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Bachelor and Master Projects (Physics, Biomedical Engineering)

Our group always offers topics for bachelor and master theses for physics, medical physics or biomedical engineering students. These projects are directly embedded in our long-term research projects for technical development and clinical translation. The projects present exciting opportunities to work in a highly interdisciplinary research field.

Possible topics include:

  • Phantom design for MRI and MR-HIFU applications

    • Phantoms are devices that are placed inside the MRI or the MR-HIFU system and are designed to mimic clinically relevant situations. Using phantoms, researchers can test their theories and new technology in a reproducible setup before bringing them into the clinic. Phantom projects aim to design, build and characterize a phantom to mimic a specific situation. 

    • Beneficial qualifications: Experience in matlab or python (numpy and matplotlib libraries), experience in CAD, 3D print, chemistry, ‘handicraft' enthusiasm

  • Motion contamination in MRI scans assessed via a mechanical motion platform

    • In MRI-guided interventions, such as MR-HIFU, organ motion poses a major problem. Conventional MRI sequences require stationary scenarios, hence motion directly impacts on image quality as well as on comparability between scans. Especially when monitoring the temperature of a subject for interventions, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of the implications of motion. Strategies to avoid and track motion-related errors have to be tested in a clearly defined scenario. Our group is developing an MR- and MR-HIFU-compatible motion platform to study these effects

    • Beneficial qualifications: Experience in C++/Python programming, 3D print, ‘handicraft’ enthusiasm, basic understanding of MRI is of advantage

  • Numeric simulations for MR-HIFU therapies in the abdomen

    • Intestinal motion of organs or digestive air bubbles are a major source of disturbances to temperature supervision scans in the abdomen. Such motion generates distortions of the magnetic field that are hard to predict and strongly reflect in the acquired data. Strategies to compensate for such disturbances have to be developed and tested in a numeric scenario with known ground-truth. This project will be an active part of an abdominal simulation framework for digestive motion, thermometry and HIFU-induced heating that is being developed in our research group. Building a phantom for experimental validation of a defined scenario can be part of the project.

    • Beneficial qualifications: Experience in Python programming, basic understanding of MRI is of advantage, creativity for phantom design

  • Experimental parameter optimization in novel HIFU therapies

    • Current applications of HIFU at the University Hospital of Cologne are almost exclusively based on thermal ablation of malignant tissue. Histotripsy, which is the mechanical destruction of malignant tissue with intense ultrasound pulses and cavitation, is an alternative approach that is currently in the process of clinical adoption. Projects targeting novel HIFU therapies aim to optimize the sonication protocols by systematic testing of different input parameters like power and timing of the pulses.

    • Beneficial qualifications: Experience in matlab or python (numpy and matplotlib libraries), basic understanding of MRI and ultrasound physics is of advantage

Don't hesitate to contact us, in case you are interested to write your thesis with us or have any questions.