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Photonics Tools to Observe Cells In Action In Vivo, In Situ, In Patients - Enabling Future Discovery

Project Description

Imaging quality in endomicroscopy focuses on optics but the crucial areas of real-time software development and human perceptual error are largely ignored. New methods like endomicroscopy stand to gain from improved understanding of what images represent in terms of both perceived and physical depth, focus, blur and associated potential for misdiagnosis. Full understanding of endoscopic imaging in terms of optics, software and perception is lacking. Our ambition for this interdisciplinary studentship (via engineering, physics, clinical and vision science co-supervisors) is multifaceted: 1) we propose a set of translational photonics solutions to improve the spatial resolution of endomicroscopy; 2) we push for real-time software developments which enhance image quality; 3) we quantify perceptual errors. The PhD student will design new endomicroscopy probes (e.g. fibre-bundle or chip-on-tip based) to enhance the spatial resolution of existing ones while ensuring in vivo clinical option is maintained. Using this enhanced system with associated software we will discover the dominant perceptual errors (and how to minimise them). We also propose to study the feasibility of exploiting inherent motion in tissue with high frame-rate imaging to deliver enhanced 3D perception [3]. Finally, low-cost options for engineering a smaller and more portable system will be explored. We are looking for ambitious PhD student to attack challenging technical issues across multiple disciplines but with focus on medical device design.

Interested applicant should send an email to Dr Krstajic with a CV and cover letter.

1. N. Krstajic, et al "Two-color widefield fluorescence microendoscopy enables multiplexed molecular imaging in the alveolar space of human lung tissue," Journal of Biomedical Optics 21, (2016).
2. N. Krstajic, et al "Low-Cost High Sensitivity Pulsed Endomicroscopy to Visualize Tri-Color Optical Signatures," Journal of Biomedical Optics, 23, (2018).
3. Giesel, M et alInvestigating Human Visual Sensitivity to Binocular Motion-in-Depth for Anti- and De-Correlated Random-Dot Stimuli. Vision 2018, 2, 41.

Funding Notes

This is a 36 month fully funded PhD position covering tuition fees and an annual stipend set at UKRI rates (2020/21 Stipend: £15,285). The candidate must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education, further guidance can be found on the EPSRC website). Applicants from EU countries other than the UK who do not comply with the residency criteria are only eligible for a fees-only PhD studentship award.

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