MPHY3000/MPHYM000: Medical Physics Projects 2014/15

Below is a list of Medical Physics projects being offered for undergraduate students in the Department. To find out more about a project and/or to indicate your interest in taking it, please email the first supervisor by clicking on his/her name.

Deadlines

  • A Project Outline is due on Monday October 13, 2014. Your supervisor must also complete a Project Risk Assessment Form. Students are required to hand in the form with two copies of their outline to Vikki Crowe or Jo Pearson in the Medical Physics Departmental Office (second floor of the Malet Place Engineering Building).
  • Project Progress Reports are due by Monday January 19, 2015. Two copies should be handed to Vikki Crowe or Jo Pearson in the Medical Physics Departmental Office.
  • Project talks will be held on Wednesday March 18, 2015 in Rooms 1.19 and 2.14 of the Malet Place Engineering Building.
  • Final Reports are due by Friday March 27, 2015. Please hand in two copies to Jo Pearson in the Medical Physics Departmental Office.

Project information


Total number of projects listed below: 49
Number of projects still available: 16

Formulation of a data-analysis model for gleaning core body temperature from infrared images of the body

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Prof. Adam Gibson

Student: Ben Blackburn

Homeostasis of core temperature is by and large achieved by the hypothalamus and as such, core body temperature is defined as the temperature of the blood in vasculature surrounding the hypothalamus. Ascertaining core temperature is highly pertinent in the monitoring of outbreaks of various infectious diseases; raised core temperature can often be an indicator of infection. This is crucial in high transit locations such as airports as swift identification of infected individuals can be extremely important for controlling the spread of disease by isolating infected individuals. The aforementioned identification may be achieved through infrared (IR) thermometry screening which is relatively easy to use and benefits from being quicker and much less invasive than conventional methods for measuring core body temperature. Moreover this makes IR thermometry highly suited for mass screening in high transit locations. IR thermometry determines skin temperature by measuring infrared emission from the skin and this may be used to ascertain core body temperature if suitable data-analysis models to achieve this are constructed. Creation of these data analysis models is, broadly speaking the overall aim of the project and this will principally involve the following aims: (1) Obtain training in Fluke software and use it to manually extract core-temperature data in IR images which is consolidated in Excel (2) Formulate functions that can combine data taken from multiple body sites while controlling for confounding factors (3) Obtain training in Spss software and use it to compare data extracted from IR images with data obtained from tympanic membrane measures and create models (4) Determine most effective sites of body to use in models and therefore determine the best model.

Head support and movement AID for ALS patients

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Dr. Nick Donaldson

Student: Jack Moneim

Amyotrophic Lateral Screrosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by weakness and atrophy of muscles as a result of the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. One of the most famous cases is Stephen Hawking. From early stages of the ALS, patients experience difficulties to support the weight of their heads even if seated, which has a major effect in their autonomy. This project aims to design a collar to support the weight of the head and give stability while allowing and facilitating side to side movements of the head. The study involves the collection of data to characterize the motion of the head relative to the trunk while walking and seating using motion capture, and the design (and possible manufacture and testing) of a suitable neck collar.

Design of a head support and movement AID for ALS patients

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Prof. Nick Donaldson

Student: Bean Kemp

Amyotrophic Lateral Screrosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by weakness and atrophy of muscles as a result of the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. One of the most famous cases is Stephen Hawking. From early stages of the ALS, patients experience difficulties to support the weight of their heads even if seated, which has a major effect in their autonomy. This project aims to design (and possibly manufacture and test) a collar to support the weight of the head and give stability while allowing and facilitating side to side movements of the head. The study involves researching collars which are currently available and either adapting an existing design, or creating a new design, to allow for more movement whilst wearing it. The research will involve looking into possible mechanisms for maintaining stability whilst allowing movement, such as bearings and counterbalances. The new collar will also take into consideration data collected from a motion capture system to characterize the motion of the head relative to the trunk while walking and seating.

Photoplethysmographic imaging of vascular diseases

Supervisors: Dr. Terence Leung, Miss Janice Tsui, Dr. Ashish Shetty and Dr. Sam Chong

Student: Saman Jalilzadeh Afshari

At every heartbeat, blood is pumped from the heart to the rest of the body via arteries, causing them to pulsate. These arterial pulsations lead to a slight change in skin colour, not visible to naked eyes but can be captured by a series of images taken by a digital camera. By detecting the periodicity of the colour change, one can derive the heart rate accordingly. In this project, not only the periodicity but also the amplitude and phase of the arterial pulsations will be calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis, forming an image which shows the distribution of arterial pulsations on the skin in 2D, a technique known as Photoplethysmographic (PPG) Imaging. These images will potentially allow clinicians to identify a series of pathological conditions related to vascular diseases and skin perfusion including the viability of diseased tissue (e.g. diabetic foot) and the onset of migraine. The role of the student will be to participate in collecting data from the the Pain Management Centre at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (Drs. Chong and Shetty), and the Division of Surgery & Interventional Science at the Royal Free Hospital (Miss Tsui). The student will be guided to analyse the images with a mathematical software package (Matlab). The project is especially suitable for an intercalated medical student who is interested in vascular diseases and would like to have early clinical contacts with patients. An example of perfusion imaging can be found here: http://youtu.be/7B_Z_wYrJKc .

One-dimensional quantitative photoacoustic imaging

Supervisors: Dr. Ben Cox and Prof. Paul Beard

Student: (Project available)

Photoacoustic Imaging is a new modality for preclinical and clinical imaging that uses laser light to generate ultrasonic pulses within tissue. The task of Quantitative Photoacoustic Imaging is to recover optical properties of the tissue (such as the absorption coefficient) from measurements of the ultrasonic pulses. When a one-dimensional assumption can be made this inverse problem is considerably simplified. Through the use of numerical Monte Carlo models of light transport in scattering media such as tissue, the extent to which the 1D assumption holds in practical settings will be explored.

Estimation of needle bending during prostate cancer biopsy

Supervisors: Dr. Dean Barratt and Dr. Yipeng Hu

Student: (Project available)

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in me in the UK. Needle biopsy of the prostate gland - a procedure in which small tissue samples are removed using a needle - is the standard method for establishing a definitive diagnosis of the disease. Using state-of-the art image guidance technology, targeted needle insertion is now possible, but the accuracy of sample location is compromised by needle bending. The aim of this project is to estimate the needle placement error experimentally using a surgical training phantom and patient data.

Construction of ultrasound imaging phantoms of the human prostate

Supervisors: Dr. Dean Barratt and Dr. Yipeng Hu

Student: (Project available)

The aim of this project is to devise a method for constructing anatomically realistic ultrasound imaging phantoms of the human prostate gland that can be used to evaluate the accuracy of image-guided biopsy and cancer therapy systems. The project will involve designing a method for making a phantom using a tissue-mimicking material, testing it's imaging characteristics, and evaluating it's suitability for testing the accuracy of image fusion software, which align different types of images together (e.g. an US and a MRI image).

Investigating the clinical applicability of quantitative MRI susceptibility mapping in vascular pathologies in the brain

Supervisors: Dr. Karin Shmueli and Dr. Rolf Jäger

Student: James Kerrison

There has been a recent explosion in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to map tissue magnetic susceptibility. Susceptibility is a property of tissue that determines how easily and strongly it can be magnetised by the very high magnetic field found inside an MRI scanner. Susceptibility maps are useful because they reveal new information about tissue composition such as its iron and myelin content. Therefore these images show promise for investigating diseases involving iron accumulation (e.g. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and demyelination (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis). Susceptibility mapping also shows potential for investigating vascular pathologies such as microbleeds as these often result in changes in susceptibility due to iron accumulation in the form of haemosiderin or other compounds. The aim of this project is to investigate the applicability of the latest MRI susceptibility mapping techniques in the brains of patients diagnosed with a variety of vascular pathologies. The goal is to assess whether MRI susceptibility mapping can provide additional information that is clinically useful. The student will process clinical susceptibility-weighted gradient-echo MRI images of the brain acquired at 3 Tesla in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. You will calculate susceptibility maps and use region-of-interest analysis to assess changes in tissue magnetic susceptibility values caused by pathologies such as cerebral microbleeds and brain haemorrhages.

Using SQUID magnetometry to validate MRI tissue magnetic susceptibility measurements

Supervisors: Dr. Karin Shmueli and Dr. Paul Southern

Student: Esther Uwannah

There has been a recent explosion in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to map tissue magnetic susceptibility. Susceptibility is a property of tissue that determines how easily and strongly it can be magnetised by the very high magnetic field found inside an MRI scanner. Susceptibility maps are useful because they reveal new information about tissue composition such as its iron and myelin content. Therefore these images show promise for investigating diseases involving iron accumulation (e.g. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and demyelination (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis). One drawback of MRI-based susceptibility mapping is that the required image-processing steps affect the resulting susceptibility values so that we can only map relative tissue susceptibilities. This means it is important to compare MRI-based susceptibility values with independent measures of tissue magnetic susceptibility if the MRI susceptibility values are to be truly quantitative. One of the most accurate susceptometry techniques uses a highly sensitive magnetometer built from a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). SQUID magnetometers measure small changes in sample magnetisation as the magnetic field is varied so that accurate absolute susceptibility values can be calculated. Previous measurements of tissue magnetic susceptibilities made with SQUID magnetometry and MRI gave highly discrepant results. The aim of this project is to make samples of known magnetic susceptibility and use both SQUID magnetometry and MRI to investigate and compare the accuracy of both susceptibility measurement techniques. You will make PVA gels doped with different concentrations of MnCl2 and carry out SQUID and MRI susceptibility measurements on these samples. Comparing the results will give insight into the true accuracy and precision of SQUID magnetometry and MRI susceptibility mapping techniques.

Investigation of the eye colour in jaundiced newborn infants with digital photography

Supervisors: Dr. Terence Leung, Dr. Judith Meek and Dr. Lindsay MacDonald

Student: Karan Kapur

Neonatal jaundice is a common condition among newborn infants, caused by an increased bilirubin level in the blood and tissues. Bilirubin is a yellow breakdown product of haemoglobin and jaundiced infants can therefore appear to have yellow colouration in their skin and sclera. The aim of this study is to establish the relationship between the sclera colour and the serum bilirubin level in newborn infants using a digital camera. The role of the student will be to participate in collecting data in the neonatal unit of UCL Hospitals and analyse them. The project is especially suitable for a medical student who is interested in neonatology and would like to have early clinical contacts with patients.

Assessment of nasal blockage with acoustic sensors

Supervisors: Dr. Terence Leung and Peter Andrews

Student: Lawrence Nip

Nasal blockage is a common condition which could indicate a range of pathologies from common cold to tumours. While a patient can describe nasal sensation, the information is often subjective, inaccurate and lacking in detail. There is also a growing need for quantifying nasal blockage severity as it is becoming increasingly important for clinicians to provide evidence for their medical/surgical interventions. The aim of this project is to develop a nasal blockage analyser to assess the degree of nose blockage. Acoustic sensors are used to measure the nasal airflow at the nostril opening through recording air turbulence sounds. The bio-acoustic signals provide a novel, accurate and yet simple way to characterize and quantify nasal airway conditions naturally and objectively. The role of the student will be to participate in collecting data in the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital and analyse them. The project is especially suitable for a medical student who is interested in ENT and would like to have early clinical contacts with patients.

Optimising the quality of laser-generated ultrasound images

Supervisors: Dr. Erwin Alles and Dr. Adrien Desjardins

Student: Queenie Shea

Ultrasound imaging is widely used in medicine for diagnostics and therapy. Conventional ultrasound imaging probes typically use piezoelectric elements to transmit and record signals, and each element requires electrical connections and circuitry that can make miniaturisation challenging and expensive. By employing all-optical ultrasound transmitters and receivers fabricated on top of optical fibres, ultrasound imaging probes can be created without any electronic components and on a very small scale. These all-optical ultrasound probes could potentially have higher sensitivity and spatial resolution than their electronic counterparts. This project is focused on one aspect of optical imaging probes: the generation of ultrasound at the distal end of an optical fibre by means of the photoacoustic effect. Modulated light absorbed in a coating deposited on the end of the fibre causes a small temperature rise which results in an increase in pressure. This localised pressure increase subsequently propagates into tissue as an acoustic wave. The aim of this project is to optimise the modulation of the light to obtain ultrasound pulses that provide optimal spatial resolution upon reconstruction. The results obtained in this project will aid in optimising the image quality of new types of ultrasound imaging probes. The project will be primarily computational in nature, but will have an experimental component. Experience with Matlab would be advantageous but it is not essential.

Development of a phantom for optical projection tomography

Supervisors: Prof. Jem Hebden and Dr. Teresa Correia

Student: Simrun Virdee

The method known as optical projection tomography (OPT) is an optical analogy of x-ray computed tomography (CT), except that it uses harmless beams of light rather than x-rays. In both cases, the source and detectors are rotated around the object, and measurements of the transmitted radiation (known as “projections”) are used to generate an image representing a cross-sectional slice across the object. However, CT image reconstruction algorithms are only effective when the scatter of radiation is negligible, and therefore OPT can only be applied to biological tissues that are optically-transparent. The objective of this project is to develop a small (< 10 mm) solid phantom (i.e. a tissue-simulating object) which can used to test OPT imaging methods. The phantom must be have a uniform refractive index, and contain suitable features which absorb light. Polyester resin objects will be developed, and means of rotating them within an index-matched medium will be investigated. OPT data will be recorded on the completed phantom. The project requires someone with strong manual construction skills, and an ability to be creative. The student will be expected to use the resources in the nearby Institute of Making’s MakeSpace, undergoing training as approporiate.

Analysis of edge-illumination based x-ray phase contrast images of breast tumours

Supervisors: Prof. Alessandro Olivo and Dr. Paul C. Diemoz

Student: Nancy Ng

X-ray phase contrast imaging is a new imaging modality not based on x-ray attenuation, in which all details in an image are made more evident by intense edge-enhancing fringes running along their borders. This also results in making classically undetectable objects (as they oppose non absorption to x-rays) visible in the image. This method produced unprecedented results in the imaging of breast tissues, where it proved it could visualize lesions previously undetectable (or at a stage at which they are not yet detected by conventional methods). This result was obtained at synchrotrons, huge, complicated and very expensive facilities – only approximately 50 of which exist in the world. This notwithstanding, the above result was so revolutionary that it triggered the construction of the first facility for in vivo x-ray phase contrast mammography at a synchrotron in Italy, despite the very limited number of patients it can handle. More recently, the UCL team has developed a method that could make similar results achievable with conventional sources. This could make the above result widely available in hospitals and clinics across the world, allowing an earlier detection of breast tumours and consequently a reduction in the mortality rate. The team is currently using the method to image a large number of breast tissue samples containing tumours to achieve statistical significance. The student would participate in the data analysis by comparing absorption and phase contrast images of the same breast tissue sample, and quantitatively assessing the improvements brought by the latter. If time allows, synchrotron images would also be provided to allow a comparison of the UCL images against the “gold standard”. The student will gain skills in data and especially image analysis, and familiarize with some of the basic concepts of medical imaging. Basic computing skills are required.

Characterization of detector performance for x-ray phase contrast imaging

Supervisors: Dr. Marco Endrizzi and Prof. Alessandro Olivo

Student: (Project available)

X-ray phase contrast imaging is a new imaging modality which exploits interference and refraction effects instead of x-ray absorption. As a consequence, it has the potential to radically transform all applications of x-ray imaging (first and foremost diagnostic radiology), as it increases the visibility of all details in an image and it enables the detection of features classically considered x-ray invisible. For many years, this modality was considered to be restricted to very specialized facilities called synchrotrons, but our group has recently developed a method which makes it work with conventional x-ray sources, thus potentially enabling its clinical translation. This method however is highly affected by the performance of the used x-ray detector. Not only does this include classic parameters like noise, spatial resolution and detector response as a function of energy, but also more sophisticated and method-specific ones like signal spill-out between adjacent pixels. The student will be required to thoroughly characterize the available x-ray detectors (especially a state-of-the-art direct conversion flat panel detector based on amorphous selenium), and assess the impact of the extracted parameters on the phase contrast performance of the devices. The skills the student will gain go beyond phase contrast imaging and also cover many aspects of x-ray detector technology and characterization, which are relevant to diagnostic radiology in general.

Exploring the limits of the quantitative retrieval of x-ray phase

Supervisors: Dr. Paul C. Diemoz and Prof. Alessandro Olivo

Student: (Project available)

X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCi) allows the generation of images with highly improved contrast compared to conventional X-ray imaging techniques. While the latter are based on measuring the attenuation of a photon beam when passing through different parts of the sample, XPCi exploits the interference/refraction effects experienced by the photons. Until recently, XPCi has been mostly limited to specialized and expensive synchrotron facilities, due to the need of using photon beams of very high coherence and flux. Our group, however, developed a new implementation of XPCi, the “coded apertures” (CA) technique, which was proven to work efficiently even with standard x-ray sources and laboratory equipment. It has therefore great potential for applications in many fields of x-ray investigation, such as materials science, biomedical and clinical imaging. Recently, we have developed an algorithm to extract quantitative sample information from experimental CA XPCi images. This algorithm is, however, based on some simplifying assumptions that are likely to not be valid for all samples and experimental conditions that could be encountered in practice. This project will consist in studying how the method’s accuracy varies for different sets of experimental parameters and different types of samples. To this aim, the student will make use of a simulation code developed within our group, and use it to test the quantitative values provided by the algorithm against theoretically predicted ones. The ultimate goal of this study is to find some simple rules that describe which parameters are the most important in determining the method’s quantitative accuracy and under which experimental conditions the algorithms provides satisfying results. The student will gain skills in simulation methods, data analysis, and familiarize with the basic concepts of optics. A solid physics background is required.

Comparison of iterative algorithms for x-ray phase contrast CT reconstructions

Supervisors: Dr. Charlotte Hagen and Prof. Alessandro Olivo

Student: (Project available)

X-ray Phase Contrast imaging (XPCi) stands for a class of radiographic imaging techniques, which, in addition to x-ray attenuation, are sensitive to phase and refraction effects. XPCi techniques are especially important for the imaging of weakly attenuating biological samples and are investigated by an increasing number of groups worldwide, including the phase contrast group at UCL. Edge Illumination (EI) XPCi - a novel method developed at UCL – can measure the refraction angle of x-rays as they pass an object. EI XPCi has recently been implemented as tomographic modality. By rotating the object over an angular range of at least 180 degrees and acquiring images at every rotation angle it is possible to reconstruct volumetric maps of the refractive index distribution within the object. While until now all tomographic reconstructions were carried out using filtered back projection, the next step is to explore the benefit of iterative algorithms for the reconstruction of these maps. The student would be given several experimental EI XPCi datasets on which different iterative reconstruction algorithms can be tested. The student would define metrics that can be used for a comparison and eventually decide which algorithm is most suited to the reconstruction problem at hand. Besides being involved in the development of a new imaging method, the student would get familiar with the basic concepts of computed tomography and image reconstruction. The project requires mathematics and some experience in Matlab programming. Existing software packages (e.g. the ASTRA toolbox) can be used.

Optimal placement of central venous catheters using P-wave amplitude guidance

Supervisors: Dr. Julian Henty and Dr. Martin Fry

Student: Cheran Anandarajah

Echocardiogram (ECG) P wave amplitude guidance is a relatively new method to optimally place a catheter inside the body. A commercially available device exists for confirmation of correct insertion of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). However, no such device exists for central cenous catheter (CVC) insertion, a procedure routinely performed in the anaesthetic room prior to surgical intervention. Currently, correct placement of the CVC is confirmed using a chest x-ray which is expensive and involves exposure to ionising radiation. In this project we will develop a prototype laptop based ECG analysis system designed to alert the anaesthetist to a maximum P-wave amplitude using both visual and audible cues. The project will be undertaken in collaboration with University College London Hospital.

Mechanical design of an optical array for a portable optical topography system

Supervisors: Dr. Nick Everdell, Dr. Danial Chitnis, and Rhys Williams

Student: (Project available)

The Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory (BORL) is developing a wireless and portable optical topography system. This is a device that uses near-infrared light to image the brain (for more details click here). This project involves the mechanical design of the optical array that will be applied to the scalp. We will use a design package such as Autodesk Inventor, and 3D print the prototype designs.

Radioisotope mapping using RadICAL

Supervisors: Prof. Robert Speller and George Randall

Student: Geraldine Chee

RadICAL is a detector system designed for localising radioactive isotopes. Several versions have been designed and built and this project is to enhance the sensitivity by making studies of the best way to couple the active scintillation element of the detector to the photodetector. This can be approached in several ways and will depend upon the skills of the student. A Monte Carlo modelling approach could be used or just experimental measurements. Different designs would need to be tested and this will require some building of equipment probably using the facilities available in Institute of Making. Testing would be undertaken in the Radiation Physics labs using radioactive isotopes. There might also be the option of testing the designs with a scintillator capable of mixed field detection. This would be relevant in estimating neutron fields in proton therapy.

Novel collimation for spatial discrimination in x-ray diffraction

Supervisors: Prof. Robert Speller, Dr. Robert Moss and Dr. Dan O’Flynn

Student: Karen Ho

UCL has developed a new approach to X-ray diffraction which make use of a multi-element detector (a pixellated array). In the present setup the detector collects data for every point where X-rays are scattered from a sample. A real sample is likely to contain a region of interest surrounded by 'clutter'.  A more meaningful result would be obtained if diffraction data could be collected for the region of interest only and the clutter could be ignored. The aim of this project is to design and build a collimator that can be used to mask the detector such that only data from a specific region within a sample are collected. The student will be encouraged to use a combination of modelling and CAD to develop a series of designs which can then be built using the rapid prototyping capability in the Make Space. The student will characterise the prototype designs using optical methods before selecting an optimum configuration to be manufactured and characterised using an X-ray source and UCL's pixellated detector.

Monte Carlo modelling of X-ray diffraction

Supervisors: Prof. Robert Speller and Nick Calvert

Student: (Project available)

Tissue diffraction using X-rays can potentially play an important role in the diagnosis of disease. We are currently studying how this technique can best be applied in the detection of early breast cancer. However, to support our experimental studies we are developing modelling techniques. This project is to look at using GEANT4 (a Monte Carlo based programme) to include diffraction data on tissues. It requires an interest and some experience in computing. The eventual aim will be to see if we can reproduce our experimental results.

Phantom design for x-ray diffraction evaluation in breast cancer

SupervisorsProf. Robert Speller and Christiana Christodoulou

Student: Claire Frye

The aim of this work is to design, test and manufacture phantoms for breast cancer research with a range of different materials of interest and study their diffraction profiles in energy dispersive X-ray diffraction. This will involve the student to use equipment in Make Space for fabricating the experimental phantoms.

Development of a computer program for the automatic extraction of information from infrared images towards the identification of core temperature

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Prof. Adam Gibson

Student: Thomas Kane

During the outburst of infectious diseases, e.g. SARS in 2003, the Influenza A pandemic in 2009, and the Ebola in 2014, core temperature screening was used to detect individuals with fever with the aim of isolating infected individuals, which could help to contain the spread of such infectious diseases. In high transit places such as airports and hospitals, infrared (IR) thermometry has been used for screening as it is a relatively easy to use, quick and non-invasive. This method estimates the core temperature from measurements of heat (in form of infrared) being emitted off a person’s skin at a given location. However such devices are subjected to a high error due to its incorrect use by personnel at the airport, who would have had poor or little training. Typical mistakes are the incorrect identification of the area of interest within the body, or the erroneous interpretation of the measurements. Therefore it is necessary to develop a robust and reliable device that can automatically identify the area of interest and extract the relevant information in real time. The student undertaking this project will develop a computer program that identifies given locations of the head of a person in an IR image such that the temperature at those locations can be extracted. A sample of IR images will be provided for testing. The aims to be achieved are: (1) Research of current systems used for IR images analysis and relevant image processing techniques for the identification of given locations within the head, e.g. forehead, eyes or ears; (2) develop computer software for automatic extraction of data from IR images as to guarantee equal marker sizes, temperature standard deviation, etc.; and (3) comparison of manually and automatically extracted data. This project is suitable for someone with computer programming and image processing knowledge. MATLAB is preferred but other programming languages can also be considered. Statistical knowledge would be useful for this project.

Development of a non-invasive core temperature measurement method for mass screening based on infrared images of the body

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Prof. Adam Gibson

Student: Dahlin Mony

The practise of monitoring core temperature on individuals in high transit places such as airports and hospitals has arisen, especially during infectious outbursts such as SARS and Influenza A pandemic in 2003 and 2009 respectively. Mass screening of core temperature was employed with the aim of isolating infected individuals (using fever as a primary symptom), which could help to contain the spread of such infectious diseases. Infrared (IR) thermometry has been used in this kind of screening. It is a relatively easy to use, quick and non-invasive method which gives an estimate of core temperature by measuring the amount of heat (in form of infrared) being emitted off a person’s skin. Several body sites have been studied, such as forehead, but accuracy still remains an issue. This is in part due to IR background noise and that both core and skin temperatures are highly dependent on a number of factors, e.g. measuring site, physiological state of the person, anthropometric characteristics, etc. Therefore large sets of data with controlled background effect need to be analysed towards the development of a more reliable IR device for core temperature screening. The student undertaking this project will work with a sample of experimental data already collected of IR images of people’s face. The aims to be achieved are: (1) Review of IR technology used in biomedical applications, particularly for non-invasive core temperature estimation; (2) extraction of data from IR images using Fluke software; (3) identification of skin locations with highest correlation with the core temperature; (4) create a model relating core temperature and skin temperature to be used for a new core temperature screening device. This project is suitable for someone interested in research on screening devices using IR technology. Statistical knowledge would be very useful for this project.

Canonical correlation analysis in the study of cerebral interrelations with systemic variables: application in acute brain injured patients

Supervisors: Dr. Ilias Tachtsidis and Dr. David Highton

Student: (Project available)

Brain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (or fNIRS) is a technique that uses non-invasive optical reflection measurements to monitor brain tissue haemodynamics and oxygenation by resolving the concentrations of oxygenated haemoglobin (HbO2), deoxygenated haemoglobin (HHb) and brain tissue oxygen saturation (or tissue oxygenation index, TOI). For several years we have been using this technique to monitor brain tissue physiology and pathophysiology in acute brain injured patients in the neuro-intensive care unit. In addition to our fNIRS measurements we monitor intracranial pressure, blood pressure, arterial saturation and other systemic physiological variables. One of our main interests has been deciphering the relationship between the brain fNIRS measurements with: (1) other brain physiological measurements such as intracranial pressure and; (2) the systemic physiology such as blood pressure. The aim of this project is to use canonical correlation analysis (or CCA) to investigate the above interrelationships. CCA is a statistical method that analyzes the interrelation between variables in multi-dimensional datasets. CCA can be seen as an extension to normal correlation analysis, in which the proximity between two multidimensional datasets, instead of vectors, is analyzed by means of canonical angles. CCA determines how strongly the variables in both datasets are related. It is also possible to determine which and how many of the independent variables explain most of the variation in the dependent dataset. The student will be using a CCA toolbox that was developed in our lab with multidimensional data set that collected in the neuro-critical care unit from acute brain injured patients. The project will involve some development on the analysis methodology and will require from the student to analyse data and do some statistics. This project is mainly computational and will be suitable for a student with a general interest in monitoring brain physiology, fair knowledge of MatLab and signal processing methods.

Investigation of the optical measurements of oxygenation and haemodynamic changes in neonatal injury

Supervisor: Dr. Ilias Tachtsidis and Gemma Bale

Student: Marcus Chan

Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) is the clinical presentation of disordered neonatal brain function. The incidence of hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) is 1-3 per 1000 live births1 - with a term birth rate of 750,000 births in the UK, the number of affected term infants is estimated to be 750-1125 infants annually in the UK. The chain of events leading to NE is complex and multifactorial. There is a need to improve understanding of the timing and evolution of neonatal brain tissue’s response to injury using non-invasive bedside tools, which can provide robust markers of injury. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a promising optical tool for neuromonitoring, which has been applied widely to assess cerebral perfusion and oxygenation in the newborn. In particular NIRS measures in brain tissue changes in the oxidation state of cytochrome c oxidase (oxCCO), oxy- and deoxy- haemoglobin concentrations (HbO2, HHb) and cerebral tissue oxygen saturation. As part of a collaboration between the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory (BORL) and UCLH studies have already performed in injured and pre-term babies and they are on-going. The student will require to analyse the data and investigate the relationship between the optical brain tissue measurements and systemic variation (such as blood pressure, arterial oxygen saturation). This project is a mixture of signal and statistical analysis. This project will take place at both i) BORL, the UK’s leading research group in biomedical optics which offers expertise and facilities in optical instrumentation and methodologies, and ii) the UCLH where patients will be recruited.

Linear registration between neonatal optical head models for group analysis

Supervisors: Prof. Adam Gibson and Dr. Sabrina Brigadoi

Student: Ekaterina Pererva

Image reconstruction in optical tomography, particularly in the neonatal population, requires carefully aged-matched head models, in order to match the anatomy of the participant under examination as much as possible. To see examples of head model for the neonatal population click here, where a head model has been produced for each age between 29 and 44 weeks post-menstrual age (PMA) (preterm and term age range). However, when group analyses have to be performed, a single reference head model has to be used and all other head models have to be registered to the chosen reference model. The aim of this project is to linearly register the MRI of each age of the neonatal head model to each other in limited age ranges (e.g. register the 29 PMA head model to the head models ranging in the interval 30-33 PMA) using FSL (an MRI software). As a first objective, the student should decide whether a linear registration between MRIs can give the desired results. Once the results of the registration are satisfactory, the student should then proceed and apply these transformations to the neonatal optical head model meshes using MATLAB, to allow users to perform group analysis. This project is suitable for someone with particular interest in computer programming and medical imaging.

Paediatric optical head models

Supervisors: Prof. Adam Gibson and Dr. Sabrina Brigadoi

Student: Jessica Dunn

Image reconstruction in optical tomography requires carefully age-matched optical head models, which are usually composed by a finite element volumetric mesh and surface meshes for each tissue of interest (i.e. scalp, skull, cerebrospinal fluid, grey and white matter). The process of producing optical head models involves the segmentation of the MRI, in order to assign to each voxel a tissue type, and then the creation of the volumetric and surface meshes based on the segmentation mask so obtained. The iso2mesh software will be used for mesh creation. While in the neonatal and adult population optical head models are already available to the community, little has been done for the paediatric population (4.5-18 years old). In this project, paediatric optical head models will be created for five age ranges (4.5-8.5 y.o., 7-11 y.o., 7.5-13.5 y.o., 10-14 y.o. and 13-18.5 y.o.) based on the MRIs available by clicking here. First, the student should learn how to use FSL (an MRI software) to visualize MRI images. Second, the student should create the tissue segmentation mask, using both MATLAB and FSL software. Third, the meshes will be created using MATLAB-based software. Quality indices will be computed to evaluate the quality of the meshes. Some MATLAB coding skills are required for this project, but they can also be acquired during the project.

Embedded PC

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Donaldson and TBC

Student: (Project available)

We are developing a new exercise machine for patients with spinal cord injury. To maximise recovery, we want to use the latent plasticity of the spinal cord by combining electrical stimulation of the paralysed muscles with a system that encourages voluntary effort to drive the pedals while cycling. The voluntary effort is encouraged by the patient participating in a virtual race in which their speed depends on the crank shaft torque without stimulation. The virtual race uses software from the company Tacx that runs on a laptop. However, for this system to be of widespread use, it must be used by patients at home, which often will be a small flat and they may not be confident computer-users. Therefore an important step is to embed the PC inside the machine so that the program boots up as soon as the power is switched on. Also, to minimise the number of cables, a wireless link to a large display will be preferable. The Tacx software comes on a CD disc but uses an internet connection while running if one is available. The aim of this project is to investigate the way the Tacx software works and decide whether it can run on embedded hardware, and, specifically, choose a low-cost system. A method for installing the software must be possible and ideally, the system should be set up with many courses, from which races can be chosen, without internet access. An input device that serves as a mouse will be necessary and this must be made part of the small controller that the patient holds while exercising.

Mechanical design of electrode arrays

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Donaldson and Dr. Anne Vanhoest

Student: Aurora Wang

We are faced with the problem of making electrode arrays to that will be inserted inside the spine to stimulate the spinal cord as a treatment for spinal cord injury. These arrays will have to endure flexion for years but must not deteriorate by wire fractures or detachment of the insulation. This may be possible if internal stresses remain small when the structure is flexed. But is this possible and how low will the stresses be? It is easy to show experimentally that if the electrodes are connected by slack, but randomly-bundled wires, and these are then encapsulated in flexible, insulating rubber, high-stress regions occur when the array is flexed. On the other hand, wavy wires that run side-by-side have no high-stress points, but this ideal structure has no electrodes to distort the waves. This project will investigate the design of electrode arrays. Possible structures will be considered; formulae from analysis will be applied where possible; but primarily Comsol will be used to simulate the distortion and stresses in the metal, the rubber, and at the interfaces. The structure that is best will be made and tested to check that it has the expected force-elongation characteristic, as a check on the computer model.

Implanted stimulator for treating Bruxism

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Donaldson and Dr. Anne Vanhoest

Student: Timi Latino

People who are afflicted by bruxism clench their jaws or grind their teeth while they are asleep. This can damage the teeth and prevent them getting enough rest. Preliminary experiments by Dr Pablo Aqueveque at the University of Concepcion in Chile found that stimulating the mental nerve in the chin at about 500Hz with small currents (about 10µA) inhibits the jaw-closing muscles during strong voluntary contraction, in bruxist and non-bruxist people. In more recent work, he found that if this stimulation is applied while patients are asleep using surface electrodes, the muscles relax and the amount of jaw-clenching declines over a few weeks of treatment. This suggests that the treatment causes some “carry-over” effect, a beneficial reversion to normal behaviour which would be a wholly satisfactory outcome. Nevertheless, getting reliable connection to surface electrodes at night is difficult and we think that it may be appropriate to use an implant, which might remain in the patient or be removed after the treatment. The implant would be powered by radio frequency induction and be as simple as possible to minimise cost and difficulty of getting regulatory approval. We propose to use a Class E transmitter with a large coil that is placed under the patient’s pillow at night. The receiver would be implanted under the chin and have two orthogonal coils because people sleep on their side, front or back. The electrodes would be tunnelled to the nerve on the anterior surface of the chin. The transmitter will be developed by Dr Aqueveque in Concepcion. This project is to design, build and test the implanted part of the system.

Manufacture and tests of electrodes for nerve root stimulation

Supervisors: Dr. Anne Vanhoest, Dr. Henry Lancashire, and Prof. Nick Donaldson

Student: Leo Fitzgerald-Gradwell

Nerve root stimulation has the potential to return some degree of leg function to paralysed people (see Sayenko, J. Neurophysiol, Dec 2013). To be more selective, new electrodes are required. In this project, the student will develop, characterise and document a new manufacturing method, based on the use of high-temperature cofired ceramic (HTCC), a process already used by us at the Implanted Devices Group. If the student is successful in producing electrodes, the project can be extended, either by investigating the possibility of plating the platinum electrodes with iridium to improve the charge delivery, or by a small study of the evolution of the electrical impedance of the test electrodes after immersion in saline. This project requires a student who understands the importance of documentation. You will be developing a new manufacturing method, which must be precisely documented, in a detailed step by step process report, if it it to be used by the other members of the IDG.

A programmable controller for an electrical stimulator

Supervisors: Dr. Anne Vanhoest and Elliott Magee

Student: (Project available)

Electrical stimulation can be used to inhibit certain reflexes or painful responses. This is called neuromodulation, and it is used in a growing number of medical applications. One of these is the treatment of incontinence, which affects a surprisingly large fraction of the adult population, in the UK and worldwide. In this project, a programmable controller for a commercial electrical stimulator will be designed, built and tested, as well as a gui to program it. The stimulator has an optional digital input that can be used to turn it on-off, though in stand alone mode the user simply switch it on-off manually. The aim is to provide a small, light-weight and portable device, to connect to the stimulator, to control the on-off periods over a day. The device will also have a series of minor features, such as recording events, and, if possible, sending usage data wirelessly to a remote server. As it is to be used by clinical scientists, nurses or patients, it must be very user friendly, preferably with a gui for programmation, and data visualisation.

Pedal force measurements with a recumbant tricycle

Supervisors: Dr. Anne Vanhoest and Prof. Nick Donaldson

Student: (Project available)

Paralysed people can propel a recumbant trycicle using electrical stimulation to activate their leg's muscles, as seen in this short video. The power they produce, however, is significantly lower than that of an able-bodied cyclist. To study the differences between the two groups, we have instrumented a tricycle to measure the forces exerted on the pedals, which we can now monitor as analog signals. Our setup also provides us with an analog signal indicating the position of the pedals. In this project, the student will write a graphical user interface to acquire both signals (on a PC), display them live in an intuitive fashion and save them. If this first phase is completed rapidly, the project can be extended with a small scale study of a few able-bodied cyclists, looking at 1) the influence of using a metronome to impose a cadence vs free cycling, 2) the position of the cyclist and 3) the effect of orthoses to fix the legs to the pedals.

An ultrasound scanner – teaching tool

Supervisors: Dr. Rebecca Yerworth and Dr. Brad Treeby

Student: Omari Markland-Montgomery and Qijun Wang

Medical physics and Biomedical Engineers need to understand how medical imaging devices work, and investigative learning is beneficial. However in clinical devices the physics/engineering is hidden from view. What is needed is a basic device where the individual components can be controlled by the students. During this project the student will need to acquire a detailed understanding of the principles of clinical ultrasound machines so as to design, build and test a prototype classroom ultrasound demonstration kit and test phantoms, using low cost electrical components.

Measuring the directivity of ultrasound detectors

Supervisors: Dr. Bradley Treeby and Dr.Robert Ellwood

Student: Sri Sivarajan

Diagnostic ultrasound imaging, ultrasound computed tomography, and photoacoustic tomography all rely on the use of ultrasound detectors to record ultrasound waves. The recorded signals are then used in various ways to reconstruct images. In most cases, the detectors are assumed to act like infinitesimal point receivers that are equally sensitive to ultrasound waves from all directions. However, in practice, ultrasound detectors have a finite size, and the sensitivity varies with the angle of the incoming wave relative to the transducer surface (this variation is known as the directivity of the transducer). Accurately measuring this directivity as a function of frequency is important for understanding and improving the quality of ultrasound images. However, it is also a very challenging task. This is because it is difficult to generate and align plane waves at precise angles relative to the ultrasound detector. The aim of this project is to design, build, and test a novel experimental device that can measure the directivity of ultrasound detectors. This will be based on the use of a laser-generated plane wave ultrasound source which exploits the photoacoustic effect to generate sound. The device will be automated using custom software written in LabVIEW. Design parameters such as the source size and the source-receiver distance will be evaluated using the k-Wave Acoustics Toolbox. After the device is constructed, the directivity of a range of different ultrasound detectors will be assessed, including membrane, needle, and fibre optic hydrophones, and conventional PZT ultrasound transducers. Depending on progress, the incorporation of detector directivity into common image reconstruction algorithms will also be explored. The project will contain a large lab-based component using a range of delicate and specialised equipment (including laser sources), so much of the work will need to be completed on campus. The project would suit a motivated student with the patience and attention-to-detail required for designing and conducting experiments. Some programming in LabVIEW may also be required. 

Measurement and modelling of reflection and transmission coefficients for focused ultrasound beams

Supervisors: Dr. Ben Cox and Dr. Bradley Treeby

Student: (Project available)

Accurately simulating how ultrasound waves propagate through the human body can be a very powerful tool. For example, simulations can be used to design new ultrasound probes, to train people to use diagnostic ultrasound machines, and to test the safety of ultrasound equipment by calculating the ultrasound dose delivered to tissue under different conditions. An important consideration for ultrasound models is how to accurately account for changes in the material properties within tissue (for example the sound speed and density). A step-change in the material properties between two different tissue types will cause the reflection and refraction of the incoming ultrasound waves. For a plane wave and a flat interface, these effects can be predicted using Snell’s law. However, in tissue, the situation is much more complex. This project will combine experimental measurements and numerical simulations to study the reflection and transmission of ultrasound beams by different interfaces encountered in the body. The aim will be to experimentally validate the ability of the k-Wave Acoustics Toolbox to model sound waves in heterogeneous media. The first goal will be to setup an experiment in a motorised scanning tank to measure the transmitted and reflected ultrasound fields using different ultrasound sources. The same scenario will then be modelled using the k-Wave Toolbox (in MATLAB) and the results compared. The second goal will be to consider a range of different interfaces (flat, curved, etc) with different percentage changes in material properties. The project will contain a large lab-based component using a range of delicate and specialised equipment, so much of the work will need to be completed on campus. The project would suit a motivated student with the patience and attention-to-detail required for designing and conducting experiments. For the numerical simulations, programming in MATLAB will be required.

Time-reversal focusing for high-intensity focused ultrasound treatments in the brain

Supervisors: Dr. Bradley Treeby and Elly Martin

Student: Jane Ling

High-intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU) is a therapeutic application of ultrasound in which a high-powered ultrasound beam is tightly focussed on a particular target within the body. The absorption of ultrasound in the target region gradually causes the tissue to heat up, which leads to tissue necrosis (cell death). In recent years, HIFU has been trialled clinically to treat a number of disorders in the brain, including tumours, thrombolytic strokes, and essential tremor. These treatments require very high precision due to the critical importance of leaving healthy brain tissue unharmed. However, the skull causes significant distortion to shape and position of the ultrasound beam. The aim of this project is to use numerical modelling to specify the how the HIFU source (which may contain between 256 to 2048 individual ultrasound elements) should be controlled so that this distortion is corrected. An x-ray CT image of the patient’s skull and brain will be used to define the material properties within the acoustic model. Simulations will then be performed using an ultrasound source placed at the target region within the brain. The ultrasound waves reaching the HIFU source will be recorded and later reversed to allow the ultrasound beam from the HIFU source to refocus on the target region. The effect of source sizes and numbers of elements on the precision of performing HIFU in the brain will then be investigated. This project will contain a large computational component, including using high-performance computer facilities. Programming in MATLAB will also be required.

Simulation of dynamic diagnostic ultrasound images

Supervisors: Dr. Bradley Treeby and Dr. Ben Cox

Student: (Project available)

Ultrasound imaging is an important medical imaging technique based on the propagation of acoustic waves through biological tissue. A diagnostic ultrasound scanner produces an image by sweeping an ultrasound beam back and forth through tissue and measuring the sound that is reflected from different tissue interfaces inside the body. The simulation of this process (i.e., the simulation of ultrasound images) is very powerful tool for a number of applications, including medical image registration, and training people to recognise different diseases on ultrasound images. However, most existing methods make unrealistic assumptions about the physics of sound propagation in tissue. The aim of this project is to produce accurate simulations of dynamic ultrasound images using the k-Wave Acoustics Toolbox. This will involve several stages, including: (1) defining a numerical tissue phantom, for example, of the carotid artery, (2) deforming this phantom according to the cardiac cycle, and (3) using the k-Wave toolbox to define the properties of a diagnostic ultrasound probe and then simulate the ultrasound images. Depending on progress, the second part of the project will be to investigate how the small-scale heterogeneities in tissue (which lead to the speckle pattern in ultrasound images) should be defined. The project would suit an ambitious and motivated student who is interested in simulation and modelling and wants to contribute to the current state-of-the-art in ultrasound. This project will contain a large computational component, including using high-performance computer facilities. Programming in MATLAB will also be required.

Automated neonatal monitoring

Supervisors: Prof. Adam Gibson and Vinay Gangadharan

Student: Prateek Yadev

We have recorded about 2 weeks of multichannel monitoring data on 9 babies in intensive case. We have already showed that intelligent analysis of this data can identify adverse events. In this project, you will carry out further analysis, to determine the analysis technique which maximises the sensitivity and specificity with which the system can identify adverse events. This project will require mathematics and computer programming.

Wall-less vessel ultrasound imaging phantom with 3D printing

Supervisors: Dr. Adrien Desjardins and Dr. Simeon West

Student: Anamaria Barburas

Ultrasound imaging is widely used to guide the placement of medical devices in the human body. Interpreting ultrasound images and maintaining visibility of the medical devices can be very challenging, particularly for trainees. Three-dimensional printing has the potential to transform how ultrasound phantoms are developed. This project is focused on the development of a novel ultrasound phantom for ultrasound-guided vascular access procedures. The phantom will include a hard plastic component created with 3D printing and a soft-tissue component created with agar gel. As it is reusable and low-cost, it could be widely used as a training tool in the fields of anaesthesia and interventional pain management.

Implementation, testing and assessment of a new peer assessment method for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering students

Supervisors: Dr. Pilar Garcia Souto and Prof. Alan Cottenden

Student: Unaiza Tughral

Assessment is a key element of teaching and learning and, in recent years, peer assessment has been gradually introduced at university level as it enhances students’ learning and the development of critical skills, as well as reducing lecturers’ marking time and providing prompt feedback to students. However, there are pit-falls: how do you address erroneous feedback/marking, and discrepancies between assessments done by different students, how to ensure fair marking for example? A novel method of peer assessment has been designed within Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering that aims to overcome these weaknesses and this project will involve implementing, testing and assessing it with cohorts of students starting on the new BEng/MEng Biomedical Engineering (BME) programmes this year. The project would suit someone interested in research and education, and some computer programming skills would be very useful.

The absorption kinetics of superabsorbent polymers (VAUL: volume absorbed under load)

Supervisors: Prof. Alan Cottenden and Mihaela Soric

Student: Raunak Poonawala

Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) hydrogels are remarkable materials that will absorb around 100 times their own dry mass in water, a property exploited, for example, in absorbing body fluids in medical and hygiene products such as diapers and wound dressings. The kinetics of absorption depend on a wide variety of parameters such as the chemistry of the polymer, the particle size distribution and particle shape of the SAP grains, the composition of the liquid absorbed and the pressure. This experimental project will involve investigating some of these parameters using an absorption kinetics rig to measure VAUL (Volume Absorbed Under Load) as a function of time. The results will increase our understanding of how SAP works in products such as diapers.

The absorption kinetics of superabsorbent polymers (AAP: absorbancy against pressure)

Supervisors: Prof. Alan Cottenden and Mihaela Soric

Student: Suren Ravindra

Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) hydrogels are remarkable materials that will absorb around 100 times their own dry mass in water, a property exploited, for example, in absorbing body fluids in medical and hygiene products such as diapers and wound dressings. The kinetics of absorption depend on a wide variety of parameters such as the chemistry of the polymer, the particle size distribution and particle shape of the SAP grains, the composition of the liquid absorbed and the pressure. This experimental project will involve investigating some of these parameters using an absorption kinetics rig to measure VAUL (Volume Absorbed Under Load) as a function of time. The results will increase our understanding of how SAP works in products such as diapers.

Modelling friction between skin and fabrics: I

Supervisiors: Prof. Alan Cottenden and Sabrina Falloon.

Student: Sam Bass

Rubbing between fabrics and skin can cause abrasion damage. In the case of everyday clothing this might just result in a little soreness and mild discomfort but in the more extreme conditions found between an incontinence pad and skin, damage can be more serious. In recent work we have studied friction between strips of fabric and the volar forearm of volunteers of a range of ages and have developed mathematical models which aim to describe the behaviour. This project will involve making friction measurements between strips of fabric and physical models of the volar forearm in which the properties of the fabric and forearm will be changed in controlled ways to test and challenge the mathematical model.

Modelling friction between skin and fabrics: II

Supervisiors: Prof. Alan Cottenden and Sabrina Falloon.

Student: Neel Raja

Rubbing between fabrics and skin can cause abrasion damage. In the case of everyday clothing this might just result in a little soreness and mild discomfort but in the more extreme conditions found between an incontinence pad and skin, damage can be more serious. In recent work we have studied friction between strips of fabric and the volar forearm of volunteers of a range of ages and have developed mathematical models which aim to describe the behaviour. This project will involve making friction measurements between strips of fabric and physical models of the volar forearm in which the properties of the fabric and forearm will be changed in controlled ways to test and challenge the mathematical model.

Development of appropriate quality assurance procedures for radiotherapy treatment centres in developing countries

Supervisors: Dr. Paul Burke and Prof. Gary Royle

Student: (Project available)

A successful clinical outcome for cancer patients is the main goal for any radiotherapy treatment centre. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to make sure the equipment is performing as expected at all times. This project looks to investigate the link between good quality assurance (QA) practices and survival rates within developed countries. Using this information, strategies for appropriate QA procedures to be used within the developing world will be developed.

Is there a requirement for the development of more appropriate quality assurance equipment for radiotherapy treatment centres in developing countries?

Supervisors: Dr. Paul Burke and Prof. Gary Royle

Student: (Project available)

A successful clinical outcome for cancer patients is the main goal for any radiotherapy treatment centre. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to make sure the equipment is performing as expected at all times. However essential, equipment for good quality assurance (QA) is often expensive and not budgeted for. Many centres in developing countries are therefore left in a position where they cannot afford the equipment required to provide safe radiotherapy treatment for their patients. This project looks to investigate the requirement for the development of more appropriate QA equipment for developing countries.