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Miniaturised 3D biomedical imaging: super-resolution microscopy development using 3D-printing and structured illumination

Project Description

Start date: October 2020
Duration: 3.5 years, fully funded (European/UK students only)

The aim of the PhD project is the development of novel cost-effective, miniaturised biomedical imaging systems which have super-resolution capability using 3D-printing, MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) technology and active micro-optics.
Emerging imaging technologies have contributed immensely to the understanding of biomedical development processes and interactions in recent times, with two Nobel Prices related to biomedical imaging techniques awarded in the last 5 years alone. These novel techniques are however still costly, limiting distribution and accessibility in less funded labs and developing countries.
Tackling this availability gap, an approach of miniaturisation and rapid-prototype manufacturing for the development of a miniaturised light sheet microscopy (LSM) system is targeted in this studentship. LSM has the benefit of fast 3D fluorescence imaging with low light doses and low photo toxicity, allowing investigations of long term biomedical processes. While spatial constraints of the optical elements usually limit LSM systems to resolution limits imposed by longer working distance objectives, the use of super-resolution imaging techniques will be investigated in the studentship to compensate for some of these limitations.
The project will develop new techniques to miniaturise the super-resolution imaging approach based on optical Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, micro-optics and optical 3D-printing, to achieve a truly cost-efficient small scale system. Additionally, new image processing techniques for achieving the super-resolution approach will be investigated, with the student receiving support and gaining experience on all technological parts of this through the supervisors and further members of our group working on biomedical imaging systems and image processing.
The PhD position will benefit and contribute to a wider program of research on miniaturised biomedical imaging systems, sponsored by a EPSRC New Investigator Award and a RAEng Engineering for Development Research Fellowship, which have active collaborative partners in developing countries, specifically India (Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar), as well as the United States (Stanford University) and Japan (University of Tokyo). The student will be expected to be integrated and contribute to these collaborative involvements, including the aim to spend time at the laboratories of collaborators.

The project will offer state-of-the-art research training in optics, bio-photonics, MEMS and microsystems next to transferable skills training through an accredited Certificate in Researcher Professional Development. The student will have access to new state-of-the-art labs in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre in the Glasgow City Centre, including access to metrology clean room facilities. Financial support is available for presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences next to travel to international collaborator’s sites.

The candidate should have a good honours degree (1st or upper 2nd class, or equivalent) and a strong desire and enthusiasm for experimental research and career development in biomedical imaging, microsystems and image processing, including good communication and interpersonal skills.
Research group: Centre for Microsystems & Photonics, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering ( and
And Centre for Signal & Image processing, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering (

Please send enquiries to Dr Ralf Bauer ()

Funding Notes

Entry requirements:
Funding for this project is available to UK students or European students who have lived in the UK over the last three years. The project is for 3.5 years with an annual tax-free stipend of around £15,300 available to the successful candidates.

How good is research at University of Strathclyde in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 59.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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