Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are among the earliest signs of metastasis or cancer spread in the body 1. Thus, their detection can help catch metastasis early and treat it early. However, due to their rarity, and light and sound absorption by the skin, CTCs are difficult to detect in vivo.
Now, could CTCs be detected in the superficial mucus tissue in the mouth? In the shallow depth of the lower lip, both ultrasound and optical imaging can be used to image cells inside venules (small vessels) 2, 3, making the lower lip a perfect candidate for photoacoustic imaging (PAI) of CTCs. We aim to make a simplified in-vitro model of the lower lip and image flowing melanoma CTCs inside it using PAI.
A similar situation exists in the colorectum tissue, on a different scale: from cells to small tumors. We are working with the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam to detect colorectal tumors. As a response to therapy, many times, a colorectal tumor fragments into pieces 4. Again, the mucus tissue in the colorectum allows us to monitor these tumor fragments using PAI 5.
Therefore, the core idea of this project is to develop and test a photoacoustic microscope (PAM) for (1) the detection of melanoma CTCs in an in-vitro flow setup, resembling the human's lower lip, and (2) the detection of tumor and tumor fragments in ex-vivo colorectum tissue.
You will have access to equipment, devices, and samples to assemble the PAM and carry out the measurements. This project is in collaboration with the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and the AMBER group and the AST group at University of Twente. Besides access to medical and cell-research facilities, working with these institutes will expand your collaborative and scientific network.
1 Dasgupta, Arko, Andrea R. Lim, and Cyrus M. Ghajar. "Circulating and disseminated tumor cells: harbingers or initiators of metastasis?." Molecular oncology 11.1 (2017): 40-61.
2 Winer, Matan M., et al. "In vivo noninvasive microscopy of human leucocytes." Scientific Reports 7.1 (2017): 13031.
3 Ghanbarzadeh-Dagheyan, Ashkan, et al. "Time-domain ultrasound as prior information for frequency-domain compressive ultrasound for intravascular cell detection: A 2-cell numerical model." Ultrasonics 125 (2022): 106791.
4 Ghanbarzadeh-Daghyean, Ashkan, et al. "Application of a Photoacoustic Sensor for Colon Cancer Imaging: A Case Report." 2023 IEEE SENSORS. IEEE, 2023.
5 Nagtegaal, I. D. & Glynne-Jones, R. How to measure tumour response in rectal cancer? An explanation of discrepancies and suggestions for improvement. Cancer Treat. Rev. 84, 101964 (2020).Your profile
Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before March 20th, 2024 , and include:
At BMPI, we investigate the use of light for medical purposes. Our aim is to develop optical and hybrid optical-acoustical technologies for medical research and diagnosis, in particular in the fields of oncology, wound healing and microscopy. Physiological properties of primary interest to us are microcirculatory blood flow, hemoglobin concentrations, blood oxygenation and scattering properties in general.
Our approaches include physical research into light-tissue interaction and its measurement, biomedical engineering to realize suitable instrumentation for ex-/in-vivo use, and clinical evaluation together with several medical partners.About the organisation
The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.Want to know more? Steenbergen, W. (Wiendelt)
Full professor, and vice-dean research of the Faculty of Science and TechnologySteenbergen, W. (Wiendelt)
Full professor, and vice-dean research of the Faculty of Science and Technology
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1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.Step 4
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The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.Your Colleagues
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