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The aim of this postdoc project is to develop a novel ultrasound methodology that enables non-invasive read-out of the acoustic properties of radiation-sensitive microbubbles in order to construct a dose map. Hereto, acoustic models of wave propagation through soft tissue will be combined with advanced signal processing techniques. The developed methodology will extensively be validated in experimental setups (both in-vitro and in-vivo).
Background: Recent records on cancer incidence and mortality as well as on the associated economic burden, attest that cancer will remain a major and worldwide public health problem with serious socio-economic impact in the forthcoming decades. Comprised in the cure of approximately 50% of all cancer patients, radiation therapy is a fundamental pillar in their treatment. Relying on the tissue damaging properties of ionizing radiation, radiation therapy aims to maximally expose tumor tissue with minimal healthy tissue exposure. Thereto, recent advances in radiation therapy enable the planning and delivery of complex dose distributions exhibiting high tumor conformity. However, increased tumor conformity requires increased delivery accuracy which needs to be verified to ensure appropriate tumor exposure and minimal healthy tissue irradiation. This implies a growing need for appropriate treatment verification strategies effectively measuring the actual radiation dose imparted on the tumor. Despite this unmistakable need, current dosimetry technology is lagging behind on radiotherapy planning and delivery evolutions. As a consequence, radiotherapy cannot exploit its full capability.
About the co-supervising labs and the university: The main part of the research will be conducted at the Lab on Cardiovascular Imaging & Dynamics is part of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences of the University of Leuven (www.kuleuven.be). It is embedded within the Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC; https://mirc.uzleuven.be/MedicalImagingCenter), a multi-disciplinary research institute with approximately 100 researchers working on fundamental and translational research in the area of medical imaging and image processing. The MIRC is located on the campus of the university hospital Gasthuisberg (www.uzleuven.be) where researchers and clinicians work in close cooperation. The research is in collaboration with the Stadius Centre for Dynamical Systems, Signal Processing, and Data Analytics (STADIUS, http://www.esat.kuleuven.be/stadius) at the Electrical Engineering Department (ESAT) at KU Leuven. STADIUS's major research objective is to contribute to the development of improved digital control and signal processing systems that incorporate advanced mathematical modeling techniques as a crucial new ingredient. STADIUS draws concepts from mathematical fields such as linear and multi-linear algebra, statistics, discrete mathematics, optimization, etc.
Context: The postdoc project is part of a large research effort (called “Amphora”) at the European level on developing a new sensor system that enables measuring local radiation dose in-situ. Hereto, small microbubbles will be used as local sensors to radiation that can be read out using ultrasound waves. Please visit www.amphora-project.eu for more detailed information.
Offer: We offer a postdoc position for 2 years with a market conform wage in a large, multidisciplinary research center in the heart of Europe, at a highly-ranked university. The position is immediately available and is co-supervised by experts in the field of ultrasound imaging and signal processing.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jan D'hooge, tel.: +3216349012, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. dr. ir. Alexander Bertrand, tel.: +32 16 32 18 99, mail: email@example.com.
Apply through this website: https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/55466914