Rapid all-optical detection of biomarkers in biological fluids (University of Leeds)

Supervisors: Paul Millner.

Collaborators: Dr Alexandre Vakurov, Prof. Mike McPherson, Prof. Gin Jose, Dr Sikha Saha.

In my current role, I am developing methods for rapid quantification of biomarkers in biological fluids (e.g. blood serum/urine). If successful, this will have global impact and would improve the diagnosis of diseases such as stroke and heart attacks. This is an inter-disciplinary project involving the following groups at the University of Leeds: the BioNanotechnology Group (Prof Paul Millner), Applied Photon Science (Prof Gin Jose), the BioScreening Technology Group (Prof Mike McPherson), and Dr Sikha Saha (Faculty of Medicine and Health).

I presented posters on this research at the both the IOP 'Photon 16' conference [link] and the British Cardiovascular Research Society meeting in Leeds in September 2016. [link]

Photon 16 Poster title

Oximetry of bulbar conjunctival and episcleral microvasculature (University of Glasgow)

Supervisor: Prof. Andy Harvey. Collaborators: Dr Tushar Choudhary, Prof. Andy McNaught, 

This project investigated the oxygen dynamics of two microvascular beds: the bulbar conjunctiva (situated above the white of the eye), and the episclera (embedded within the white scleral tissue). Using high temporal-resolution snapshot multispectral imaging, we were able to observe the process of oxygen diffusion re-oxygenating hypoxic bulbar conjunctival microvessels. To the best of our knowledge, the bulbar conjunctival vessels are the only blood vessels outwith the lungs which actually uptake oxygen from air. 

This work was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Experimental Eye Research. A pre-print is also available on ResearchGatehttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2016.06.008. Additionally, this work was presented at the 2016 Oximetry Workshop in Glasgow. (see the Youtube video below for that conference presentation). This work also features in my PhD thesis.

Oximetric Ratio Contrast Anigography (ORCA): dye-free retinal angiography (University of Glasgow)

Supervisor: Prof. Andy Harvey.

Collaborators: Javier Fernandez-Ramos, Tushar Choudhary, Prof. Nigel Benjamin, and Prof. Christian Delles.

Mapping out blood flow is essential for diagnosis of blinding retinal diseases, however commonly-used fluorescein angiography requires the intra-venous injection of a mildly-toxic fluorescein dye. We developed an alternative non-invasive method for angiography where contrast is provided by the absorption of light by haemoglobin in the blood itself. This could be used in future to test for retinal blood vessel blockages, but some further development is required. 

I presented a talk about this work at the 2016 International Oximetry Workshop in Glasgow. (See the embedded YouTube video to the right, or follow this direct link). Full manuscript in preperation. This work is reported in my PhD thesis [link].

An ORCA image

Investigating hypoxia in the development of Multiple Sclerosis (University of Glasgow)

Supervisor: Prof. Andy Harvey. Collaborators: Marieke van der Putten, Dr Andrew Davies, Dr Roshni Desai, Prof. Kenneth Smith.

A collaborative project with UCL institute of neurology, using oximetry to gain insights into how a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) influences the development of multiple sclerosis. This work is reported in my PhD thesis [link]. and has led to the following publication:

van der Putten, M.A., MacKenzie, L.E.,  Davies, A.L.,  Fernandez Ramos, J.,  Desai, R.A., Smith, K.J., and Harvey, A.R.
 'A multispectral microscope for in vivo oximetry of rat dorsal spinal cord vasculature'. 
Physiological Measurement. 2017 38. 205-18. doi:10.1088/1361-6579/aa5527p. Pre-print available via ResearchGate

Video-rate Stand-Off Non-Invasive Choroidal (SONIC) ximetry (Univeristy of Glasgow)

Supervisor: Prof. Andy Harvey. This work features in my PhD Thesis [Link].