Mengxing Tang (Bioengineering)
Mike Warner (Earth Sciences)
Matthew Williams (Surgery & Cancer)

Current methods for clinical brain imaging generally have limited accessibility, affordability and speed. There is an unmet clinical need for a complementary technique to image the brain at high resolution, similar to MRI, but more accessible and capable of diagnosing and continuously monitoring at the hospital bedside or even in the ambulance. An ultrasound based imaging technique could address such a need. 

Existing ultrasound imaging through pulse-echo uses reflected signals and has limited penetration and lower accuracy and resolution than MRI. These pulse-echo images are degraded and destroyed when strong reflections (e.g. from the skull) originate in front of or close to the target; these limitations prevent conventional ultrasound imaging modalities from imaging within the skull.

Our central objective is to develop a new ultrasound brain tomography modality, as well as a suitable prototype system to acquire both reflected and transmitted ultrasound energy. This new technique will use advanced reconstruction algorithms that have been developed to successfully solve Earth imaging problems. If successful, the technique will have significant implications in detecting and managing a broad range of neurological diseases and also in neuroscience research.

This is a highly interdisciplinary project and the student will spend time with a multi-disciplinary team including associated clinicians to understand the challenges in clinical neurology and neuro-oncology and ensure the clinical relevance of the project.


Oscar Bates