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PhD studentship: On-chip Mid-IR ATR and Raman Spectroscopies for Rapid Bedside Biomarker Diagnostics

Photonic Systems Circuits & Sensors Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1140319PN

Supervisor:                 Dr. Senthil Ganapathy

Co-supervisor:           Prof. James Wilkinson

Project description

The Optoelectronics Research Centre has a 40-year track record of pioneering contributions in photonics and is currently one of the largest and most dynamic research centres in this field world-wide.  The Integrated Photonic Devices Group (http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/ipd.html) explores the fundamentals of guided wave optics at surfaces, with applications including telecommunications, biosensing and novel light sources, and is complemented by world-class photonic materials and fabrication facilities (http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/facilities.html).

The Project: There is a pressing need for diagnostic tools that can produce results quickly from patients' bedsides and in doctors' surgeries. Rapid, accurate results will allow rapid therapeutic decisions and save lives at reduced cost. In contrast, existing technologies require transfer of samples to centrally located laboratories equipped with sophisticated instruments, and highly skilled personnel. Both Mid-IR and Raman spectroscopies have been shown independently to be powerful biodiagnostic tool for specific biomarkers, however, combining the strengths of both these techniques on a single chip will take advantage of their complementarity in identifying disease causing biomarkers much more efficiently.

The overall aim of this project is to develop the ATR/Raman chips using advanced materials and apply the chip for proof of principle demonstration for the diagnostics of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (nRDS). In specific the project will involve computational modelling and design of these chips including signal enhancement features using resonating structures. This will be followed by fabrication of the chips in our cleanrooms based on materials such as silicon and plastics. Fabricated devices will be first characterised at the ORC and then applied to clinical diagnostic applications including nRDS in collaboration with University Hospital Southampton. The candidate

will work as part of the team comprising post-docs, research students and academics pursuing research on EPSRC funded project (2019-2022) entitled “Combining the Strengths of Mid-IR and Raman Spectroscopies on Single Chip for Rapid Bedside Biomarker Diagnostics”.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr. Senthil Ganapathy, Email: smg@orc.soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 7811

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2019 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: typically three years (full-time)

Funding: Full funding is available for UK applicants which includes paid tuition fees and tax-free bursary of £18,000 per annum to cover the living expenses. 

EU applicants may also be considered for fully-funded scholarships. Obtaining support from other sources (or self-funding) for living expenses will increase chances of a successful application. Please note that EU students who have been working/studying in the UK for the previous 3-years can be fully-funded as equivalent UK students. 

International students are encouraged to seek full/partial funding from other sources (e.g. national scholarships, commonwealth scholarships, self-funding etc).

For further information, visit https://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/phd

Assessment: nine-and 18-month reports and viva voce determine progression to PhD; progression reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically September

Applying: www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgstudy/howdoiapplypg.html 


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