estimated. Numerical algorithms for qPAI have been proposed, but, to date there has been no convincing experimental validation. The aim of this project is to demonstrate that accurate 3D quantitative PAI can be achieved and where its limits are, thereby vastly widening the increasing range of possible applications for PAI.

The project is based within a multi-disciplinary team (UCL’s Photoacoustic Imaging Group) and is itself multi-disciplinary. It will involve the design, experimental characterisation and measurement of photoacoustic phantoms, as well as in vivo preclinical imaging, and on the numerical side modelling, image reconstruction and image processing.

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Applicants are expected to have a first degree in physics, engineering or a related area.

To apply for the vacancy please e-mail a cover letter, copy of your CV and names of 2 referees to:  

If you prefer, you could post your information to: Jenny Nery, UCL Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department, Malet Place Engineering Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

The closing date for applications is midnight Sunday, 23rd June, 2013. This vacancy has an initial closing date of the 23rd June, but any applications after this date will be considered if our initial recruitment is unsuccessful.

If you have any queries regarding the scientific content of the vacancy, please contact Dr. Ben Cox, Medical Physics and Bioengineering, –

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