Photoacoustic (PA) imaging relies on generating ultrasound pressure waves when tissue absorbs a short pulse of light. Usefully it has been shown that photoacoustics can provide imaging of structures at depths of several centimetres beneath tissue and bone. The lack of ionizing radiation, high resolution (1- 100 microns), and tissue discrimination make this technique attractive for medical diagnostics.
This experimental project is to develop an imaging system, using PA tomography, to visualise the vascular anatomy of the cerebrovasculature through the intact rat skull using a recently-developed optically-based acoustic sensor. The apparatus is aimed towards use in stroke research, allowing researchers, for the first time, to see the effects that various protocols have, in near real time, on the vascular system of the rat brain. Using the PA sensor system with multi-wavelength excitation will allow measurements of the oxygen delivery capacity of the brain blood vessel network beneath the intact rat skull. The ultimate aim of this project is to extend the use of PA measurement technique to humans to enable visualisation of the damaged region of brain tissue due to stroke. Applicants should have a strong background in experimental physics and experience with optics is advantageous.
Scholarships are available and cover tuition and health insurance costs (for International candidates) and provide a living stipend of AUD25,849 per year. Exceptional candidates may receive AUD30,000 per year.