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  Imaging deep into biological tissue with optical microscopy

   Faculty of Engineering

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  Dr A Wright  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham is seeking an enthusiastic, self-motivated student who enjoys working as part of a team to undertake a PhD in the Optics and Photonics Research Group The project will be supervised by Dr. Amanda Wright and Prof. Mike Somekh working alongside our collaborators, Drs. Parkes and Torres Torres, in the School of Computer Science. The aim of the project will be to develop new wavefront correction approaches to correct for scattering and aberration when imaging deep into biological tissue. The project will involve a combination of experimental and computational optics and the student will be based in our well-equipped suite of optics labs housed in the Life Science Building. 

The successful candidate will be part of a larger multi-disciplinary EPSRC funded project with the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton ( This exciting new medical imaging project aims to develop the technology required to image deep into the human body using light and optics, improving diagnosis and treatment for diseases such as cancer, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Optical microscopy has many benefits over existing medical imaging approaches as it provides high-resolution minimally-invasive imaging of biological tissue but it is currently hampered by its ability to image deep. This is due to photons being lost because of scattering and aberrations as you image deeper into tissue meaning that the quality of the image dramatically deteriorates to a point where it is no longer possible to form an image. The role of the Nottingham team in this project is to correct for aberrations and recover lost information from the scattered photons by shaping the wavefront of the light as it enters the microscope to push the current limits in imaging depth and enable optical imaging deep into biological tissue. The emphasis being on developing fast and robust approaches that can be translated into a healthcare setting. 

The student will gain experience and skills in a range of optical imaging modalities including multi photon and second harmonic generation microscopy, they will build new optical systems to test out approaches using ultrashort-pulsed lasers operating at infra-red wavelengths, they will use devices such as deformable membrane mirrors and spatial light modulators to shape and correct the wavefront of light and will combine optics with Machine Learning and AI to speed up the correction processes.    

For any enquiries about the project please e-mail Dr. Amanda Wright ([Email Address Removed]). 

Please apply here 

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship. 

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Applicants should have, or be expected to gain, a high (1st or 2:1) honours degree in Physics or Electrical and Electronic Engineering and be a UK or home student. The studentship covers tuition fees and stipend for 3 years.

Where will I study?