Internship/PhD position - Ultrasensitive Fabry-Pérot cavities for photoacoustic imaging of neuronal activity in mice

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The study of large scale neuronal circuits throughout the brain is currently one of the biggest challenge in neurobiology. Non-invasive imaging of neuronal activity with single cell resolution is however limited to shallow depths, due to prominent light scattering beyond one millimeter.
Photoacoustic imaging, a fascinating technique relying on ultrasound generation upon the absorption of a light pulse, has been developed to overcome this issue, enabling to probe optical absorption contrast at large depths in biological tissue.
To achieve cellular resolution, the detected ultrasound bandwidth must be as large as 100 MHz, which is beyond the reach of conventional piezo-electric based sensors. We therefore developed optical sensors of ultrasound to overcome this issue [1]. However, these sensors still lack sensitivity and cannot yet detect single labeled neurons.

Research program
You will first simulate various sensor designs to identify the best solutions optimizing the optical and mechanical contributions to the overall sensitivity. You will then fabricate and characterize the most promising candidates. One important contribution will be to characterize the mechanical response of the considered polymers to high frequency
ultrasound, as these data are critically missing. The new sensors with increased sensitivity will be tested by imaging phantom samples and fixed tissue.

To be considered for this internship, you should have a strong background in physics, optics, electrical engineering, neuroscience (with some experience in optical imaging) or any related field. Basic programming skills are essential (Matlab or Python), as well as a certain taste for tinkering. As you will be evolving in an international environment, you must be fluent in English (at least C1), and exhibit excellent communications capabilities (written and spoken).

Please send a detailed CV, a cover letter describing your interests and past achievements, (max. 1 page), a copy of your university transcripts, as well as names, affiliations, and email addresses of two references to with the subject line "[Application]". The project can lead to a full PhD in the group.