Tools to image and control neurodevelopment

Themes: Hi Tech, Life Science & Health

TRL titel

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

The researcher is working on the intersection of physics and biology. She aims to increase the understanding on how the brain develops within the body. With unique non-invasive imaging techniques she is able to study the formation of brain cells within a living fish embryo and record how these cells function. Synapses are nanoscale points of contact between neurons. Being able to study their formation in vivo provides information on how neurons function. The researcher wants to find clues about what causes the developing brain to lose synapses. These insights can help to understand developmental disorders.

Whilst studying synapse formation in vivo the researcher is also working on improving non-invasive imaging technology. She is working on unravelling the image distortions formed in diverse layers of tissue and extending understanding how different frequencies of light interact with tissue.

What's next?

The next step for this research is to apply this optical physiology to study different problems. One application in toxicology is to measure and understand how micro plastics interact with organs in the body. 

Dr. Elizabeth Carroll



Additional information