University of Portsmouth Featured PhD Programmes
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Active THz imager for eye diagnosis

School of Physics and Astronomy

About the Project

Understanding the cornea hydration level and thickness is vital for the right diagnosis of eye conditions such as glaucoma, which will affect 3.2 million people in the UK by 2050. The risk of glaucoma has been traditionally assessed based on the intraocular eye pressure via tonometry such as Goldmann applanation tonometry. Many studies have shown that such gold diagnostic standard has a very low sensitivity and a very poor specificity, missing half of the people with glaucoma and referring nine or 10 times more people for further examination than needed. Sandwiched between microwaves and infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum, THz radiation (ca. 0.1 – 3 THz) holds promise for eye diagnosis because of its sensitivity to water, wavelength, non-ionising properties and contact-free potential. Preliminary results show that time-resolved THz reflectometry is indeed able to measure directly both corneal thickness and hydration level. New advances in single-pixel imaging and quasi time-domain spectrometer can realise the much-needed cost-effective cornea-meter for eye professionals.

We expect the PhD candidate to develop the expertise required to lead an experimental research project, to train students and to interact with colleagues with different backgrounds (physics and engineering). Details of the project will be agreed with the interested candidate to tailor the research to his/her interests.

The research programme will take place in an international and interdisciplinary environment, which will substantially favour collaboration opportunities 1) within the School of Physics and Astronomy, 2) within the School of Engineering, and 3) within other research institutions.

Funding Notes

Funding notes:
Applications are sought from highly motivated students graduating with first degree (first class honours) in physics or engineering. Funding is awarded by the School on a competitive basis, depending on the strength of the applicant. The funding is only available to UK nationals, and it will cover tuition fees and provide a stipend for 3.5 years. EU and non-EU students must be self-funded. For details of the funding available and advice on making your application, please contact:

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