Development and application of optical projection tomography instrumentation for preclinical imaging and drug discovery

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics


This Industrial Strategy DTP studentship will be undertaken in partnership with Cairn Research Ltd who would contribute to the design and strategic development of the instrumentation and would provide a placement for Connor to work in their laboratories in Kent. With Cairn Research Ltd, Connor would learn about optomechanical design, computer-control of instrumentation and commercialisation of optical imaging technologies. OPT instrumentation would be developed for 3D imaging on the mesoscopic scale from mm-cm and would include systems to image live organisms up to adult zebrafish as well as cleared biological samples such as pancreas and brain tissue for studies of cancer and diabetes, and as a tool to map epigenetic gene expression. In addition to the development of the instrumentation and experimental workflow, Connor will also develop open source analysis software, particularly for reconstruction. Mirroring the proposed modular approach to the design of the imaging instrumentation, the software developed will leverage different computing resources. For example the basic reconstruction software will be implementable on a standard desktop, using graphics card (GPU) implementation when available, but also high performance computing (HPC), which will be particularly important for screening-type applications. This is an essential aspect of the project since the increased data size/rates from evolving camera technology leads to a significant computational/memory challenge, for example a 5 megapixel sensor produces a ~20 GB volumetric reconstruction at 16-bit precision. Connor will therefore would learn how to develop efficient open source software tools for 3D reconstruction and volumetric data analysis.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
1993537 Studentship EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/12/2021 Connor James DARLING