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/Job opportunities/Design of an opto-mechanical ultrasound transducer for iono-acoustic tomography

Design of an opto-mechanical ultrasound transducer for iono-acoustic tomography

Master projects/internships - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Next generation silicon photonic ultrasound detector for hybrid imaging modalities (ultrasonography, photoacoustic imaging and iono-acoustic tomography)

Range uncertainty limits the efficacity of proton therapy to provide the highest dose to the tumor, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Non-invasive localization techniques such as positron emission tomography and prompt gamma imaging are introduced in clinical practice but require bulky instrumentation and complex computations (non-straightforward relation between beam range and measured signal). More recently, iono-acoustics tomography has been identified as an attractive alternative for real-time dose distribution monitoring. The localized energy loss at the Bragg peak of the dose-depth distribution generates a local temperature increase, followed by the formation of a pressure wave, as shown in the figure. It is this acoustic wave which can be captured outside the body with an ultrasound transducer. Combined with other imaging modalities, such as ultrasonography and photo-acoustic imaging, iono-acoustic tomography can enable accurate beam positioning based on tissue morphology or ultrasonic markers.


The challenge in clinical conditions however remains the high signal attenuation in tissue and therefore low signal amplitude. The aim of this thesis is to develop an opto-mechanical ultrasound sensor (OMUS) in silicon photonic technology with high sensitivity for iono-acoustic wave detection. The entire iono-acoustic propagation chain (acoustic wave generation, propagation, detection and image reconstruction) will be modelled. You will explore the dependences of the acoustic wave (amplitude, temporal shape, ...) and optimal transducer parameters on proton beam energy, pulse duration, rise time, lateral beam size, Bragg peak width, tissue non-idealities, etc.


Type of project: Thesis


Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering

Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical engineering, Bioscience Engineering, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Grim Keulemans (

Only for self-supporting students.