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  New Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) methods for the detection of functional changes in diagnostic nanocomposite particles

   Faculty of Science and Engineering

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  Dr Marco Giardiello, Dr L O'Brien  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This PhD studentship aims are to develop smart diagnostic imaging methods through synthetic development of functional magnetic Inorganic/Organic Nanocomposite Particle (I/O-NP) tracers, coupled with investigation of Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) detection methodologies.

MPI is a new, emerging imaging modality which detects nanomolar concentrations of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle (SPION) tracers. The University of Liverpool is home to the UK’s first MPI scanner: the Magnetic Insight Momentum Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) scanner, acquired through an EPSRC Strategic Equipment Award. The scanner was installed in August 2023 and is the first and only equipment of its kind in the UK and one of only 12 worldwide.

As such, the studentship aims are: (1) responsive MPI tracer synthetic development, which will use our unique MPI system software modules to investigate particle optimisation and MPI physics. (2) An optimised routine for spatially-resolved detection of tracers will be developed, using MPI harmonic analysis and multi-frequency excitation. Magnetic field profiles will be developed to localise an MPI imaging voxel, demonstrating quantitative imaging of tracer concentration and functional state.

This studentship is truly multidisciplinary, providing a broad range of training in nanoparticle technology, synthesis and characterisation, magnetism physics and signal acquisition studies. The project will suit a student with a keen interest in both synthetic chemistry and condensed matter physics. The studentship will provide investigation through direct training across the departments of chemistry and physics as well as working with colleagues at the Centre for Preclinical Imaging (CPI) where the MPI scanner is housed. Such a multidisciplinary project will enhance student scientific skillsets and strengthen future employability, which is extremely important in the modern research landscape.


For information on how to apply, visit the University's application portal. Please ensure you quote the project reference: CCPR101.

Chemistry (6) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

A degree (First or Upper Second) in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or a related field is required. The funding will be part-sponsored by the EPSRC DTP award and will be open to UK students only. The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years (currently £18,622 p.a.) and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2024.

Where will I study?