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Postgraduate research project

Wearable cerebral blood flow monitoring using speckle contrast optical tomography (SCOT) in the infant brain

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Cerebral injuries are the leading cause of neonatal mortality and life-long morbidities. The research project aims to apply an innovative technique called speckle contrast optical tomography (SCOT) with the potential to provide 3D images of cerebral blood flow in the infant brain. 

The conditions that lead to brain injury include hypoxia-ischemia, stroke, intracranial haemorrhage, and preterm birth and monitoring cerebral blood flow (CBF) plays a leading role in diagnosing cerebral injury.

The main objectives are:

  • to develop a small wearable cerebral blood flow monitor optimised for the infant brain
  • to measure flow in-vitro using tissue-like materials and blood flow in-vivo (adult arm)
  • to demonstrate the ability to measure cerebral blood flow in healthy infants and confirmed by Laser Doppler Ultrasound

The experience in developing this system will set the stage for further testing in term- and, ultimately, preterm infants. The immediate benefit is the availability of a wearable cerebral monitor that can further the study of cognitive development in older infants. In the long term, it can potentially reduce the number of preterm deaths and improve the management and outcome of those infants at risk of cerebral injury. 

The project will generate intellectual property and, potentially, lead to commercialisation.

Person specifications:

  • master degree in electrical or electronic engineering, machine learning, medical physics or neuroscience
  • knowledge of electronics is essential
  • strong programming skills (MATLAB is essential) and Phyton (TensorFlow library, desirable)
  • previous biomedical signal processing experience
  • excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to work independently.

This PhD studentship is open only to UK applicants. 

This project is suitable for applicants with a high level degree in physics, chemistry or materials science, ideally with some prior experience in quantum chemistry or solid state electronic structure calculations.