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"Ultrawide bandwidth photonics devices, sources and applications"

Final Report Summary - UBAPHODESA (Ultrawide bandwidth photonics devices, sources and applications)

Report - UBAPHODESA – European Industrial Doctorate funded by the EU (grant number 607627)

We have investigated the potential of supercontinuum light sources in medical imaging technology, particularly for optical coherence tomography and photoacoustic microscopy.
Our research consisted in two parts: (1) novel broadband manipulation of light for innovative sources from UV to infrared, (2) development of innovative devices capable of operating within such large optical bandwidth and their applications. Our vision was to strengthen the existing development of technologies in optics sources for clinical applications by applying the following approaches: 1. Optimize integration of supercontinuum with broadband components; 2. Characterization of supercontinuum in order to understand noise in a variety of broadband optical set-ups and mitigate its effect in applications; 3. Apply the principles evaluated above in applications, such as: a) assembly of high resolution, low noise OCT imaging technology for the eye and OCT endoscopy; b) assembly of systems to exploit the broadband of supercontinuum in spectroscopy and nonlinear optics applications; c) evaluate the potential of photo acoustics in adding diagnostic contrast (and be a suitable technology in the clinic); 4. Establish a link between the source performance and the clinical settings, in order to clarify how to improve diagnostic contrast and hence diagnostic quality and clinical acceptance.

The students have swapped study places from one partner (NKT Photonics or Univ of Kent) to the other. As an overview, Michael Maria and Catherine Chin started in Kent while Felix Fleischhauer , Sophie Caujolle and Magalie Bondu started at NKT. The 5 researchers were also constantly learning new techniques through courses and workshops. The first such course was the postmasters level taught module in Biomedical Optics (PH800) organized at the University of Kent. All students have not only engaged in research at the sites of the two laboratories, but they have actively engaged in outreach activities to the public via lectures and demonstrations. Dissemination was enhanced via professional conferences and technical exhibitions where they presented their new findings to other scientists and industries.
Three main network events have been organised:
* 1st Workshop 24/25th of September 2015, NKT Photonics A/S (Denmark)- supercontinuum sources and bioimaging applications such as OCT -presentations by Early Stage Researchers, presentations by supervisors, short lectures on ethics, training in entrepreneurship as well as training in Intelectual Property Rights.

* 2nd workshop 29/30th September 2016, Univ of Kent, where all students presented their studies on the supercontinuum as well as on the application of NKT SC sources. Several speakers where invited to deliver specialized lectures, in addition to the 5 ESRS: Adam Dubis, Glen Jeffery, Pearse Keane and Ranjan Rajendram from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology/Moorfields Eye Hospital, Paul Beard from the UCL, Ole Bang from DTU, Taran Tatla from Northwick Park Hospital and Gurprit Lall from the School of Pharmacy, University of Kent. They contributed to widening the horizon of fellows with areas of high interest in imaging the eye, characterizing the function of organs, low level laser therapy, optical diagnosis and intervention. An extra session on patenting was delivered by the Senior Commercialization Manager of the University of Kent, Dr. Gary Robinson.

* 3rd event: International Conference
This was organized as an international event open to other participants, under the title: “2nd Canterbury Conference on Optical Coherence Tomography (2CCOCT) with emphasis on broadband optical sources”, from 6th to the 8th of September 2017. The 2CCOCT was an international conference with a total of 49 oral presentations and 10 poster presentations, giving the ESRs. Speakers came from all over the globe, covering countries like Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Switzerland. The 49 oral presentations were divided into 13 student presentations, 15 invited speakers, 2 industry forums and 19 established researcher presentations. The conference was split into 13 different sessions, each covering a different area of research regarding broadband sources and / or imaging such as optical coherence tomography. Apart from the support of the Marie Curie actions, the conference was sponsored by Image Guided Therapy Network (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), NKT Photonics (Denmark), Superlum (Ireland), the University of Kent, Santec (Japan) and Thorlabs (USA). The OSA Student Chapter of the University of Kent also participated throughout the conference with a variety of different events. This chapter included the EID students. They organised a social event on Wednesday evening for all conference participants, a student social event on Thursday morning and rewarded three early stage researchers for their excellent presentations. Sophie Caujolle has won the 3rd place for the best oral presentation.
For international dissemination, a volume of the conference, containing 31 submissions, was published by SPIE. The volume is accessible via the SPIE Digital Library, as Proc. SPIE 10591
More information can be found on the following website

Other major international events where the 5 ESRs presented their results included: Conference Photonics West 2016 (San Francisco 13-18 February),
Conference Photonics West 2017 (San Francisco 28 January-02 February)
World of Photonics Congress 2017 (Munich, 25-29 June 2017),
Photonics West 2018 (San Francisco, 27 January – 1 February).

Scientific output
All papers and conference proceedings published were deposited in the Kent Academic Repository (AKR) of the University of Kent:
9 papers published in peer reviewed journals, 4 Golden Open Access;
2 papers submitted, 4 more manuscripts in preparation;
13 conference proceedings published by SPIE and IEEE, 3 submitted, to be published;
33 more oral and poster presentations where no proceeding was submitted (not including internal group presentations);
1 Patent Application

Adrian Podoleanu,