Naomi Waterman

Doctoral Researcher
Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences CDT

Thesis project - "Superimaging with Metamaterials for Cardiovascular Disease"

Professor Shuang Zhang, School of Physics
Dr Jensen Li, School of Physics
Dr Iain Styles, School of Computer Science
Dr Steve Thomas, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

The overall objective of this PhD project is to develop a Super-resolution TIRF-like optical microscope, using structured illumination and novel electromagnetic (EM) materials and surfaces. This device will be used to study the interaction of blood cells with sub-endothelial matrix proteins to elucidate molecular mechanisms related to cardiovascular disease. In order to accomplish this overarching objective, several aims will need to be accomplished within the PhD, ranging from  understanding the interaction of light with structures in the nanometre scale, controlling light using artificial synthesised surface, to utilising the properties of the metamaterial surfaces to construct a superimaging device for biological applications.

During the course of this PhD, a wide variety of skills and knowledge will be developed. First of all, the physics of plasmonics and metamaterials forms a major part of this PhD project. In order to perform the initial simulations of EM waves, expertise in the use of the 3D electromagnetic simulation software, such as CST Microwave Studio, and COMSOL Multiphysics, will be developed. Moreover image reconstruction algorithms and post-processing methods will be developed in MATLAB. The design of the imaging device will lead to expertise in the optics of microscopes - both the practical construction and design and the theoretical understanding. It will also involve development of expertise in plasmonics and metamaterials. This will include understanding the theory behind the device and the practical laboratory skills to nanofabricate and apply the chosen metamaterials to superimaging.