We proudly present the PhD Student of the Month for August 2021, Elisabet Rank who is enrolled in the N094 programme „Medical Physics“ and is employed at the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.

Elisabet is working in the field of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) on a chip. OCT is a gold-standard diagnosis tool for non-invasive diagnosis and eye disease management. Today, commercially available OCT systems have a footprint of one square meter and cost up to 180.000 € which typically limits the availability of these systems to hospitals and large ophthalmic practices. Within four projects, funded by Horizon 2020, FFG and the European Space Agency, Elisabet is working towards the miniaturization of OCT using Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) and acquired for the first time in vivo retinal tomograms using PIC-based OCT. Such miniaturized, chip scale OCT systems can potentially be up to 3x cheaper, 5x smaller and 4x faster than today’s commercially available systems and, therefore, could enable improved retinal care in smaller ophthalmic practices, low-resource settings and even in research on retinal changes in astronauts exposed to micro gravity.

Elisabet’s research efforts have already led to various publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, amongst these a recent publication as first author in the top-ranked journal „Light: Science & Applications“.