PhD Studentship: Implantable Hydrogel Optical Fibers for Photomedicine

United Kingdom
Dec 20, 2017
Mar 20, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Light in medicine has applications in photodynamic therapy, light-triggered drug delivery, photoacoustic imaging, and photothermal ablation. In photomedicine, low-level laser therapy of human tissue stimulates biological process to improve cell metabolism and proliferation. Such light delivery applications involve fluorescent probes, bioluminescent proteins, and light-sensitive polymers to generate and emit localised light. It is highly desirable to develop an optical fiber platform with physiochemical properties required for implantation and efficient light delivery to deep tissues while allowing functionalisation with a wide range of photonic materials.

The aim of this project is to demonstrate optical waveguides that will allow propagating light through biological tissue in optogenetics and photomedicine applications. A method will be created to rapidly fabricate flexible, functionalised soft polymer optical fibers (SPOFs) coupled with silica fibers. Doped with fluorescent dye and gold nanoparticles, the SPOF fiber will exhibit yellow-red and red illumination. The flexible SPOFs may have applications in photodynamic light therapy, optical biosensors, and photomedicine.

The successful student will form part of a multidisciplinary team and will be supervised by Dr. Ali K. Yetisen based in the Institute of Translational Medicine ( and the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.


Funding Notes

Students must have an undergraduate degree or master’s degree in engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science or a closely related subject.

University of Birmingham scholarships are available for exceptional UK/EU students. Self-funded international students are welcome to apply this post.



  • Glucose-Sensitive Hydrogel Optical Fibers Functionalized with Phenylboronic Acid. Advanced Materials. 2017, 29, 1606380 (2017)
  • Functionalized Flexible Soft Polymer Optical Fibers for Laser Photomedicine. Advanced Optical Materials (2018)
  • Highly Stretchable, Strain Sensing Hydrogel Optical Fibers. Advanced Materials. 28 (46), 10244-10249 (2016)


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