EPSRC IRC —Multiplexed Optical
Molecular Sensing and Imaging

Lighting up the Lung — Detecting Disease



The lungs are susceptible to infection and scarring which may limit their ability to help us breathe. Molecular imaging can be used to help understand the processes of infection and scarring in the lungs and to treat patients more effectively.

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Catch up with all of the latest PROTEUS news. Meet the scientists who work at the forefront of this evolving and exciting discipline.

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We have many upcoming opportunities for you to participate in. Events which allow you to meet others and share your interests as well a training events which enable you to update your skills and knowledge.

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Looking for insights and inspiration? We have developed a wide range of resources and activities for you to use. Please dip into our toolkit, read a case study or watch a video, there is something for everyone.

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We are really keen to hear your thoughts and encourage your participation. Join us as we work towards better understanding lung disease and diagnostic technologies.

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10 September 2016

PROTEUS Are Going To The British Science Festival 2016!

PROTEUS will be enthusiastically sharing our science at The British Science Festival Family Weekend 2016 so come along and join in!

The British Science Festival Family Weekend will be held in Swansea and hosted by Swansea University on 10 & 11 September 2016.

The Family Weekend will celebrate science in its broadest context and shine a light on the region's innovation, culture and heritage. The events and activities will take place in the heart of the City of Swansea.

The British Science Festival is Europe's longest-standing national event which connects people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists.

Tens of thousands of people come together to celebrate the latest developments in science and to engage in open discussion about issues that affect our culture and society.

PROTEUS' mission to Light up the Lungs to Detect Disease will form a key part of the weekend's activities.

We will invite visitors to step inside our critical care ward and help PROTEUS doctors make very important decisions about their patient’s health.

Visitors will use our brilliant optic fibres to look deep into the patient’s lungs and find the bugs causing illness then help the team choose the correct medicine to give to get our patient back on his feet and well again.

Find out more about the British Science Festival

25 October 2016

PROTEUS Celebrate Science With Durham University

PROTEUS will be joining our colleagues in Durham University as part of a 3 day sci fun extravaganza!

Visitors are invited to 'Celebrate Science' in the Marquee on Palace Green, the heart of Durham's World Heritage Site where a wide range of free science themed activities will be taking place.

The Celebrate Science team will encourage visitors to carry out amazing experiments, participate in astonishing hands-on activities and create their very own inventions, with University experts on hand to answer questions from visitors on everything from molten lava to shining a light on lung disease!

PROTEUS' are delighted to be part of these 3 fascinating days of science and look forward to lots of interactive fun with our brilliant optic fibres and exciting 'find the bugs & cure the patient game'!

Find out more about what the Celebrate Science team have in store

31 May 2016

Exciting New Research Positions Now Available

PROTEUS are committed to recruiting the very best researchers to work with us.

We invite you look through our opportunities page and contact us if you would like to join us for brilliant science and fun along the way!


News & Views

01 August 2016

PROTEUS Prepares for First Clinical Study

Dr Annya Symth, PROTEUS' Clinical Study Manager talks us through PROTEUS' first clinical study and explains the challenges that lie ahead.

What are your responsibilities in PROTEUS?

I am responsible for managing the design, set-up and running of the clinical studies that test both the optical Smartprobes and the evolving technology. This includes designing and developing the clinical protocols alongside the lead clinicians, obtaining the necessary approvals and working closely with the Sponsor and clinical staff to ensure the study runs smoothly. I’ve also renewed my research passport to help our clinical team in the hospital to carry out the research, if it’s needed. It’s a great chance to meet the patients involved and to make sure the studies we design in our office actually work well in a clinical environment.

The process of bringing PROTEUS into commercial use is incredibly complex - can you walk us through the protocol?

The ultimate aim of the PROTEUS project is to develop technology that is accessible to clinicians worldwide, but this is a few years off. Right now we are running small, local studies to test the individual components of the technology, but we’ll eventually conduct a large regulated clinical trial to obtain valuable data about the functionality of the final imaging platform prior to potential commercialisation.

What stage of this process are PROTEUS at now?

The PROTEUS project is about halfway through its journey-we are now at the stage of our first clinical study that’s due to start in July 2016. The end goal of the project, in June 2018, is to test the fully functioning Smartprobe delivery, imaging and sensing system for the first time in humans.

Why is this clinical study important?

So far we have tested and evaluated our imaging system in animal lungs and now we are at the stage of moving the technology into humans. We want to develop a novel approach to address the unmet needs of identifying and measuring pulmonary fibroproliferative pathway.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced bringing PROTEUS to its first clinical study?

The biggest challenge to date, and I honestly don’t think it’s a challenge in the true sense of the word, is to ensure that those involved in working with us and approving the Versicolour device and Smartprobes for clinical use are a fully integrated part of this journey, and appreciate the low risk nature of the technology. We’ve already demonstrated that the Smartprobe and device are safe for clinical use, but the novel approach that we’re using and the state-of-the-art technology will always challenge existing perceptions which are based around more conventional research tools that are currently in use.

What challenges lie ahead?

A potential challenge that I can see in the future is the integration of the sensors to our technology. In saying that, the team have come a long way so far and are well capable of jumping any possible technical hurdles.

Interview conducted by Kate Boyd Crotty and Jessica Davis, Science Communication Mater Students

Read Annya's Full Interview

22 April 2016

EPSRC: Interdisciplinary Research is Critical to Success

Healthcare innovations need world-leading research and skilled people to get off the ground. Cross discipline collaborations, including those funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are critical to success.

01 January 2016

EPSRC Very Supportive of PROTEUS' Progress

We invite you to read PROTEUS' Mid Term Review Brochure which summarizes all of our hard work over the last 2.5 years.

PROTEUS' funding body, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has confirmed that the mid-term review panel were very supportive of the progress that PROTEUS has made to date.

PROTEUS are delighted, a great way to end a successful year!

12 November 2015

PROTEUS' Jim Stone Works with The BBC to Reconstruct Herschel’s Experiment

To celebrate the International Year of Light our very own Dr Jim Stone was asked by the BBC to recreate the experiment which led William Herschel to discover infrared radiation.

Jim took part in the set up and filming of the famous experiment for a three part BBC 4 series entitled “In Search of Colour” airing on November 18th.

Enjoy Jim's account of the exciting day filming at the Herschel Museum.

“The experiment would take place in the Herschel museum, or more specifically, in the kitchen. I’m not sure what I really expected from the crew as we met bleary eyed that morning (we started at 6am) to set up.
With hindsight, obviously a cameraman and sound recordist who make their livings out of optics and acoustics are going to be curious and quite capable when it comes to physics. Especially on a science documentary.

Herschel had made his infrared discovery when he noticed the coloured optical filters he was using to observe sunlight seemed to also pass different amounts of heat. He wondered if different colours had different temperatures so using a prism to disperse sunlight, he laid out several thermometers in the spectrum and a control one just outside the red edge.

It was the unexpected result of the control thermometer showing the largest change that lead Herschel to conclude that there was light beyond the red edge of the spectrum which we could not see.

Back in 2015, and under very creative direction, the kitchen was set up as it would have been when in the late eighteenth century. Windows were blocked out and beeswax candles were lit, then, on the table in the centre, the brilliant beam of white light emerging from the supercontinuum (we modernised the sunlight source somewhat) and striking a prism sending a bright spectrum across the table to a series of neatly laid out thermometers looked fantastic.

With everything now ready the sound recordist muttered the words everyone was longing to hear, “fancy a bacon sandwich?”

After breakfast our presenter arrived. I rather naively thought someone would have scripted everything, but no, “I’m going to need a few minutes to work out what to say” says UCL physicist Helen Czersky, and then straight into filming.

I have no idea how long we spent there, I think I left my perception of time fast asleep in bed that morning. Different shots, different angles, different lines all looking and sounding great. As we were getting the last few gratuitously arty shots we were given the nod to pack up in time for the museum opening. Soon all the equipment was cleared and eighteenth century kitchenware again occupied the space.

'Emerging from our supercontinuum/candle light illuminated Georgian time warp into the midday sun felt dreamlike, but I also felt very satisfied.'

If the series is half as good as it seemed it would be to me that day then it will be well worth watching."

Brilliant work Jim, we are all very proud of you!

Check out the whole BBC4 series which started 4th November