Are you interested in using optical imaging, sensing or devices to help tackle economic and social challenges in developing countries? The University of Kent is offering up to 10 PhD scholarships for candidates who wish to work on projects related to global challenges, and I am happy to support applicants who would like to carry out all or part of their research in the Applied Optics Group.
Projects should by student-led, but we are happy to support and advise you in preparing and writing a proposal that aligns with one of our areas of research (i.e. which we can support with research equipment and supervisory expertise) and which is appropriate for these scholarships. We have suggested four broad areas of research below, if you would like to discuss a project proposal in one of these areas please contact the academic listed. These are not exhaustive, we are happy to hear from you if you have other for projects related to our areas of expertise, please get in touch with us.
Optical coherence tomography eye imaging for infants and children
According to the World Health Organization, the number of children suffering from preventable blindness is rapidly increasing. Currently there are more than 1.5 million blind children worldwide. Three-quarters of them live in the poorest regions of Africa and Asia.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a diagnostic imaging technique that provides cross-sectional images of human retinal morphology in-vivo. As it provides information on the retinal architecture of the eye beyond that obtained by conventional ophthalmic methods, OCT has become a standard diagnostic tool for management of retinal diseases in human adults.
As the most common causes of ocular visual impairment are retinal diseases, more specific the retinopathy of prematurity and glaucoma, there is a need to further develop the current, OCT technology, for use in young children. The project will be focused on devising techniques and solutions to be used in not age-specific, fast OCT eye imaging instruments, capable to overcome difficulties in imaging children’s eye, such as those due to,
- rapid increase in the axial length of infant eye
- temporal refractive error shifts from myopia to hyperopia
- steeper corneal curvatures, and greater astigmatism than in adults
- limited cooperation ability of children required for OCT imaging.