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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N021177/1
Title: All-Optical Pulse-Echo Ultrasound Imaging for Real-Time Guidance of Minimally Invasive Procedures
Principal Investigator: Desjardins, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Barts Health NHS Trust University College Hospitals NHS Trust
Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2016 Ends: 31 May 2020 Value (£): 1,087,556
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 Nov 2015 Healthcare Technologies Challenge Awards Interviews Panel B Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Medical needles are central to a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, including minimally invasive procedures in the heart to treat rhythm problems, and nerve blocks to treat back pain. Accurately and efficiently reaching tissue targets within the body can be very challenging. Many needle insertions are performed with ultrasound or X-ray imaging systems that are exterior to the body. These imaging systems are often insufficient for directly detecting the tissue targets, however, and consequently there is a risk of inaccurate needle placement.

As a Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at UCL, I will lead an ambitious research programme to develop new imaging probes to visualise tissue in the human body. These imaging probes will be integrated into medical needles and catheters to visualise tissue surrounding the medical devices. One of the novel aspects of the imaging probes is that they will transmit and receive ultrasound with optical fibres. This all-optical method for performing ultrasound imaging will lead to high-performance imaging with low-cost components and scalable manufacturing processes. As such, they could provide visualisation of tissue during clinical procedures that is not possible with current technology, or which is too expensive to be used routinely. Patients will benefit directly with improved clinical outcomes and decreased risks of complications.
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