Biophotonics (MSc)

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Comments about Biophotonics (MSc) - At the institution - Cardiff - Cardiff - Cardiff - Wales

  • Objectives
    The aim is to produce a generation of researchers that can develop and apply cutting edge optical techniques to fundamental questions in bioscience and medicine. The MSc in Biophotonics is the first course in the UK that has been designed to take biology and chemistry graduates to the forefront of fields including optics, light spectroscopy and laser physics. The knowledge and expertise will prepare the student for a career in a biophotonics-related industry or further postgraduate research in the biological science, medicine and healthcare fields. The course will also be relevant to a wide range of companies associated with medical and biological instrumentation and pharmaceuticals.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements
    The course is suitable for: graduates in a biological or physical science or engineering. Applications from students in subjects such as physics, chemistry, material sciences, electrical engineering, biology, optometry and pharmacy are welcomed.

    Applicants should posses a minimum of a second class honours degree or equivalent in a physical, biological or engineering science. Please contact the admissions tutor (details below) in the event of any query.

    A number of places are likely to attract scholarships, which will be awarded on merit.
  • Academic title
    Biophotonics (MSc)
  • Course description
    Cardiff’s MSc in Biophotonics is a ground breaking course, suitable both for life scientists who want to explore the challenges and, fundamental insights that can be gained from crossing into the world of physics, and for physical scientists who want to explore the fascinating complexity of fast-developing areas of biology.

    Historically, major breakthroughs in science have occurred at the boundaries between fields due to the perspectives and insight that cross-disciplinary scientists gain from their different backgrounds. These advantages are particularly seen in the development and application of new technologies. Recent developments of optical biosensors, nano-optics and novel modes of microscopy are evidence of a revolution in Biophotonics techniques that will be required in the post-genome era of biological research. Progress in the emerging interdisciplinary field of Biophotonics is reflected in a numerous high quality publications.

    Course Description
    This programme is jointly taught by expert scientists in the School of Physics and Astronomy and Cardiff School of Biosciences. The course will use world-class research and teaching facilities to cover topics including advanced light microscopy, cell and tissue imaging, laser-based techniques, nanoparticles as optical bio-labels, biosensors, research techniques in bioscience and medical applications. An outline course structure is available below.

    Introductory material in the autumn semester gives both life and physical scientists the necessary tools for tackling the advanced modules in the spring semester, covering the latest developments in this rapidly expanding area. Subject to satisfactory progress, students are placed with an industrial collaborator or a university research group to undertake a four month research project in which the student will get the opportunity to carry out cutting edge bioscience research using optical tools.

    Module titles include:

    Autumn Semester:

    -Research techniques in Bioscience
    -Mathematical tools in photonics and biology
    -Optics and light spectroscopy including optical properties of biomolecules

    Spring Semester:

    -Modern Light Microscopy Techniques
    -Advanced optical bio-sensing methods
    -Medical Biophotonics
    -Nanostructures and Optical Manipulation
    -Study Skills in Biophotonics
    -MSc Biophotonics Project

    The advanced topics to be covered include:

    -Contrast methods in light microscopy, Fluorescence microscopy, Optical coherence tomography, Scanning laser microscopy including Multiphoton, Raman and Near-field techniques.
    -Label-free optical biosensors, including commercially available methods based on evanescent waves, e.g. the surface plasmon resonance (SPR).
    -Nanoparticle-labelled biosensors for immunosensing and nucleic acid detection.
    -Fluorescent labelling and the mechanism of fluorescent resonant energy transfer (FRET).
    -Manipulation of particles and cells by optical techniques (e.g. optical tweezers)
    -Interaction of light with cells: Flow cytometry, Fluorescence microscopy of the cell cycle, Optical signalling during drug interaction, Photo-activation of drugs, Molecular caging.
    -Tissue engineering with light, Tissue ablation and Laser surgery, Optical techniques in drug discovery, Photo-dynamic therapies.
    -Fluorophore development and functionality, Quantum dots for molecular tags
    -Biochip platforms: Microlasers and microdetectors for lab-on-a-chip
    -Single molecule detection by optical methods: Fluorescence, near-field optics, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)

    Special Features
    A multidisciplinary programme taught by expert scientists in Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Biosciences.
    A limited number of EPSRC studentships are available. Some are fully-funded studentships and cover UK/EU fees and a maintenance stipend; others are fees-only awards.

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