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Using a patient’s respiratory and cardiac signal to adjust image acquisition.


Imaging a lung tumour is difficult because the tumour and organs are blurred as we breathe and our heart beats. The aim of this project is to eliminate blurring caused by respiratory and cardiac motion. This project can be tailored to suit students from medical physics, robotics, engineering, mathematics or computer science.
This project involves placing external sensors on a patient to measure their breathing and heart beat and then using this information to adapt the rotation of the imaging device in real-time as the patient's heart beats and their breathing changes. We have access to both radiotherapy machines and an Artis Zeego to test and benchmark our real-time control algorithms as well as a strong pathway to the clinic for the techniques developed.

Examples of tasks that might be involved in this project include:
• Engineering: Developing a novel phantom which is a device that mimics a human lung as we breathe and our heart beats.
• Engineering/robotics/computer science: Developing real-time control systems and embedded programing to accept input from external sensors and adjust image acquisition on-the-fly.
• Mathematics/computer science and engineering: Developing optimisation, guidance and control algorithms to control the trajectory of the imaging hardware.
• Medical physics: Imaging and experimentation on radiology and radiotherapy hardware.


Associate Professor Ricky O'Brien.

Research location

Camperdown - Central Clinical School

Program type



Tumours are not stationary in the human body and move as a patient breathes and their heart beats. When imaging a patient, tumour motion causes blurring of the resulting images which makes it difficult to visualise the tumour and organs.
To compensate for tumour motion and imaging errors, radiotherapy treatments expand the treatment beam to ensure that the tumour is covered with radiation during the breathing cycle. However, by expanding the treatment beam we deliver higher radiation doses to healthy organs and tissue. In this project we will develop algorithms to control a medical device that will allow us to reduce the radiation dose to healthy organs and tissue.

Additional information

This project is suitable for students with a background in Medicine, Science or Engineering.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2192

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