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PhD Studentship (3 years) Revolutionising eye care: Combining OCT and optical-wavefront sensing for visual impairment prevention

College of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Studentships

Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Thursday 20 May 2021
Reference:  R210142
Release Date:  Thursday 29 April 2021

Supervisor: Dr Antonio Fratini 

Project Reference: EPSRCDTP_ Studentship

Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and EPSRC DTP, to be undertaken within the Biomedical Engineering Research Group in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Aston University.  

The position is available to start in October 2021.

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £15,609 in 2021/2 (subject to eligibility). This application is only available to Home students.

Background to the Project

Eye conditions are one of the most prevalent impairing illnesses of modern society. Some, such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, maculopathy, lead to vision impairment/loss while others still significantly decrease the quality of life of the affected subjects. 

Diagnostics and treatments have greatly advanced during the past decades, allowing earlier diagnosis, improved treatment and better patient outcomes with consistent savings for the healthcare systems. 

State of the art of eye imaging include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Optical wavefront sensing (aberrometry). However, while OCT provides depth and cross-sectional information of human cornea at micro-scale resolution, it has minimal data on optical power. Similarly, optical-wavefront sensing measures the irregularities in wavefront patterns of light emerging from the eye (due to imperfections of anterior/posterior surfaces of crystalline lens and cornea) but provides no information on their location. This project aims at combining the two technologies in one single device to simultaneously provide geometric and power data of the analysed optical path. Such a system can be used in clinical practice (e.g. live surgical imaging, impact on eye surface shape combined with analysis of lens fit) and in manufacturing (e.g. metrology of contact and intra-ocular lens). This project will benefit from Aston University long-standing expertise in the area of medical devices design and it will be developed in collaboration with Optimec Systems, a leading industry in the metrology of contact lenses. 

Aim: To develop an innovative ophthalmic device combining OCT and optical-wavefront sensing into a single system to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions. 

Objectives:

  • Identify the key principles of each technology and develop the theoretical optical setup
  • Develop a functional prototype combining OCT and optical wavefront sensing systems
  • Evaluate and validate the system with ex-vivo (manufacturing metrology) and in-vivo (clinical assessment) testing

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in biomedical electronics, mechanical or optical engineering (or related subjects).

Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of wavefront   sensing / optical   coherence tomography / experimental analysis / CAD / basic programming (e.g. MATLAB).

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project contact Dr Antonio Fratini (a.fratini@aston.ac.uk)

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here.  

The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project and should also be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.

Please include the supervisor name, project title, and project reference in your application.

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at pgr_admissions@aston.ac.uk 

Email details to a friend

Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via recruitment@aston.ac.uk


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