Optics and Photonics Research Group

Optical 'X-rays' for disease diagnosis and therapy

A laser emitting green light.

Image Credits: Dr. Tania Mendonca, Optics and Photonics Group

£1.8m to develop optical ‘X-rays’ for disease diagnosis and therapy

Engineers and computer scientists at the University of Nottingham are joining forces on a £1.8m grant to help build game-changing 3D medical imaging equipment to meet the public health needs of the future.  

The grant is part of a larger project worth approximately £6m with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under its ‘Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050’ initiative.  

The research will result in hand-held devices for healthcare providers to see inside a patient’s body, yielding both fast diagnoses and considerable savings for the NHS in decades to come. 

The cross-disciplinary academic team will work to optimise the diagnostic potential of microscopy using light as a non-invasive tool for imaging deep in the body. 

At Nottingham, this work is led by Dr Amanda Wright and Professor Michael Somekh from the Optics and Photonics Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering and Dr Andrew Parkes and Dr Mercedes Torres Torres from the Computational Optimisation and Learning Lab and Computer Vision Lab research groups in the School of Computer Science.  

By harnessing world-leading optical physics, cutting-edge detector technology and artificial intelligence the five-year project will allow affordable, safe, early disease detection that will significantly enhance the quality of life of the UK population. 

Infrared light has the potential to provide clearer diagnostic information fast without any of the damaging effects of existing technologies such as X-rays or the expense and discomfort of MRI.

Posted on Monday 22nd June 2020

Optics and Photonics Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15536
email: optics@nottingham.ac.uk