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Investigation of optical properties of the cornea

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Andy Augousti
    Dr Ali Al-kinani
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The cornea is an essential component in the human optical system and provides the main refracting power of the eye, approximately twice as much as the human lens. Human corneas can become diseased or damaged, and this can currently be treated by corneal replacement from donors.

Research on growing corneal tissue that can be used to replace damaged corneas without the need for human donors, who are in limited supply [1-3]. This project aims to investigate the optical properties of the cornea, including the birefringence, using a dedicated optical fibre based system. The project will involve the development of the automated measurement system, as well as corneal phantoms and eventually real tissues. Some measurement work may also be undertaken at the Spring8 synchrotron in Japan.

One of the key features of the work is that it will also provide a facility that can be used to assess the optical effects of a range of pharmaceutical interventions in the corneal tissue, including, but not limited to, the use of nanoparticle formulations.

The project would suit candidates with a strong background in optics and biomedical or general engineering, and with good mathematical skills. Knowledge of electronics would be an advantage but is not essential. Candidates with a good first degree in physics or engineering, whether biomedical or general, would be preferred, although outstanding candidates with other scientific backgrounds will be considered.

Candidates will work in a large multidisciplinary Faculty with an excellent range of facilities for carrying out both modelling and experimental work. Successful candidates would be expected to start in October 2018 and register for a period of three years, with an optional one year write-up period.

Funding Notes

There is no funding for this project: applications can only considered from self-funded candidates


Isaacson A, Swioklo S, Connon CJ. 3D bioprinting of a corneal stroma equivalent. Experimental Eye Research 2018, 173, 188-193.

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