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Dynamic Chemical Imaging

Dr Varun Sharma, Institution: The University of Melbourne

2021 PhD Scholarship

Years funded: 2022-2023

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is Australia’s leading cause of death, but our diagnostic methods are flawed. Data are emerging for new technology - dynamic chemical imaging (DCI) – which combines artificial intelligence, laser beams and non-harmful radiation to provide diagnoses in real time. Dr Sharma and team, plan to build and validate this technology for CVD: in particular diagnosing heart damage, weak sternums and irregular heart rhythms, with life-saving potential for more than 1 million Australians diagnosed CVD each year.

This will involve:

(a) building a DCI probe that can be used clinically

(b) validating it on high-risk cardiovascular tissue- Heart tissue

  • Sternum
  • Arrhythmia
  • Amyloid

(c) Assessing its impact on cardiac surgery

  • Avoiding biopsies to assess heart muscle, allowing targeted operations for transplant or revascularisation
  • Reducing infection rates by early detection of at-risk sternal bones
  • Reducing arrhythmia, particularly post cardiac surgery, by identifying at-risk hearts and implementing prophylactic measures

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